The expansion of NAND Flash manufacturers such as Toshiba, Samsung, Intel, and Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) will result into oversupply in NAND Flash market in 2019, TrendForce predicts.
The main development in the global NAND Flash industry is the settlement between Toshiba and Western Digital.
Toshiba and Western Digital have decided to extend existing joint-venture agreement to 2029. Western Digital will jointly invest in Fab 6 facility at Yokkaichi to secure its competitiveness in 3D-NAND Flash with 96-layer or greater. Toshiba announced its Fab 7 construction plan on December 21.
Toshiba sets its previous memory factories at Yokkaichi, but proposes a new site for Fab 7 at Kitakami, Iwate. The schedule for mass production in Fab 7 will be forecast at the second half of 2019, and 3D-NAND Flash with 96-layer or greater will be the main products. But this new fab will not have large-scale influences on overall NAND Flash output until 2020.
Apart from Toshiba’s ongoing construction of Fab 6 and plan for Fab 7, YMTC is also a new focus of the industry. YMTC’s new site in Wuhan Donghu New Technology Development Zone will go into operation in the second half of 2018. YMTC will develop 64-layer products to narrow the gap with its competitors.
Intel is engaging in the second-phase expansion of its fab in the Chinese city of Dalian and aims to double the facility’s 3D-NAND Flash capacity by the end of 2018.
Samsung will expand its NAND Flash factory in Xi’an, increasing their production of 3D-NAND Flash in China.
SK Hynix is investing a new factory, M15, in Cheongju, which also targets at production of 3D-NAND Flash with 96-layer or greater. M15 is expected to go into operation in 2019.
2D-NAND Flash will remain a small portion of overall manufacturing output with a focus on industrial applications. As a consequence, 2D-NAND Flash market will see different prospects from 3D-NAND Flash in the future, and will turn to a niche market.