According to TrendForce’s DRAMeXchange research unit, last year the Chinese flash memory manufacturer YMTC provided samples of 128-layer 3D NAND chips to controller suppliers. The company plans to begin mass production of these products by the end of the year. YMTC’s original 128-layer 3D NAND flash memory is expected to find application in UFS modules and solid state drives.
YMTC also plans to supply packaged crystals and uncut wafers to module manufacturers. According to TrendForce, the appearance of these products may begin to affect the contract prices for NAND plates in the fourth quarter of this year. It is expected that with the advent of the 128-layer YMTC flash memory in the market next year, competition will intensify, and this will lead to lower prices.
In addition, TrendForce experts note that due to the pandemic, demand for final products, including smartphones and laptops, will decrease in the near future. This will reduce the profit earned by NAND suppliers and limit their ability to further expand capacity.
Over the past year, the average NAND sales price has decreased by 46%, as a result of which large manufacturers have adopted a conservative approach to investment and outlined record low production growth plans. This gave YMTC the opportunity to narrow the competitive gap. It is predicted that in 2021 the production capacities of YMTC will make up about 8% of the industry’s capabilities.