Saturday, May 31, 2014

Semiconductor industry shifts toward Nand flash memory

Korea's largest semiconductor manufacturers are in the news these days, both because of the shift toward NAND flash memory devices. Taken together, these two companies dominate the global market for NAND flash memory.  As reported by The Joongang Daily, Samsung has begun mass producing 3-D V-NAND flash memory, which has 32 vertically stacked cell layers. As noted in the article, "It is the company’s second-generation V-NAND, an improvement on its first generation featuring 24 vertically stacked cell layers. Both are produced using the same equipment at the company’s semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi. The popularity of the vertical NAND was helped by the vertical NAND solid-state drive (SSD) Samsung started selling last year." The Joongang Daily articel also noted that "NAND flash memory accounted for 42 percent of the global memory market last year and is expected to increase to 56 percent of the global memory market by 2017, according to a recent research report by Gartner." Click on the accompanying graphic to see a full size version. Not to be outdone, SK Hynix has signed a deal to acquire a U.S. flash solution provider. As reported by The Korea Herald, "SK hynix said Friday it has signed a deal to acquire part of U.S. data storage firm Violin Memory to enhance its presence in the fast-growing market for flash memory devices. The deal will allow SK hynix to secure Violin’s PCIe intellectual properties. “This purchase will enable us to respond to growing demands for high-value-added solid-state drives for servers in the NAND flash markets,” SK hynix said."

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