How the Chip Shortage Impacts Memories

A close-up of the right side of the chart below, showing a gap of 45% above trend.

There’s been a lot of talk in the press for over a year about the chip shortage, but this isn’t something that I have written about in The Memory Guy.  My coverage of the shortage has been limited to the investor posts that I write for Smartkarma, and they’re behind a paywall.  It’s about time for me to post something here.

The shortage is the reason that the world semiconductor market is constantly breaking revenue records.  Since December 2020 every month has set Continue reading “How the Chip Shortage Impacts Memories”

Tectonic Change Coming to Chip Production

Drawing of a log rotating on a lathe being cut into veneerEvery so often a new idea comes into an established industry from an unexpected direction and creates a dramatic change to the way that the industry operates.  In today’s post The Memory Guy will explain a radical new chip production process will rapidly change the nature and cost structure of the entire semiconductor industry, DRAM and NAND flash first, slashing costs and waste while phenomenally increasing output.

This revolutionary approach stems from Continue reading “Tectonic Change Coming to Chip Production”

The Rarely Seen, But Beautiful Content-Addressable Memory (CAM)

Photo of a D3103 chip from a 1973 Intel advertisementAlthough The Memory Guy spends more time writing about NAND and DRAM than almost anything else, several other memory types ship in high volume that many people have never heard of.  One of these is the Content-Addressable Memory, or CAM.

CAMs are kind of backwards.  In a normal memory chip you input Continue reading “The Rarely Seen, But Beautiful Content-Addressable Memory (CAM)”

More New “Brief” White Papers Published This Week

Five briefs on top of each otherAs we have every week since January, this week Objective Analysis published another handful of our white papers, which we call “Objective Analysis Briefs”.

This week’s set covers a very diverse range, from the dissolution of a joint venture, through semiconductor cycles and business strategy, to Continue reading “More New “Brief” White Papers Published This Week”

WDC Issues Contamination Update

Photo of author in bunny suit holding wafer with Jolly RogerWestern Digital today shared an update on the material contamination that impacted the joint-venture manufacturing facilities that the company shares with Kioxia.

Although the company increased its estimate of the loss from 6.5 exabytes to 7 exabytes, this number is still in the realm of 3.5% of WDC’s annual NAND flash shipments.  It represents about two Continue reading “WDC Issues Contamination Update”

Five New Briefs: YMTC, SK hynix, Intel, and a Forecast

Five briefs on top of each otherAs we have been doing since mid-January, we introduce another five of our Objective Analysis Briefs this week, bringing the total this year to 35.

This week’s release covers three companies, YMTC, SK hynix, and Intel, and one explains the process we used in 2020 to create our 2021 forecast, with and without a pandemic-driven Continue reading “Five New Briefs: YMTC, SK hynix, Intel, and a Forecast”

Are Memory Chips Commodities? (Part 2)

Photo of an old financial document bearing the title Commodity ExchangeThis post is the second of a two-part series on The Memory Guy explaining commodities, and especially how they relate to memory chips.  Part 1 defines a commodity and explains its attributes.  Part 2 explains the commodity cycle, showing that lessons cam be learned from other commodity markets.


Nobody really likes the Continue reading “Are Memory Chips Commodities? (Part 2)”

New Briefs: Strategy, Policy, & World Events

Five briefs on top of each otherThis week Objective Analysis has introduced five briefs that fall into three categories: Business strategies (Samsung, Kioxia, and Intel), government policy (US against SMIC), and world events (COVID).

In case you’re just learning about the Objective Analysis “Brief” format, the Brief is a short white paper used to make a Continue reading “New Briefs: Strategy, Policy, & World Events”

Contamination at WDC/Kioxia JV Fabs

Photo of author in bunny suit holding wafer with Jolly RogerBoth Western Digital (WDC) and Kioxia have announced a contamination issue at the companies’ two Flash Ventures wafer fabrication plants in Yokkaichi and Kitakami.   Let’s have a look at what’s been said so far as The Memory Guy gauges how important it will be for these companies and for the industry.

WDC was the first to announce the issue, with a brief but Continue reading “Contamination at WDC/Kioxia JV Fabs”

New Briefs Cover Diverse Subjects

Five briefs on top of each otherWith this week’s release of five more new Briefs, Objective Analysis is now a little more than halfway through the current wave of releases.  If you look through the Briefs listed on the Objective Analysis website you’ll find that they cover a diverse range of important semiconductor issues.

This week’s lineup covers the end of Continue reading “New Briefs Cover Diverse Subjects”