Can YMTC Really Win 8% of 2021’s NAND Flash Market?

Aerial Photo of YMTC's NAND flash fab under constructionA couple of weeks ago NAND flash start-up YMTC announced the production release of its 128-layer 1.33 terabit QLC NAND flash chip.  According to a DigiTimes article about the chip the company plans to claim a share of 8% of the global NAND flash market in 2021.

A number of my clients asked The Memory Guy about this, since YMTC doesn’t yet seem Continue reading “Can YMTC Really Win 8% of 2021’s NAND Flash Market?”

Forecasting with Smith Charts

Example Smith ChartForecasting the memory market can be quite daunting unless you use the appropriate tools, then it becomes enormously simple.  Many of my clients ask The Memory Guy how it is that I am able to come up with such consistently-acurate forecasts in a seemingly-unpredictable market.  My answer is always that I use the Smith Chart.  This chart is a nomogram, presented in an angular/logarithmic format (as opposed to Continue reading “Forecasting with Smith Charts”

Samsung Admits to Needing EUV for Sub-20nm Nodes

Pretty graphic to draw you in to the blog postAbout a year ago a rumor was circulating that Samsung was unable to yield its sub-20nm products without using EUV for the finer processes.  Since The Memory Guy doesn’t traffic in rumors I did not publish anything about this rumor at the time.

On March 25 the company verified the rumor, though, by issuing a statement that: “Samsung is the first to adopt EUV in DRAM production.”  I found it interesting that the company turned something that  was Continue reading “Samsung Admits to Needing EUV for Sub-20nm Nodes”

COVID-19’s Impact on the Semiconductor Market

DRAM Gigabyte Shipments HistoryToday is March 16, 2020, and the US stock market is still trying to understand what is happening with the global Coronavirus Pandemic, having lost nearly 20% of its value over the past week.  Cooling-off periods (also called “Circuit Breakers”) automatically stopped overheated trading three times today, and numerous other times last week.

Market indexes fell sharply, as is evident in the following chart from Google Finance which shows Continue reading “COVID-19’s Impact on the Semiconductor Market”

DRAM Prices Hit Historic Low

Red line showing weekly DRAM prices over the course of 2019, where they have fallen from $6.10 to $2.59Everyone knows that DRAM prices have been in a  collapse since early this year, but last week DRAM prices hit a historic low point on the spot market.  Based on data the Memory Guy collected from spot-price source InSpectrum, the lowest spot price per gigabyte for branded DRAM reached $2.59 last week.  This is lower than the prior low of $2.62 last July, which equaled an earlier $2.62 record set in June, 2016.  See the  figure Continue reading “DRAM Prices Hit Historic Low”

SEMICON West: See Me There

Jim Handy, SEMICON KoreaThe Memory Guy will be speaking at SEMICON West.  Perhaps I will meet one or more readers there.

My presentation is Monday, July 8, at 3:55-4:25 in the 2019 SEMI Market Symposium.  I will be one of eight speakers who will provide our outlooks of the chip market.  All of my co-presenters are well known in their fields and will doubtlessly provide valuable insights on what tomorrow has to offer.

My presentation will be a rapid-fire onslaught of valuable information proving that certain outcomes are nearly inevitable and showing how they should evolve over time.

I will specifically discuss today’s down-cycle, the end of More’s Law, semiconductor process changes, including materials and production technologies, changes in end-use architectures (and the impact they will have), the imporatance of new end markets like 5G, and geographical and political issues, especially those dealing with today’s US/China trade war.

The semiconductor industry is in the early stages of Continue reading “SEMICON West: See Me There”

Gordon Moore’s Original 1965 Article

The Memory Guy recently received a question asking where to find Gordon Moore’s famous paper on Moore’s Law.  It seems that Moore’s seminal 1965 article is not very easy to find on the web.

I did a little digging myself and found a copy for ready download.  It’s still good reading.  The Computer History Museum gives access to the original 1965 article.  This page also features a follow-up article written ten years later in 1975, and a 1995 thirty-year review of the  phenomenon.

All are worth reading.

Back in 2010 I was able to attend the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in which Moore presented a keynote speech that looked back from an even more distant perspective.  A little digging found this presentation on The Engineering and Technology History Wiki in the form of a script and downloadable slides.  The presentation is titled “No Exponential is Forever“.  Although I know that Continue reading “Gordon Moore’s Original 1965 Article”

Intel’s Optane DIMM Price Model

With Intel’s Cascade Lake rollout last month came with a co-introduction of 3D XPoint Memory in a DIMM form factor, the Optane DIMM that had been promised since the first introduction of 3D XPoint Memory in mid-2015.  A lot of benchmarks were provided to make the case for using Optane DIMMs (formally known as the Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory), but not much was said about the pricing, except for assertions that significant savings were possible when Optane was used to replace some of the DRAM in a large computing system.

So…  How much does it cost?  Well certain technical reports in resources like Anandtech probed sales channels to see what they could find, but The Memory Guy learned that the presentations Intel made to the press in advance of the Cascade Lake rollout contained not only prices for the three Optane DIMM densities (128, 256, & 512GB), but also provided the prices of the DRAM DIMMs that they were being compared against.  I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let’s wade through the fundamentals of Intel’s Optane pricing strategy to understand why Intel has needs to price it the way that it has.

In Objective Analysis’ report on 3D XPoint Memory, and in several presentations I have Continue reading “Intel’s Optane DIMM Price Model”

Video: What’s Driving Tomorrow’s Semiconductors?

Samsung ForumIn early February the Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center asked for The Memory Guy to present an outlook for semiconductors as a part of the company’s Samsung Forum series.

Samsung kindly posted a video of this presentation on-line for anyone to watch.

Naturally, the presentation is memory-focused since it consists of the Memory Guy presenting to the world’s leading memory chip supplier.  Still, it also covers total semiconductor revenues and demand drivers for future non-memory technologies, as well as memory chips.

During the presentation I explained that the next few years will bring semiconductors into new applications while chips will maintain their strength in existing markets. I showed how semiconductor demand doesn’t change much over time, but that the real swing factor in chip revenues is Continue reading “Video: What’s Driving Tomorrow’s Semiconductors?”

The Objective Analysis 2019 Chip Forecast

It’s the time of year for Objective Analysis to release its 2019 forecast.  What does next year promise?

Every year VLSI Research invites us to produce a video of our semiconductor revenue forecast for the coming year.  Since we have been doing this for a number of years there are now twelve videos on the VLSI Research “WeSRCH” website.  The latest video can be viewed by clicking on this link.

We’re proud of our record of semiconductor forecasts.  While other market research companies dislike discussing their past successes and failures, Objective Analysis puts all of our historical forecasts online in one simple table on our website’s Forecast Accuracy page.  A careful review reveals a stellar track record, with the exception of 2009 and 2015, both of which were related to major macroeconomic events that even leading world economists failed to predict (i.e. the 2008 Global Economic Collapse and the combined China currency devaluation and oil price collapse in 2014.)

Another important factor in the Objective Analysis forecast methodology is that we only update the forecast once a year.  Our clients dislike being told one thing at the beginning of the year and something completely different at year-end.  If the forecast is Continue reading “The Objective Analysis 2019 Chip Forecast”