|Flash device controller suppliers see order visibility stretched|
Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Monday 28 June 2021
NAND flash device controller suppliers have seen order visibility stretched beyond 2022 to 2023, thanks to strong demand for notebook, Chromebook and handset applications, coupled with foundries' tight mature process capacity, according to sources at Phison Electronics and its fellow companies.
Phison said that shortages of flash device controller chips continue to worsen. The supply of flash device controllers started falling short of demand in the second half of 2020.
Meanwhile, NAND flash chip vendors continue to see their supply constrained leaving little room for them to release extra chips to the spot and channel markets, Phison indicated. NAND flash contract prices are poised to rise 10% or more in the third quarter, driven by a strong pull-in of orders from OEMs and datacenter vendors, the flash device controller said.
Besides, with the new-generation iPhones and other new flagship models set to roll out later this year, NAND flash market conditions in the second half of 2021 will depend very much on the overall smartphone demand, Phison continued.
Sources at other flash device controllers said that Chromebook and other notebooks equipped with eMMC flash memory remain their supply priority due to 10-15% higher prices than those they offer for entry-level and mid-range handsets. The outlook for flash device controller shipments in the second half of this year remains upbeat.
Upgrading to Windows 11 also requires memory upgrades, which will also stimulate demand for flash device controllers, the sources also noted.
In addition, demand for datacenter applications started picking up substantially between March and April prompting chip vendors to give supply priority to datacenter vendors. Prices for datacenter SSDs are expected to rise 15-30% in the third quarter, as demand particularly that for 1TB SSDs adopting TLC NAND chips will be in huge demand, according to the sources.