Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC), the main developer of NAND flash development in China, will start mass production of 64-layer Xtacking 3D NAND products by the end of the year, potentially shaking up the supply and prices in the global NAND flash market.
YMTC's capacity expansion in 2020 is projected to impact supply and prices in the global NAND flash market.
According to research by DRAMeXchange, YMTC has already sent NAND examples to some of its customers and controller suppliers in 1Q. They have also wrapped up construction of their Wuhan plant, and have allocated limited capacity to 32-layer products , ready to switch to the mass production of 64-layer NAND.
YMTC's plan is to increase the production capacity in 2020, bringing wafer production up to at least 60K/m. Although foreign NAND competitors boast capacities of more than 200K/m, YMTC's poduction is expected to have a certain impact on NAND flash market prices and prolong their falling trend.
TrendForce says that China could eventually achieve NAND sufficiency. Other international suppliers have opened up new plants in anticipation of the competition after 2020, including Samsung's phase 2 investment into its Xi' An plant, Toshiba's new Iwate fab, Micron's third plant in Singapore, SK Hynix's utilization of the remaining space in the M15 plant and the M16 plant etc.
The mainstream NAND shippments of the sixt major NAND suppliers (Samsung Electronics, Sk Hynix, Toshiba / WD, Intel / Micron, consist of 64/72-layer products, while 92/96-layer products have already entered mass production.
UFS, SSD products are being provided to customers for qualification, yet the expansion of new production processes have been affected by this year's market. Suppliers have been lowering capex since the end of last year and spreading out expansion schedules. Some suppliers have even decided to scale back production.
YMTC has chosen to skip the production of 96-layer NAND and proceed to 128L sometime in 2020, potentially narrowing the gap with international memory players. Despite the considerable technological gap between YMTC and other suppliers, YMTC's impact on the future market is inevitable and obviously unstoppable.