September 16, 2009

NOR, NAND technology – not just a flash in the pan

Converge Memory Update.

The memory market continues to rebound, with all indicators pointing to a recovery in more than one commodity. In addition to a DRAM recovery, the NOR and NAND flash memory market has been extremely active. The volume of requests for Spansion and Numonyx flash memory has tripled over the last two months. Supply is tight and quantities are limited for NOR flash, with demand from contract manufacturers significant. Spot market transactions are occurring daily and volumes remain high. While Numonyx continues to grow as a new company and Spansion continues with its reorganization, demand for NOR flash and MCP memory (cell phones) continues to increase, with neither company prepared for an uptick in demand.

The NAND flash market is also experiencing various shortages, ranging from 8GB modules to lesser capacities. Currently, Converge is tracking an increase in demand for Samsung NAND flash, which various flash buyers have attributed to the upcoming holiday build season. NAND flash is still priced reasonably low, and we feel that many contract manufacturers are restocking ahead of an impending price increase.

Lastly, the DRAM market continues to rise. Since late March, DDR2 and DDR3 have steadily increased in price each passing week. Converge is tracking demand for both DDR2 and DDR3 notebook and desktop modules. Due to the large gap between contract and spot market pricing, box builders are still not prepared to take in any inventory at this time. This could change as most 1GB and 2GB DDR2 PC667 and PC800 inventory continues to evaporate in the spot market.

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