As demand for tablets and smartphones is increasing, SSD demand for use in notebooks, servers and data centers is following in suit. Additionally, as the Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to further implement NAND Flash, the market for NAND Flash is expected to rise 9% in 2015 to US$26.6 billion, according to DRAMeXchange.
DRAMeXchange Assistant Vice President, Sean Yang, said NAND Flash bit-growth rate will reach 36% in 2014 followed by 35% growth in 2015 as more diversified products implement the technology.
As tablets and smartphones are entering their mature periods and shipments will slow down, SSD applications will help spur demand. The penetration rate for current-level SSD in higher performance and efficiency commercial notebooks and high-end consumer units is higher, and is expected to further expand into mid-range mainstream products and entry-level product lines. Enterprise solid-state hard disk applications meanwhile will grow in accordance with the high growth rate of cloud computing. DRAMeXchange estimates that in 2015 solid-state hard disk NAND Flash growth will reach 80% on year while NAND Flash consumption growth will rise from 25% in 2014 to 35% in 2015.
Apple’s soon-to-be-released iWatch will encompass NAND Flash, which will push other vendors to use the technology. At present, Samsung and SK Hynix Semiconductor are developing eMCP and processor packaging POP methods for wearable device vendors to test in hope that such moves will increase NAND Flash applications used in wearable devices. NAND Flash manufacturers are also actively cooperating with all sorts of vendors in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. Aside from performance and pricing advantages, capacity will also give vendors diverse storage content access, which means that NAND Flash will become the top storage device choice for smart devices.
In regards to NAND Flash production plans, aside from Samsung furthering production of 3D-NAND Flash at its Xian facilities in China during the second half of 2014, other manufacturers do not have any clear plans to expand production capacity and instead will be focused on enhancing production facilities. However, 12-inch wafer production will increase 7.3% on year, while output will increase 35.7% in 2014. DRAMeXchange estimates that in 2015 12-inch wafer production will increase 7.6% on year, while output will increase 35.8%.