Memory FAQs
 
Home
News
Products
Shop
Memory
Corporate
Contact
 

News
Industry News
Publications
CST News
Help/Support
Member Area
Tester Brochure
Demo Library
Software
Tester FAQs

biology medicine news product technology definition

Friday, May 25, 2018
Memory Industry News
Email ArticlePrinter Format PreviousNext

Intel - the quiet NAND producer


Friday, May 19, 2017

After years of mostly covert development, Intel’s investment in flash memory is finally showing signs of bearing fruit in 2017, a year that some observers are calling “the year of NAND flash.”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claims that the company's non-volatile memory business will finally be profitable by 2018.

It's worth noting that Intel announced record revenue of $866 million in the first quarter of 2017. At the same time, however, the world's largest chipmaker has vowed to raise the capex for its memory business. Intel, for instance, has been expanding the NAND flash capacity at its Fab 68 in Dalian, China.

A closer look at Intel's non-volatile memory business reveals a three-pronged strategy.

First and foremost, Intel plans to focus on differentiated products with higher ASPs, said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research. Intel is also investing heavily in much smaller 3D NAND flash chips while seeking opportunities in the planar-to-3D NAND transition.

Second, as a recent EE Times story points out, Intel is moving into solid-state drive (SSD) business in a bid to provide software-defined storage for datacenter and cloud computing applications. That also allows the chipmaker to protect its NAND flash margins while meeting the surge in SSD demand for servers.

No wonder the majority Intel's flash revenues comes from the sale of its SSDs for the higher-end server market. It also lowers the reliance on NAND flash buyers like Western Digital, which dropped Intel a few years ago after acquiring SanDisk, Toshiba's NAND flash partner.

Third, Intel is stepping up investment in 3D Xpoint, another non-volatile memory technology that promises to serve as a storage product as well as a DRAM replacement. The 3D Xpoint memory technology is said to offer vast improvements in speed and endurance when compared to NAND flash.

Intel and its 3D Xpoint technology partner Micron Technology are years ahead when it comes to a viable flash replacement. However, as Krewell puts it, Intel hasn't been very transparent with details about the 3D Xpoint technology. And that makes it hard to verify Intel's claims.

Krewell expects a gradual 3D Xpoint ramp in the near term. Intel—with a controlled supply—can match volume production of 3D Xpoint with demand and thus avoid over-supply that is intrinsically tied to the flash business.

By: DocMemory
Copyright © 2017 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Email ArticlePrinter Format PreviousNext
Latest Industry News
California court ordered Samsung to pay $539 million in damages to Apple5/25/2018
Chinese foundries work hard to transition towards sub-10nm process5/25/2018
China starts to supply processor chips from domestic semiconductor makers5/25/2018
The chip world has to go “heterogeneous integration” (HI)5/25/2018
A startup works with Imec to shrink the SRAM cell5/24/2018
TSMC starts production on Apple next generation chip5/24/2018
Wyoming bets on blockchain economy5/24/2018
European economy still weak5/24/2018
A shortage on 200mm fab. capacity5/23/2018
Samsung and SK hynix plan to invest US$42 billion on semiconductor manufacturing5/23/2018

CST Inc. Memory Tester DDR Tester
Copyright © 1994 - 2018 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved