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Power outages at Toshiba Memory fabs could turn back prices on NAND chips

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

With Toshiba Memory recovering more slowly than expected from a brief power outage that took place in mid-June, NAND flash wafer prices "will be pressured to rise" in the short term, according to DRAMeXchange.

Toshiba Memory experienced a 13-minute power outage at its main factory site in Yokkaichi, Japan on June 15. Operations at all production facilities - Fab 2, 3, 4, 5 - affected have not returned to normal, DRAMeXchange indicated.

The event is likely to result in a rise in 2D NAND flash product prices in the third quarter, while drops in 3D NAND prices will be able to narrow, DRAMeXchange noted.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital have both made announcements about the power outage impact. Western Digital disclosed that the power outage would affect approximately six exabytes (EB) of its NAND flash wafer output, with the impact to be mainly reflected in its third-quarter results. Toshiba Memory has not revealed how much the impact on its NAND flash wafer production would be.

Power outage at Toshiba Memory's Yokkaichi site, where 2D NAND products are mostly produced, is unlikely to stop contract market prices from falling further in the third quarter given the already excess 3D NAND chip inventories, DRAMeXchange said. The event may moderate the contract price drops during the quarter, DRAMeXchange indicated.

In the channel and retail markets, prices will likely shore up by reduced supplies from Western Digital in the third quarter, DRAMeXchange noted. In addition, Micron Technology's plans to make a further cut in its NAND flash wafer production may "put pressure on wafer quotes to rise in the short term," DRAMeXchange continued.

DRAMeXchange now expects NAND flash contract prices to stay flat or drop slightly in the fourth quarter.

By: DocMemory
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