Monday, September 30, 2019
NAND flash storage solutions will see much stronger demand in 2020 than 2019 driven by the commercialization of 5G networks and devices, according to Wallace Kou, president and CEO of Taiwan-based Silicon Motion Technology, which supplies NAND flash controllers for SSDs.
Kou said that his company expects stable shipments of NAND flash storage chips in the fourth quarter of 2019 amid rising demand and is optimistic about business prospects for 2020 as demand from the smartphone and IoT segments will both be significantly stoked by 5G commercialization.
Kou stressed that storage capacity at 5G smartphones will surely be sharply boosted in line with the high-speed data transmission at 5G networks, with the capacity likely to hit a high of 1TB in the near future, compared to regular 128GB for existing smartphones.
Kou also noted that the penetration of 5G consumer devices in the China market is not expected to shoot up until 2021-2022, when more 5G base stations with upgraded specs become available. At the moment, China's three telecom operators have set up a total of 130,000 stations, mostly adopting sub-6 GHz spectrum.
Industry sources said that exponential increases in data volumes generated by diverse terminal devices using 5G networks will drastically drive the growth of enterprise-grade and datacenter storage markets.
ChinaFlashMarket (CFM) statistics showed that shipments of enterprise-use SSDs to China are estimated to reach 31.1 million units in 2019, accounting for 25% of the global output of NAND flash chips and with average unit storage capacity hitting 2.3TB. Demand in China for NAND flash chips is expected to see stronger growth momentum in 2020, the sources indicated.
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