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Micron Hikes NAND Flash Wafer Prices by 10%

Sep 14, 2023

Memory chip maker Micron Technology has increased NAND flash wafer contract prices by about 10% since September, reports SEMI insiders. This is the second price hike in the NAND flash market this year, following Samsung’s August increase.

In a statement, Micron said that the price hike was necessary to “ensure that we are adequately compensated for the increasing costs of production.” The company also said that it is “committed to providing our customers with the best possible products and services.”

Memory chips are largely commodities, so pricing ebbs and flows along with supply and demand, reports The Motley Fool (TMF) During times when supply heavily outstrips demand, a manufacturer like Micron will generally lose money on every bit of memory it ships.

The Fool says that Micron and its competitors have cut production and slashed capital spending plans, but it’s taken time for the impact of those moves to be felt. “In Micron’s Q3, per-bit prices for DRAM chips fell by about 10% sequentially, while NAND chips suffered a steeper, mid-teens percentage decline,” reported TMF.

Tech researchers, TrendForce, added that in response to persistent softening in demand, Samsung has taken a decisive step: a sweeping 50% production cut from September, with the focus mainly on processes under 128 layers. According to TrendForce‘s research, other suppliers are also expected to follow suit and increase their production cutbacks in the fourth quarter to accelerate inventory reduction. 

The price hikes are likely to have a ripple effect throughout the electronics industry, as manufacturers pass on the higher costs to their customers. This could lead to higher prices for consumers for products such as smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.

However, the price hikes hint of a returning strength of the NAND flash market. The demand for NAND flash is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as more and more devices are connected to the internet and require storage. This could lead to even higher prices for NAND flash chips in the future.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that Micron (MU) should start to benefit from three trends aiding dynamic random access memory as soon as the fourth-quarter, due in part to Intel’s (INTC) new Meter Lake platform “accelerating” the growth for DDR 5 memory, a rise in high-bandwidth memory shipments due to the rise of AI servers and companies promoting large language models on devices to facilitate certain upgrades.

Overall, the price hikes are a positive development for the NAND flash market and the global chip market. They suggest that the markets are recovering from the recent shortages and are poised for growth in the coming years.

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