According to market research firm DRAMeXchange, Samsung Electronics, which begins the mass production of 64-layer NAND flash memory chips this month, ranked first in the global NAND flash market in the third quarter of this year, followed by Toshiba. SK Hynix, which began the mass production of 48-layer NAND flash memory chips last month, climbed one notch to fourth by beating Micron Technology.
The size of the global NAND flash market is estimated to add up to US$33.7 billion next year and exceed that of the global DRAM market by a margin of US$500 million. This is because of a rapid increase in demand for solid state drives using NAND flash memory chips.
In March this year, Samsung Electronics expanded its 3D NAND flash memory chip manufacturing facilities in Xi’an, China and Hwaseong, South Korea. In addition, its facilities in Pyeongtaek, South Korea are scheduled to be completed soon and those in Hwaseong are slated to add to the production. Then, Samsung Electronics’ 3D NAND flash manufacturing capacity doubles to 320,000 or so.
SK Hynix is currently manufacturing the same type of chips in Cheongju, South Korea and is planning to do so in Icheon as well. Toshiba, in the meantime, is manufacturing 48-layer 3D NAND in its Fab 2 dedicated to 3D NAND flash production and is planning to begin the manufacturing of 64-layer next year. Micron Technology is looking to expand its factory in Singapore for the same purpose and Intel has started the mass production of 3D NAND flash in its new fabrication plant in Dalian, China.
In the third quarter of this year, Samsung Electronics recorded US$3.744 billion in sales in the market along with a market share of 36.6%. The figures were US$2.026 billion and 19.8% for Toshiba. They were followed by Western Digital (17.1%), SK Hynix (10.4%) and Micron Technology (9.8%).