NAND Flash Memory Prices to Fall, Report Says
An iSuppli report predicts pricing for 1GB of 3-bit per cell NAND flash memory will fall to $1 by the end of the year.A report from research firm iSuppli predicted after two years of inflated prices, NAND flash memory at the end of 2010 is set to return to the key $1-per-gigabyte (GB) level considered a key threshold to drive adoption of solid-state drives. However, the report noted the cost reduction may come too late to help the struggling SSD market. iSuppli analyst Michael Yang predicted pricing for 1GB of 3-bit per cell (TLC) NAND flash memory will average $1.20 for the entire fourth quarter and then decline to $1.00 at the end of the year. This represents a "precipitous drop" from the first quarter of 2010, when pricing for TLC averaged $1.80 per gigabyte and 2-bit per cell (MLC) flash was at $2.05, iSuppli memory pricing and forecasts indicated. It also marks the first time NAND flash pricing fell below the $1 threshold since the fourth quarter of 2008, when MLC pricing averaged 90 cents per gigabyte, Yang noted.
"When NAND pricing first fell below the $1 level at the end of 2008, many observers opined that its would sound the starting gun for solid-state storage, allowing the technology to be cost competitive with hard disk drives (HDDs) in PCs for the first time," said Yang, a senior analyst for memory and storage at iSuppli. "However, during the following quarters, pricing rose because of strong demand and constrained production capacity, limiting the appeal of SSDs to low-volume servers in data centers and preventing widespread adoption in high-volume business and consumer PCs."