Nam Hyung Kim, an analyst with iSuppli Corp., in Santa Clara, Calif., said he thinks Intel returned to the top spot in the NOR flash market during the third quarter. However, his estimates are still being finalized.With Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel, Samsung and others all aggressively increasing their manufacturing capacity, Kim said he expects NOR flash pricing to dip in 2004 and the beginning of 2005. The average price of a 128-bit NOR flash device was $7.20 in September and should drop to $6.80 in the fourth quarter, then to $6.50 in the first quarter of 2005, said Robbie Galoso, an analyst in iSupplis market intelligence services division. Intels new family of products could also have a weakening effect on NAND prices, Kim said. The new royalty-free Flash Integrator 6.0 software Intel will introduce Tuesday takes advantage of the next-generation StrataFlash memory, as well as the current L18/L30 "Tyax" flash. Intel shipped its 100 millionth Tyax unit in the current fourth quarter. The flash SDK includes code samples, guides and tools to help developers, Doller said. Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
"Basically every [flash] product was focused on the handset market last year. This year, they [Intel] want to go back to the broad market," Kim said. The new product family should begin sampling to customers this quarter, he said.