back to article Str-NAND-ed: Flash chip drought hits tech world

A biting shortage of NAND flash has upended the storage chip supply chain, forcing vendors to quote customers elongated lead times – in some extreme cases by more than four months. Semiconductor marketplace DRAMeXchange warned weeks ago the component shortfall that surfaced in 2016's third quarter was likely to worsen in the …

  1. Michael Hoffmann

    Things that make you go...

    ... hmmm.

    Just can't help thinking it may be an artificial shortage. We've been here before haven't we? With DRAM? Other storage? Anything to stop the price decline?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Things that make you go...

      We've been here before haven't we? With DRAM? Other storage?

      DRAM prices are cyclic - underproduction happens, price goes up, new factories open to profit, overproduction happens, price plummets, factories close, rinse and repeat. However, the last(?) big shortage was because there was a fire at the factory that made most of the world's potting compound for memory.

      Disk prices shot up a while back because most of Western Digital's disk factories got hit by floods in Thailand.

      1. Nate Amsden

        Re: Things that make you go...

        Perhaps I mis remembered but I thought seagate had facilities in thailand that were affected by the floods as well. Perhaps hitachi too.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Things that make you go...

          seagate had facilities in thailand that were affected by the floods as well

          I think some Seagate facilities were, but most of them were on high ground, whereas WD was near rivers. I suspect that's sheer luck rather than planning.

    2. AnoniMouse

      Re: Things that make you go...

      The fundamental issue is that even if the entire semiconductor fab capacity were dedicated to conventional flash memory proudtion it would not be sufficient to meet the ever burgeoning demand for storage.

      As the economics shift the balance further in favour of solid state storage, demand for solid state storage will increase and the shortage will become even more acute.

  2. Nate Amsden

    7 weeks

    To get 8 SSDs for one of my 3par arrays. The person that installed them said he had another customer with a big order get only half of it(this is within past 2 weeks).

    Most of the 3par SSDs are sandisk so perhaps the constraint is limited to them. Sandisk is known to make a SD card every now and then as well.

    1. Steve Foster

      Re: "Sandisk"

      Sandisk staff were all busy either cashing WD buyout cheques or being laid off (by incoming WD management), so it's hardly surprising they might not have produced enough inventory.

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    I call bollocks to this - the mobile phone market is flattening out, so how can there be a sudden surge now?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      the mobile phone market is flattening out

      Might be in the West, I thought it was ramping up in China and India. If so, 40% of the population trumps 10%.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco and Dell Can't Tell the Truth

    OMG, you'd expect that with a worldwide shortage of SSDs Cisco and Dell would at least acknowledge that it is causing problems. Their customers definitely know it's a problem.

    I won't say who I work for, but just know that Dell has removed SSDs larger than 1.2TB from their price sheets because they cannot fulfill the demand for a minimum of 90 days. This is no fault of Dell, as Lenovo is short, too. So, Cisco is definitely short. They won't admit it, but they are.

    I've heard it has to do with extremely high demand occurring at the exact same time manufacturers started changing their build technologies to "3D": Appears the switch-over to 3D manufacturing has been more difficult and fraught with problems than expected. This, coupled with unusually high demand, have caused the shortage which will, very likely, last until year's end.

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