Samsung Electronics today announced its third quarter earnings results, affirming that the supply situation for key NAND products will tighten into Q4 and possibly beyond.
The financials note that Samsung will continue focusing its memory business more towards higher-end performance chips such as VNAND storage and LPDDR4X memory to serve the increasingly demanding needs of the mobile and datacenter markets. As a result of this shift away from traditional 2D NAND, supply will remain constrained for key products such as Nintendo's new Switch handheld-console hybrid, which uses traditional storage memory.
"Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company anticipates tight supply and demand conditions to continue for the Memory Business due to strong demand for servers and mobile devices. For the Memory Business, demand for high-density, high-performance NAND will increase, as the need for larger data capacity in servers and mobile devices grows," the report states.
"Looking at the fourth quarter prospects for NAND, tight supply conditions are expected to remain for mobile and SSD applications, due to continued strong demand for high-density mobile products and expansion of datacenters, respectively. In response, the company will pursue a more profit-focused product mix. Looking further ahead to 2018, the trend toward high-performance, high-density mobile NAND is forecast to continue while server SSD adoption is expected to accelerate as big data needs rise. In response, Samsung will focus on expanding V-NAND supply while developing and ramping-up 5th generation V-NAND."
"As for the fourth quarter DRAM outlook, high seasonal demand for mobile and PC is expected while datacenter expansion continues. Against this backdrop, the company will concentrate on cost competitiveness by expanding 1xnm process migration.
"Looking to 2018, high demand from datacenter infrastructure expansion is forecast to continue while demand for contents growth in mobile products will rise on the wide-spread adoption of dual camera, 3D sensors and on-device AI offerings. In response, the company will focus on ramping-up 10nm-class products and expanding sales of differentiated products such as HBM, high bandwidth LPDDR4X."
The company has also revealed plans to re-purpose its 2D NAND flash chip facility at Hwasung into a DRAM production plant to alleviate the tight supply conditions in calendar 2H'18.