Inside the Flash Memory Market
For engineers and OEMs, understanding the flash memory market is about more than just price considerations. Lifecycle issues also come into play when increased demand for flash memory is present in the marketplace. It is important to choose a flash memory supplier that has a plan for managing supply issues in the face of demand increases so that product lifecycle is not impacted for industrial OEMs.
The State of the Flash Memory Market
Demand for flash storage has increased dramatically in recent years. There are a few reasons for the increase in demand, including:
- Lower prices for solid state drives (SSDs), which have made them comparable in price to hard disc drives (HDDs).
- Improved SSD capacities.
- Increased use of flash storage in consumer devices.
- Increased demand for 3D NAND, which caused manufacturing facilities to switch resources previously devoted to linear NAND.
- Adoption of SSDs and flash memory in data centers.
The increase in demand for flash memory is not expected to fall in the future—in fact, demand will likely continue to rise.
Why the Flash Memory Market Matters
Engineers and developers who use flash memory in their applications have multiple reasons for caring about market conditions. The first, of course, is price. Demand drives prices higher, especially when supply is in question. The increased demand for flash memory has been due in part to the lower cost of SSDs, but those savings could be partially offset by increased prices of flash memory.
While price considerations are important, the most significant reason for developers to monitor the market for flash memory is the impact that supply can have on production and lifecycle management. The diminished supply of flash memory means that production of new devices can be delayed because of late shipments of flash memory cards. For future rounds of production, it could become difficult to access the same kind of flash memory that was used in previous devices, which could trigger widespread system failures.
Flash Memory Market Management
The good news for engineers and OEMs who work with industrial applications is that most of the increased demand for flash memory has been for MLC and TLC memory, which is used primarily in consumer devices. Supplies of the SLC flash products that industrial users rely on have been impacted far less.
Engineers and OEMs should ensure that their flash memory suppliers have plans for lifecycle management. These plans allow developers to be confident that a lack of supply won’t affect their production cycles now or in the future.
Delkin is committed to stable SLC flash supply and careful lifecycle management for industrial embedded storage customers. Contact one of our product development team members to discuss your project needs.