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  • A Different Way To Play 3-D Printing [View article]
    Micron sol Aptina several years ago. Don't know about the patents.
    Mar 18, 2014. 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Non-Volatile Memory [View article]
    Hey Jackson, ol' buddy, if you are going to throw turd balls at me at least read the article and click the links.

    I never mentioned fab 42. I listened to your comments and came to the conclusion that IF Intel would do NAND in a big way, a smarter way to do it would be through the IMFT JV, perhaps using some of the older, but still great excess Intel fabs. There's the Chinese fab that I understand Intel wants close and China is throwing a fuss. Better to use it for NAND than nothing. There's two modules in New Mexico, what is to become of those? Ireland? Israel? Others?

    We know, or at least I know, that 14nm is in good shape and shipping and will stay in OR for at least nine months at D1X and D1D and then move, presumably, to a finished fab 42. Between D1D and fab42 Intel should have enough capacity to do the million (only a million?) wafers necessary to support their CPU and server business. An average Broadwell on 14nm might be as small as 100-110sq. mm.

    At 32nm Intel had 3 fab complexes and did $53 billion, at 14nm they should need less than one of those at 32nm fabs to do the $53 billion.

    One of the links in the article:

    has a comment and a slide by an Intel VP (who, I think, is the co-CEO of IMFT) Indicating that the HKMG NAND process might scale to 10nm. If so, that is about a 120sq mm 128b chip or, as they further indicate, a 256Gb chip...that would be about 200 sq. mm. IMFT might be able to make a 128GB SSD for $25 and sell them for $60-70.

    Now, if IMFT had a durable cost advantage in the commodity memory parts going into SSDs of 50% when compared to the next best producer, I would think the Intel BOD might want to hear about that. If IMFT can go to 2D at 10 nm without spending the billions of dollars for new 3D fabs, that might never make a penny AND bring on fabs three years before their competition......that might be a good business model.

    That $35 billion HDD market built about 550 million drives at a dime per GB. Who says SSDs need to be a dime per GB. Maybe they can be $.60-.70 per GB and use half the storage, thus being effectively $.30-.35 per GB.

    No question that the SSD market at 550 million drives with half the capacity will still be 3 times the $35 billion of HDD....and people will pay it...they already are with Apple.

    The point I was trying to make in my article was that there is solid evidence that Intel and Micron are playing very well together and Intel is providing their process technology and Micron is supplying their low cost manufacturing.

    NAND pricing: You know as well as I do that pricing on most large NAND chips (128Gb) is hidden from the DRAMexchages of the world. Half those chips are going into SSD and half are going into phones and tablets.
    DRAMeXchange doesn't even publish a spot price on the 128Gb chip and their contract price indicator is just under $9. Maybe the 64Gb and down are fading, but does that matter?
    Here's a site that claims the spot price on 128Gb chips is $14.43 while a 64Gb is $4.08....that is probably BS as well.

    this is all speculation, of course....but with a 50-100% per year growth rate on SSDs, the NAND is going to have to come from somewhere.

    BTW, my puppy is all healed up and has turned into kind of vicious little mongrel, so I'd be a little careful trying to kick him:)
    Mar 17, 2014. 11:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Non-Volatile Memory [View article]
    Hi Phred,

    A number of things, I guess....Intel probably doesn't need the justice looking up their knickers any more than they do today. Since Intel owns the fab 100%, they would be expected to get something form Micron for the JV to buy the assets.....what the hell is Intel to do with those surplus fabs?....Intel has some great technology, but Micron has the mass operating experience in memory. there are 4-5 others....I just think these guys are a lot closer than most would think.

    I think what spun me up on that article was the confirmation that Intel stays in the NAND (SSD) business and took a surprising amount of ownership for it. I dovetails with the enthusiasm of the two VPs at the investor meeting last Nov.

    What do you think?
    Mar 17, 2014. 12:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Non-Volatile Memory [View article]

    The fabs that are excess at 22 and 14 nm logic are probably just fine for memory. Where they need equipment, Intel has a an entire division that sells equipment.
    I suspect a $2 billion shell and $3 billion in equipment finishes a new 100KWSPM memory fab. So, the depreciated shell comes for $.5 bill. If the fab is over three years old the equipment is probably on the books at zero. Add $.5 billion new equipment and there you go. the big deal is the immediacy of production.

    Do a little promotion to tighten up NAND S/D, bring on a fab in a few months, rinse and repeat.

    One of the Intel guys thinks that they can get to 2D 10nm with HKMG before going full bore 3D. That could make a 200 sq. mm 256Gb chip.

    It has bugged me ever since the investor meeting that two heavy VPs were exceptionally giddy about NVM.
    Mar 17, 2014. 09:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • TSMC's Rebuttal Of Intel's Scaling Advantage Is Just Qualitative, Not Quantitative [View article]
    Heh, Heh......Nice work. TSMC busted.
    Now my ability to absorb numbers is broken for about a month, but that's OK.
    Mar 16, 2014. 01:01 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]

    The transaction sold half of two facilities back to Micron and kept the third to feed parts to Intel. The updated JV was said to be an "enhancement". since Micron paid $600K for about $2billion worth of assets, my opinion is that it was a vehicle to transfer at least a billion dollars of value to the Micron balance sheet to shore it up for the Elpida acquisition.
    Intel apparently finds the SSD business as attractive as I do. They will stay in it and be big in it and make a lot of money.
    I've thought a lot about the HOW they do it. I think doing it through the JV is the most rational way to do it. Some of those "node behind" Intel fabs could be "sold" to the JV for 20% of what a new fab would cost. and Intel/Micron would bring capacity on line, when needed, 2-3 years before anyone else could build a fab. Those plants would probably only need minor modification in order to run NAND at twice the wafer output of when they ran logic.
    Mar 13, 2014. 11:21 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: What's Going On? [View article]

    What you just described is what I've been trying to make understandable.
    The tendency of humans to "protect what they have much more that they try to acquire what they desire" is a deeply rooted psychological imperative that is very hard to control.....unless you know and understand how it is being used against you.
    Google "Six Principles of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini......Get the book, it will be the best $20 you ever spent.
    What we are discussing here is a corollary to the scarcity Principle.
    Mar 12, 2014. 09:25 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    Intel and NAND. 3D NAND...and other stuff.
    I think this is going to cause some "loose stools" in the NAND head offices. I sure hope this turns out to be part of the Intel/Micron JV.

    This is scaryingly close to some of my earlier speculation.
    Mar 11, 2014. 11:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    I've thought a lot of things about Intel/Micron including what you just speculated.
    Fact is that there are several Intel fabs that are or will be surplus that any other company would give a corporate kidney for. For Intel they are fully depreciated and would be very low cost producers for NAND within the Micron/Intel JV. Imagine competing with that.

    Intel will need fab 42 very soon.
    Mar 11, 2014. 09:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    Mar 11, 2014. 06:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]

    Sure, I just figure that some consumers will choose 123GB drive (8 chips) and some will choose 256Gb drives (16 chips) = 182GB average (12 chips)
    I suppose some will buy 512Gb and above. The 512 corrected for lose would be advertised as a 480GB drive.
    Mar 11, 2014. 08:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: What's Going On? [View article]
    don't expect Automata to only move the needle in five years, if ever.
    Mar 10, 2014. 09:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    I think there will be differentiation in the SSD business and room for a variety of prices. I also think that that 16nm process is better than anyone is talking about.
    On supply/demand, I think we will see mini cycles, but more control by the chip/SSD suppliers. I don't see any reason that it should be much different than the HDD business except the HDD wil be the victim of SSDs.
    Mar 10, 2014. 08:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    My point was that going direct to retail (or in the case of industrial, industrial distributors) the price can change very quickly as market conditions require.
    If you are selling discrete parts to an industrial customer the last price you got is the BEST price you will ever get:)
    I think this subsystem (SSDs) business is one of the things that "makes it different this time."
    Mar 10, 2014. 07:55 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron And Memory Prices [View article]
    In a dreamy memory world, Bit growth is more that ASP shrinkage and cost goes down faster than ASP. We're close to that....then there is that monster market potential for NAND.
    Mar 10, 2014. 04:14 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment