Healthy growth seen for NAND flash market in 2014, thanks to SSDs

|By:, SA News Editor

DRAMeXchange forecasts the NAND flash memory market will follow up on a solid 2013 by growing 13% in 2014 to $28B.

Though smartphone/tablet-related NAND sales are expected to grow, SSD demand is seen as the main growth driver: SSDs are expected to account for 25% of NAND chip shipments in 2014, up from a mere 13% in 2013.

While the price gap between SSDs and hard drives (on a $/GB basis) remains considerable, SSD sales to both the PC and server/storage markets have been ramping quickly, thanks to the technology's space, power, reliability, and read performance advantages. That's proving to be a headwind for Seagate (STX) and Western Digital (WDC -1.5%), in spite of their efforts to grow their SSD/flash storage positions.

In spite of recent price declines, the NAND industry's supply/demand is seen remaining favorable, with bit demand growth (37.6%) slightly outpacing supply growth (36.3%). Supply is expected to rise 40.3% in 2013.

DRAMeXchange's 2014 bit supply estimate is lower than the well-received 40% forecast provided by Micron (MU -0.3%) in August. SanDisk (SNDK +0.4%) has also been predicting NAND's supply/demand balance will remain healthy.