We’ve been basking in cheap NAND Flash memory for the best part of 18 months now but the good times could be about to come to an end.
Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes is reporting an expected price rise rise of up to 40% in 2020 for Flash NAND memory, citing sources at memory chip makers. DigiTimes has a great track record for accurately predicting memory price changes and it also reflects reports from the past 12 months that NAND and DRAM memory is set for a price hike and that memory chip producers such as Samsung were set to slash NAND production in order to artificially maintain pricing.
3D NAND Flash memory is used predominantly for SSD storage and video card memory. We began to see dramatic oversupply of Flash NAND in Q2 2018 and this subsequently led to the price of SSDs tumbling rapidly. As an example, a Samsung SSD 860 Evo 1TB fell from $329.99 in early 2018 to a low of $108.34 over Christmas, a drop in the price of over 67%.
Artificial constraints and mobile phones may be responsible for the expected upcoming price hike, but there are also the next-gen consoles to consider. Both the Xbox One Series X and the PlayStation 5 will extensively utilise Flash NAND storage and this could constrict supplies as manufacturing ramps up ahead of their Q4 2020 launches.
A price rise of 40% for NAND flash memory still wouldn’t put us anywhere near the cost of a couple of a years ago but, taken in isolation, around about now could be the ideal time to cash and pick up that SSD you’ve been keeping an eye on. It’s not an exact science, of course, but certainly something to consider.