You’d think that with the world’s demand for flash storage, thanks to everything from phones to tablets to SSDs and beyond, that nothing could be more profitable than a fab lab churning out flash chips by the bucket. Turns out that might not be the case.
A report today from digitimes.com quotes unnamed sources claiming that Samung is actually increasing its purchasing of NAND flash chips. The reason? According to the report, the real money now is in what’s called eMCP or embedded multi-chip packages. Smartphones and tablets needs flash, but they also need fast traditional DRAM. Rather than use separate chips, which take up valuable space, the move in electronic design is to these eMCPs where flash and DRAM exist on the one piece of silicon. What’s more, supply of eMCPs is tight thanks to the almost insatiable demand for flash and mobile DRAM parts and has been since as far back as April, some say because of the popularity of Samsung’s own phones.
Part of the problem for Samsung is that it already has 50% market share of the flash market, but in order to grab part of the more lucrative eMCP market, the report suggests it needs to move its fab lab space across from flash to eMCPs – and that means purchasing flash from other suppliers, so it can produce more mobile DRAM (LDDR) parts itself.
If you have a few lazy billion lying around, embedded storage products look like a lucrative market to get into.
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