I have my reasons for watching the flash memory market.Â One of the key elements I look for is falling flash memory prices.Â For me, dropping memory prices’ is an indicator other activities I’m in will continue to grow.Â Today I read an interesting article which gave some great detail about the continued drop of flash memory.
I’ll start off with a quote to the article, then you can click through for more:
Prices of NAND flash memory could plummet this year because of weak demand and an oversupply of NAND flash in the market, analysts said on Wednesday.
If concerns about the U.S. economy deepen, consumers may reduce spending on the phones and other devices that use NAND flash, weakening demand for the chips and depressing prices, said Nam Hyung Kim, director and chief memory analyst for iSuppli. He predicted that prices could fall by as much as 55 percent this year.
Up to 90 percent of NAND flash is sold as storage for MP3 players and cell phones, or as cards such as the MicroSD that are slotted into digital cameras and other devices.
The reduced price for flash could lead to cheaper products for consumers. Apple already dropped the price of its 1G-byte iPod Shuffle this week, to US$49 from $79, partly because of the falling prices of flash memory, said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research.
While forecasting strong sales and profitability in 2008, Silicon Motion projects that demand for low-density NAND flash will beat that for the high-density segment, driven by demand for microSD cards and embedded memory, said company president and CEO Wallace Kou.
Silicon Motion guides that annual sales will grow by 25-35% on year with gross margins to stay in the range of 52-53% in 2008. Although memory makers strive to migrate NAND flash applications to higher density under sales and profitability concerns, that makes no difference for controller makers, Kou said. For a controller IC design house, he stressed that memory density has no relationship on controller sales, given that any NAND flash application (such as USB drive or memory card) only requires one controller, regardless of memory density.
In light of global economic trends, Kou said demand for low-density NAND flash products should be better, partially due to sales spurred by the bundling of memory cards with handsets. Demand for microSD cards will continue to expand in 2008, Kuo said. Out of the 96.3 million units of controllers shipped in the fourth quarter, 89.3 million were for memory cards and USB drives, he detailed.
The list is log on how many people have expressed interest in a CompactFlash down loading device for bulk data transfer (not!). But despite whatever circle I run in, Delkin came out with a 4 unit CompactFlash ImageRouter for concurrent transfer of data off CF to HHD.
I would imagine this product is geared towards the professional photographer who quickly fills CF media with high-res images and needs a clean off-loading device. The Delkin ImageRouter is UDMA and once four (or less) CF cards are loaded you start the process and walk away. With USB connectivity you can expect data transfer rates of 19MB/s and incase 4 ports isn’t enough, you can daisy chain the ImageRouter together for 8 port download. The built-in USB hub handles the rest.
ImageRouter can be purchased separately or with BackupandBurn software. BackupandBurn automatically renames files based on user-set parameters. Users can specify how the files are re-named and re-numbered and even have Jpeg and RAW files automatically sent to different folders. Images can also be copied to multiple locations and automatically burned to a CD or DVD.