NAND prices may rise as Samsung starts making 128GB chips

The popularity of flash memory has risen dramatically in recent years. First, there were MP3 players and thumb drives. Then along came smartphones and tablets. There’s been demand from SSDs, too, although they typically use different chips than those employed by mobile devices. Solid-state drives aren’t consuming anywhere near as much NAND as mobile devices.

With demand high and no sign of it letting up, flash memory makers may be poised to raise prices. "Industry sources" quoted by DigiTimes expect Samsung, Toshiba, SanDisk, and SK Hynix to increase NAND prices by 10-15% by the middle of November. Such a change seems unlikely to affect devices, which typically command a hefty premium for every step up the capacity ladder. Google, for example, charges an extra 50 bucks to take its Nexus 7 tablet from 8GB to 16GB—far more than the cost of the higher-capacity chip.

While flash makers haven’t confirmed any plans to hike prices, one of them has started making higher-density chips. Samsung has begun mass-producing 128GB eMMC NAND modules designed for mobile devices. Measuring just 12 x 16 mm, these eMMC modules are basically mini SSDs. They combine 16 64Gb NAND dies with controller logic and firmware in a single package.

According to Samsung, the 128GB eMMC Pro product offers sequential read and write speeds of 150MB/s and 40MB/s, respectively. The chip is purportedly capable of hitting 3500/1500 random read/write IOps, as well. Those numbers may not be that impressive in the context of 2.5" solid-state drives, but we’re talking about something that’ll likely pop up in the next-gen Samsung Galaxy.

Comments closed
    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    Deshi basara! Deshi basara! Deshi basara!

    • R2P2
    • 7 years ago

    Do 128GB chips mean next year Apple might get around to making a 128GB iPod Touch or iPhone? (Someone other than Samsung will be making chips that size by then.) I can’t wait that long to upgrade from my 3rd gen Touch.

      • Helmore
      • 7 years ago

      I believe Apple is one of Samsung’s biggest customers, so it’s quite likely that these 128GB chips from Samsung could end up in a future iPhone, iPad or iTouch.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      As much as it would hurt me, I too would consider a 128GB iPod. Now if only someone could convince Apple to make higher capacity Nanos.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    Perhaps Apple can sue them and get us cheaper NAND?

      • Majiir Paktu
      • 7 years ago

      Samsung looks to be violating Apple’s patent on rectangular chip packages.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      Joking aside, Apple winning it’s, what amounts to, the tech equivalent of a frivolous lawsuit sets an extremely bad precedent in Silicon Valley.

      Most of the patents in dispute were clearly obvious solutions but the needless intricacy of the trial most likely obfuscated the fact. But I suppose if Apple finds that they can’t compete anymore, they can always turn to patent trolling. (I’m being completely serious here.)

      • ULYXX
      • 7 years ago

      Apple and cheaper anything? Nope.

        • Grigory
        • 7 years ago

        Let me try: Apple and cheaper labor! There, it works!

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Apple will patent high prices and sue Samsung then.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    slap 8 of them together for 1TB

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Why did you get downvoted? I know it’s not that simple, but I’d love to see a 1 TB SSD at today’s sale/closeout/low-capacity $/GB prices. After having and using a 120GB drive for so long (over a year now) I’m to the point where I want something big enough to put my Steam collection, audio samples, and song project files on. I could add a 256GB drive and “get by” with the audio stuff, or add on 2 of them and have plenty of room for all that, but I want room to grow. :p

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        Downvote fairy, probably. Regardless, it’s a silly suggestion because this device is designed to be a complete disk-in-a-chip solution for mobility applications. There are much better ways to assemble a 1TB SSD.

          • Grigory
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Downvote fairy[/quote<] There must be an army of them around everytime I post. Then again I do not aim to please. 😉

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 7 years ago

    Samsung please stop making 128GB chips!

      • halbhh2
      • 7 years ago

      lol!

      • Ryhadar
      • 7 years ago

      When I first saw the title I thought the same thing, haha.

    • DancinJack
    • 7 years ago

    Small error Geoff. The Nexus 7 is 8GB and 16GB capacities.

      • BoilerGamer
      • 7 years ago

      As long as this don’t affect my 1TB Samsung 1680 SSD purchase on June 23, 2014 I don’t really care.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        Correction: You “couldn’t” care less. If you could care less it would be irrelevant and not worthy of discussing. Does that make sense?

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Srsly_Grammarnazi ?

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 7 years ago

            I can’t apologize for understanding words and how they are properly used in sentences. The Negative Nancy crowd perpetuates the misuse and abuse of the English language by attacking those who provide constructive criticism. Referring to someone who is attempting to help another person improve his grammar as a Nazi is at least reflective of who you are.

            • James296
            • 7 years ago

            there is a difference between your “constructive criticism” and other people’s constructive criticism

            • Grigory
            • 7 years ago

            Don’t make fun of grammar national socialists if you don’t want to end up as a dangling participle from the next tree!

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