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Flash memory production incident to keep prices firm


Last week, Western Digital (WDC US) announced that announced that contamination of certain material used in its manufacturing processes has occurred and is affecting production operations at both its Yokkaichi and Kitakami joint venture, flash fabrication facilities. The estimated impact is a reduction of its flash availability of at least 6.5 exabytes. The company is working closely with its joint venture partner, Kioxia - another major supplier of flash memory, to resolve the issue.


Analysts have been warning that memory prices could dip further this year on oversupply conditions. The recent disruption is likely to keep flash memory prices firm in the near term. WDC’s competitor memory manufacturer Micron Technology (MU US) will benefit from firmer prices


MU is one of the largest memory chip makers in the world. It makes DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), NAND Flash, and NOR Flash memory, and other memory technologies. Its memory and storage solutions enable disruptive trends, including artificial intelligence, 5G, machine learning, and autonomous vehicles, in key market segments like mobile, data center, client, consumer, industrial, graphics, automotive, and networking.


MU is a leader in memory - two-thirds of its customers rank them No. 1 in quality. With the successful ramp of 1-alpha DRAM and 176-layer NAND products across major end markets, MU is several quarters ahead of the industry in market deployment of these leading-edge process technologies.


Improved stability in earnings profile. 75% of MU’s revenue comes from volume-based annual agreements, a significant increase from around 10% of revenue they represented only five years ago.