If the world of computing, servers and PC in general is exciting and changing, the world of semiconductors and related products is another level. 3 weeks ago we were talking about the latest leaked report on NAND Flash and also how prices were in free fall and until when. Well, there is already a date for the slowdown and rumors about the next rise, because as we know, the good does not last long.
In 2021, we have enjoyed lower prices in two of the main PC components and, indirectly, also in the GPUs (although it has not been noticed due to other problems of its own). The price tables keep falling, making it more affordable to buy cheap SSDs and RAM, but… There is a date for an end to this.
Cyclical slowdown reaches NAND FLASH
It is a term that any Spaniard has burned after the 2008 crisis: slowdown. This will go down in history as the preamble to a debacle or problem with intensity and here in semiconductors it does not lose that force.
But let’s go by parts, since we have to finish this quarter of 2021 and as such, the prices of the NAND FLASH will have a marginal fall that will be between 0% and 5% in the best case. The problem? Demand is slowing down, but there are also other factors that are causing prices to go from negative to positive.
This is a chain and each link has to be well tensioned and greased, so when one pulls it drags the rest. If the demand from users and companies drops, manufacturers that until now had plenty of stock to easily meet a much higher demand load now slow down and stop being forward-thinking in their inventories. Why? Because it goes from impressive numbers to “only” one 30.8% growth, numbers that they consider bad and that logically will adjust supply and demand.
Price increase for NAND FLASH
Just as the pandemic wiped out the status of stability, now the post-pandemic is going to do the same, adjusting everything again and with a new perspective. Mass vaccinations around the world have brought about a return to normality and offices, so the demand for laptops and external devices is falling a lot, so it will stabilize in 2023 without problems.
Only the server segment will have a real rebound due to the incorporation of the new processors and RAM, where this performance jump is required to the maximum and this will drive demand, but not to the level that is needed to maintain the current status. Enterprise SSDs will follow a different trend, as companies increasingly buy these devices to speed up tasks and leave HDDs as pure storage.
A rise in the price of NAND FLASH is expected in the first quarter of next year if nothing prevents it, so this Christmas and Black Friday will be crucial to extract more for less and each offer will be an opportunity that we do not know when we can return to repeat.