In 2018, the 64-layer 3D NAND unit Die capacity of each factory of origin has been upgraded to 256Gb or 512Gb. Due to focusing on developing QLC and 96-layer technology, together with expanding production scale or investing new plants, it is expected that 3D NAND capacity of each original plant will account for more than 80% by the end of 2018, speeding up the popularity of 3D NAND in the market. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 96-layer 3D NAND will be available by the end of 2018 or 2019.
The Flash factory of origin has not yet officially confronted, and the competition between the main control factories has already fallen into a fierce battle. On Computex2018, Marvell, SMI, Phison, etc. announced that the full range of control chips fully support the QLC architecture, while Marvell's latest 88SS1084 and 88SS1100 support 96-layer 3D NAND. In addition, SMI and Maxio also showed off their SSD products which are made of Micron's 96-layer 3D TLC NAND.
Flash factory of origin such as Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital, SK Hynix, Micron and Intel, continuously renovate NAND Flash technology, leading to SSD market become the biggest beneficiary, since a new generation of QLC or 96-layer technology increasing the NAND Flash single Die capacity of to 1Tb will create a larger capacity in SSD products. Samsung has said it plans to launch 128 TB SSD based on the fifth-generation 3D NAND (96-layer). SSD is targeted at occupying the market share of HDD, and compared with HDD, it only shows a disadvantage in capacity and price. Therefore, the NAND Flash technology of original factory will contribute to the rapid development of SSD.
Moreover, the new generation of 64-layer 3D NAND is widely used in SSD products in 2018, making the price of high-capacity SSDs fall. The price of SSD TLC 240GB fell from $44 to $43 on June 12, breaking a record low of $44 in 2016, according to ChinaFlashMarket, while the price of SSD TLC 480GB dropped from $84 to $82, a cumulative decline of 37% in 2018. If QLC and 96-layer technology are applied on SSD, its prices can be continuously reduced, thereby stimulating the rapid growth of market demand and promoting SSDs to quickly replace HDDs.