In a report on whether rising flash component prices are curbing SSD adoption, iSuppli said the price of a 16Gbit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory chip rose to $4.10 in the second quarter of this year, representing a $1.80 (or 127%) price increase from the final quarter of 2008.
About this time last year, MLC flash memory — the type used in consumer SSD drives — was at the bottom of a pricing trough and chips were selling for about $2.60. According to In-Stat, up until the beginning of this year, SSD prices had been dropping 60% year over year. The price plummet, however, hurt chip manufacturers’ profits.
According to Michael Yang, senior analyst for mobile and emerging memories at iSuppli, in order to return to profitability, NAND flash suppliers in 2008 cut capacity to reflect weak market demand. This caused prices to rise even as sales continued to be weak.