Friday February 08, 2019

Micron Will Manufacture Octa Level Flash

Update: Micron on Making Octa Level Flash - Nope!

WCCF reports that Micron plans to introduce octa-level flash in Q1 or Q2 2019. As opposed to carrying a single bit of information like old SLC SSDs, or two bits like common MLC drives, octa level flash cells can each hold a byte of information. Tri-Level Cell flash is relatively new, and Micron introduced QLC flash in May of last year, but "OLC" flash should significantly increase the storage capacity of Micron's solid state drives. As WCCF points out, the term "OLC" didn't even exist on the public-facing part of the internet before their article went up, but they didn't mention anything about OLC's endurance, data retention or performance specifications compared to previous gen flash.

News Image

The general consensus seems to be as follows: there will be a NAND shortage once OLC is introduced, leading to higher prices which will eventually normalize into pricing that is lower than the level it started from. To understand how the markets will respond to OLC, we need to look at the major factors that were involved with the QLC crash: namely, the flash and dram pricing oversupply, Micron’s buyback of 5 billion of their stock and the introduction of QLC. Keeping this in mind, when the technology swap occurs, there will be a quarter two where the tech is short supplied, this will be followed by normalization and their profits going up, followed by the price of the stock gaining significant upwards pressure (ceteris paribus!). After Micron rolls out its Octa-Level Cell NAND, there *will* be a gap where the supply isn't enough to meet demand, there usually always is, but then as the manufacturer eventually transitions its lines to the new tech, the situation improves dramatically.

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