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Micron Technology continues to make steady progress on the market of solid-state drives as well as advances the NAND flash memory. During the second quarter of fiscal 2013 (ended February 28, 2013) the company sold a record amount of solid-state drives and showed unbelievable growth dynamic of over 40% quarter-over-quarter. During the quarter Micron initiated volume shipments of triple-level-cell (TLC, 3bpc) NAND flash made using 20nm process tech.

“We shipped roughly 1.3 million solid state drives in our second quarter, up over 40% when compared to our first quarter. In Q2, SSDs represented 20% of our trade NAND business. If you include NAND component sales to SSD providers, around 40% of our trade NAND bits go into solid state drives,” said Mark Adams, the president of Micron, during the quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

An average consumer solid-state drive that Micron sold during the quarter featured 128GB capacity, whereas an average enterprise SSD was around 240GB – 256GB. Relatively low capacities point to the fact that many consumers buy SSDs only as bootable drives, whereas business have yet to adopt high-capacity PCIe SSDs in mass quantities.

Micron’s progress on the market of enterprise-class SSDs is progressing well with revenue roughly doubling in Q2 FY2013. Micron began customer shipments of its P320H SLC-based PCIe SSD and introduced new enterprise-grade high-endurance MLC-based P400m and P410m SSDs with Serial ATA and SAS interfaces.

“On the technology and operations front, we are making steady technical advancements with both our planar and 3D NAND technologies. We began shipping our 20nm TLC NAND flash and continued to increase our 20nm MLC production as well. Our 20nm ramp is on track and we expect production crossover in the current quarter. […] This quarter, we will commence volume sales of our 20nm-based SSDs, including our recently announced M500, which ships in terabyte class entities with very competitive price points,” added Mr. Adams.

Multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash represented about 80% to 85% of Micron wafer production of flash in Q2 with SLC and TLC essentially splitting the remainder.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2013 Micron Technology reported a net loss attributable to Micron shareholders of $286 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.1 billion. The results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compare to a net loss of $275 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, and a net loss of $282 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.0 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

 Results of operations for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 include losses of $120 million from changes in the market value of the company's currency hedges entered into in connection with its planned acquisition of Elpida Memory, Inc. and Rexchip Electronics Corporation. The results also include a loss of $62 million associated with the expected sale of the company's 200 millimeter wafer fabrication facility in Avezzano, Italy, in the first half of calendar 2013.

Tags: Micron, SSD, NAND, Flash, 20nm, TLC


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