Micron: Demand for Solid-State Drives Up 20% Quarter-over-Quarter

Micron Shares SSD and NAND Flash Progress: New Drives and NAND Memory Types on Track

by Anton Shilov
12/20/2012 | 09:15 PM

The demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) continues to steadily grow at Micron Technology and the company is on-track to introduce the new breeds of drives, including enterprise-class products, in the coming months. In addition, the company continues to explore new types of NAND flash memory, including 3D NAND flash and 3-bits-per-cell NAND flash.


“We continue to be pleased with our solid-state drive business as these shipments were up about 20% quarter-on-quarter. In Q1, SSDs represented 17% of our trade NAND business; if you include NAND component sales to SSD providers, about 35% of our trade NAND bits go into solid state drives,” said Mark Adams, the president of Micron.

Micron continues its work on new enterprise-class solid-state drives and will begin shipments of its highly-anticipated P400E SSD, which has been qualified by at least one customer, in the first quarter of calendar 2013. In addition, the company is nearing qualification of a new Serial ATA enterprise-class drive with another storage original equipment manufacturer.

“Our development of Enterprise-class SSDs is progressing well. We completed the qualification with the leading enterprise networking customer of our P400E drive with volume shipments scheduled in the first quarter of the calendar year 2013. We are also nearing qualification of our next-generation enterprise Serial ATA drive with major server and storage OEM customers and look for shipments in calendar year 2013 as well. Our SLC-based PCIe P320 H enterprise high-performance storage drive continues to receive positive reviews from both the press and our top customers,” said Mr. Adams.

The company continues to make progress with transitions of NAND flash production to more competitive process technologies and structures. Micron began to ship its three-level cell (TLC or 3bpc) NAND flash memory to select designers of memory controllers and will begin volume production in Q1 2013.

“On the NAND technology front, we are making steady technical advancements with both our planar and 3D NAND technologies. We began sampling our 20-nanometer TLC NAND flash with selected controller companies, and we'll begin production in calendar Q1,” said the president of Micron.

During the quarter multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash represented fromt 80% to 85% of Micron’s wafer production, whereas single-level cell (SLC) NAND and TLC NAND splitted the remainder.

Micron Technology on Thursday announced results of operations for its first quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended November 29, 2012. For the first quarter, the company had a net loss attributable to Micron shareholders of $275 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion. The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compare to a net loss of $243 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.0 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, and a net loss of $187 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.1 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.