NOR flash memory shipments set for 2011 drop

NOR flash memory is going to take a slight knocking this year, with IHS iSuppli research claiming that the market will drop by nearly six percent.

NOR revenue will ring in around $4.8 billion this year, down 10.9 percent from $5.1 billion last year, which was the industry’s best time since 2004.

NOR is a type of flash memory which is used to store and run code. It can be found in mobiles, PCs, hard disk drives, DVD players, televisions and set-top boxes.

While shipments will keep rising in the future, as NOR finds its way into more applications, average selling prices (ASP) are weakening as a whole meaning that revenue will continue to drop in the upcoming years.  

“In recent years, NOR has been steadily losing its share of the memory market to a rival flash technology, NAND, which costs less and has much higher memory capacity especially suitable for today’s smart phones,” said Michael Yang, senior analyst for memory and storage at IHS.

“The robust results of NOR last year came when manufacturers cut back supply after demand for the product recovered.”

Mr Yang added that the first half of 2010 was buoyant, with NOR suppliers optimistic that a rebound in PC shipments would carry NOR revenue higher, He said that this boosted ASPs and led suppliers to report record revenues.

Its performance in the second half of 2010 was disappointing as optimism dropped in the PC market. Another reason for a drop in price was that supply finally caught up to demand.

The results from the second half of the year hit manufacturers including Samsung and Micron, which both reported flat revenues.