Samsung has elected to pause certain operations within its P1 NAND flash manufacturing line. On August 14, 2023, it was disclosed that a section of the P1 NAND production line, particularly dedicated to V6 NAND flash chip manufacturing, is set for a temporary halt.
This V6 designation denotes the sixth generation of NAND technology, known for its 128-layer cell stacking arrangement. Evolution in NAND technology has seen increased vertical cell stacking, refining storage capabilities and performance metrics.
Samsung Electronics is deliberating over the temporary cessation of specific sections of the P1 NAND manufacturing line. This hiatus is expected to last anywhere from one month to potentially the latter part of the current year. The decision primarily impacts the Pyeongtaek segment of the P1 line located in South Korea, which specializes in the fabrication of older memory chip generations.
The impetus for this strategic decision stems from two considerations. First, there's been a noticeable drop in the demand for personal computers, which in turn impacts the demand for SSDs (Solid State Drives). Second, Samsung Electronics aims to optimize costs through this operational modification. According to sources from the Korean segment of the mentioned publication, the Pyeongtaek facility is notably engaged in producing V6 NAND. This 128-layer V6 NAND, while advanced, has been succeeded by the more sophisticated 176-layer and 236-layer NAND technologies. For reference, Samsung's 980 Pro SSD model employs the V6 V-NAND.
The current projection for production suspension is approximately a month, with the possibility of extension based on situational analysis. Reinitiating production to its utmost capacity is not immediate, implying a prolonged duration of inactivity in chip manufacturing. Concurrently, Samsung Electronics has purportedly decided to curtail its wafer inputs at primary NAND manufacturing locations, encompassing Pyeongtaek in South Korea, Hwaseong, and Xian in China. Industry analysts approximate this strategy will lead to about a 10% decrease in overall NAND production.
As a result of these operational changes, the V6 NAND production line, an older generation in Samsung Electronics' array of NAND products, experiences pronounced effects. The company is now concentrating on the newer 176-layer V7 and 236-layer V8 NAND flash technologies. Significantly, the V8 NAND, launched for large-scale production at the end of the preceding year, marks the most recent development in Samsung Electronics' NAND series.