How Hard Can It Be To Make 3D NAND Flash Chips?

The NAND flash business is transitioning from the process that has been used for the past 20-odd years (let’s call it “2D”) and the new process that promises to carry the technology through the end of the decade: 3D NAND.

Trouble is: 3D NAND is bearishly tough to manufacture. This is clear from the fact that Samsung announced “Mass Production” of its VNAND rendition of 3D NAND last August, yet these chips are as rare as hen’s teeth in the marketplace today. Other companies haven’t gone so far as to announce production, and have been very conservative in their predictions of when they plan to roll out their own 3D NAND chips. Most plan to sample late this year or in 2015, and to enter production a year or so later.

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