NOR Flash revenues on the decline

Cutthroat competition causes a significant decline in market revenue this year for NOR Flash manufacturers, market research firm iSuppli reports. iSuppli expects global high-density NOR flash memory revenue to decline to $5.2 billion in 2005, down 7.4 percent from $5.6 billion in 2004. Average Selling Prices (for high-density NOR are estimated decline to an average of $4.85 in 2005, down 24 percent from $6.40 in 2004.

"NOR leaders Intel and Spansion have been engaged in a tough price war over the past few years as they fought to gain market share. The price erosion has reached the point where suppliers must ship high-density flash using actual or effective two-bit-per-cell technologies in order to maintain acceptable profit margins," said Mark DeVoss, senior analyst for iSuppli. Examples of such actual or effective two-bit-per-cell technologies include StrataFlash from Intel and MirrorBit from Spansion.

The battlefield for the NOR price war is the mobile-phone market, where demand for higher and higher densities of flash continues to grow. Third-generation (3G) mobile phones in some markets now require as much as 1 Gbit of NOR flash, while 2.5G models are seeing density requirements increase to 256 Mbit, up from 128 Mbit. (THG)