Flash memory trailed the foundry segment in capex in 2016, but the spending showed 92 percent growth in 2017 to $27.6 billion and increased another 16 percent to $31.9 billion 2018 as manufacturers brought up 3D NAND. Flash capex is forecast to decline 18 percent in 2019 to $26.0 billion.
Flash to top capex in 2019 for third year. Source: IC Insights.
In 2018, SK Hynix opened its M15 wafer fab in Cheongju, South Korea producing 72-layer 3D NAND flash; Micron broke ground on construction of a third NAND wafer fab in Singapore; Toshiba Memory completed construction of Fab 6 in Yokkaichi, Japan and broke ground on a next fab in Kitakami. Meanwhile China's XMC/Yangtze River Storage Technology completed construction of its fab and began small-volume production of 32-layer 3D NAND flash.
Samsung spent $13 billion on flash capex in 2017 and $9 billion in 2018 and IC Insights estimates Samsung will spend another $7 billion for flash capex in 2019.
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