If you’re in the market for a new NAND SSD, you might find that the price is about to spike, as a significant manufacturing mistake has caused Western Digital to lose at least 6.5 exabytes (6.5 billion gigabytes) of flash storage, which could lead to a shortage.
According to Western Digital, the loss of drives was caused by a containment issue at some of its NAND production locations. The loss occurred at its Yokkaichi and Kitakami joint venture, flash fabrication facilities. These are a joint venture between Kioxia and Western Digital. Together, the two firms make up about 30% of the NAND flash memory market, so this could be a big problem.
According to market research company TrendForce, this could lead to a price hike of as much as 10% for NAND SSDs as the market compensates for the sudden shortage of drives.
As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find computer components at reasonable prices, Western Digital’s containment issue and massive loss might make another necessary PC part even more expensive (NAND SSDs already aren’t cheap).
For its part, Western Digital says it’s “working closely with its joint venture partner, Kioxia, to implement necessary measures that will restore the facilities to normal operational status as quickly as possible.”
Unfortunately, the company didn’t address how this would impact its ability to keep up with market demands, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the price of NAND SSDs to see what happens going forward.