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    Apple includes Samsung as NAND Flash supplier for new iPhone

    According to DigiTimes, Apple suppliers are apparently facing issues with production of the new storage chips destined for the 2017 iPhone series. Both SK Hynix and Toshiba have experienced lower-than-expected yield rates for their 3D NAND technologies resulting in fewer supplies, according to industry sources. The overall supply of NAND flash chips for the upcoming iPhones has fallen short of demand for the devices by as much as 30%. NAND is the chip in the iPhone that stores non-volatile data, the mobile equivalent of a hard disk or SSD. 3D NAND stacks layers of memory cells on top of each other enabling much more information to be stored in the same physical space.

    With the impending iPhone 8 launch, Apple is now also looking to diversify its NAND supply chain to ensure it does not face any supply shortages. As a result, Apple is said to have called on Samsung in an effort to secure remaining NAND chips. Samsung’s 3D NAND yield rates are relatively stable and the company is a leader in this field. Its 3D NAND is widely used in its SSDs which are considered to be among the best in the business in terms of their performance and longevity.

    Samsung, Toshiba and Micron Technology are transitioning to 64-layer 3D NAND flash products, while SK Hynix plans to jump straight to supplying 72-layer 3D chips. But the ever increasing demand for smartphones and low NAND yields, the shortage of NAND storage chips is expected to last until the end of 2017.

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