Bottom line: Given the current oversupply of the NAND industry, it seems like the market is in a decent position to buffer the shutdown versus what happened to hard drive production back in 2011 thanks to devastating flooding in Thailand. Heck, it might even turn out to be a "good accident" in terms of stabilizing the market.
Western Digital recently announced that an unexpected power outage in the Yokkaichi region of Japan affected flash fabrication facilities operated by joint venture partner Toshiba Memory Corporation. The outage, which occurred on June 15, impacted both the facilities where NAND is made and the tools used to make the storage.
The main facility hasn’t been fully operational since the outage and won’t resume full production until sometime in mid-July according to Reuters.
Western Digital said it is continuing to assess the impact of the outage but expects flash wafer production to be cut by approximately 6 exabytes, most of which will be contained in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
There are roughly 1,000 terabytes in a petabyte and 1,000 petabytes in an exabyte, so yeah, we’re dealing with a lot of wasted storage. According to ExtremeTech, 6EB represents roughly half of Western Digital’s quarterly NAND production.
The bigger question has to do with how this will affect overall global NAND production. ExtremeTech said the Yokkaichi Operations facility where the incident took place turns out around 35 percent of the world’s NAND.
Masthead credit: NAND flash and circuit board by KenSoftTH