We are getting closer to 3D official announcement that will probably come along with the FAB 5 announcement. As seen below there is a change in SanDisk tone regarding 3D. The cautious statement of ' there can be no assurance that we will be successful' is replaced by ' we believe may be a viable alternative to NAND when NAND can no longer scale at a sufficient rate'.
"We are investing in future alternative technologies, particularly our 3D semiconductor memory. We are investing significant resources to develop this technology for multiple read-write applications; however, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in developing this or other technologies or that we will be able to achieve the yields, quality or capacities to be cost competitive with existing or other alternative technologies."
"We also continue to invest in future alternative technologies, particularly our 3D Read/Write technology, which we believe may be a viable alternative to NAND when NAND can no longer scale at a sufficient rate, or at all. However, even when NAND flash can no longer be further scaled, we expect NAND and potential alternative technologies to coexist for an extended period of time."
I believe that: a) Announcement/CC FAB 5+3D in 0-3 months b) Production start (SSD on 3D) in late 2012 c) SanDisk (and the new hire) is exploring all options regarding financing in a way that will maximize shareholders value
Eli said in the Q1 CC that SanDisk is executing on their LT plan with respect to SSD. I believe that the long term plan include TLC NAND SSD next year on 24nm, TLC on 1x node in 2012 and 3D SSD in 2013. However I think that we will get the 3D SSD earlier in late 2012.
His estimates for 2011 are $7B in revenue and $6.66 to $7 in eps
"Then supply/demand in 2011
Right now I'm thinking balanced supply/demand with SanDisk having 100% bit growth (full year of FAB 4 expansion,FAB5 wafer contribution in 2H 2011, TLC moving to embedded and SSD), ASP and cost reduction of 35% and OPEX increasing by 12% to 12% of total revenue. This will get us to approximately $7B in revenues and $6.6 in EPS. If SSD in tablets/notebook is very successful we may see severe allocation. Also any decrease in the very high tax rate of SanDisk (I expect this as international is getting bigger and profitable but didn't take this into account) will get the EPS closer to $7.
What could go wrong?
General market meltdown is the main risk (I see this as a medium risk scenario)
For 2011: SSD doesn't take off and we are caught in an oversupply situation. (I see this as a low risk scenario)"