Prices of NAND flash memory chips held steady in the first half of the month, industry data showed Friday, following a brief rise in prices in the previous month. Prices of the benchmark 16-gigabit, 2Gx8 MLC NAND flash memory stood at US$2.83 for the first half of September, according to the data by Taiwan-based DRAMeXchange, remaining the same level as two weeks ago. Prices of NAND flash memory, which holds data for mobile devices and music players, rose 5.6 percent in the second half of August from two weeks earlier, making a rebound for the first time in three months. The price rise in the NAND flash segment fanned optimism that NAND flash makers would be able to buck the downward trend in the semiconductor industry, thanks to the mobile boom. Even though prices of NAND flash memory halted this month, market observers said that the price will likely rise again in the coming months on the back of strong demand for smartphones and tablet computers. Prices of dynamic random access memory (DRMA) chips, however, continued trending downward in the first half of this month, according to DRAMeXchange. The price of DDR3 2-gigabit 256Mx8 1066MHz DRAM chip fell 5 percent from two weeks ago and the price of the DDR3 4-gigabyte SO-DIMM 1066MHz declined 4.7 percent.