Mobile DRAM market sees cooling growth

SAN FRANCISCO—The amount of DRAM in each smartphones is projected to soar 50 percent this year, but the growth rates are slowing quickly as density reaches some practical design limits and memory vendors turn their attention to commercializing faster parts for…

SAN FRANCISCO—The amount of DRAM in each smartphones is projected to soar 50 percent this year, but the growth rates are slowing quickly as density reaches some practical design limits and memory vendors turn their attention to commercializing faster parts for a market expected to hit 1 billion handsets in 2015, according to a new report. According to the latest IHS iSuppli DRAM dynamics market brief, DRAM content in smartphones will expand to 666 megabytes (MB) this year, up from 453 MB in 2011 and 202 MB in 2010.

The average density of DRAM chips in smartphones is also climbing and becoming more uniform, IHS said. The 4-gigabit (Gb) DRAM chip owns a 37 percent share of smartphone market, with 8-Gb chips owning 36 percent. Next year, however, the 8-Gb density will own almost half the market share (46 percent), while 4 Gb will decline to 28 percent, IHS said.  The monster 16-Gb DRAM, now 2 percent of the smart-phone market, is expected to soar to 15 percent next year, overtaking 4 Gb and 8 Gb by 2013 and 2014, and own more than half the market (56 percent) by  2015, according to the IHS forecast.

“As memory has increased in smartphones, the industry has moved from
a complex world featuring differing memory densities, to a simpler
space where phones look increasingly similar from a memory
perspective,” said Clifford Leimbach, analyst for memory demand
forecasting at IHS.

Demand for so-called mobile DRAMs for applications such as smartphones has taken off in recent years, in part because vendors have
tweaked traditional memory architectures with low-power features
specifically for the market, but also because the mobile-phone market
is on fire, projected to ship 1 billion phones in 2015.

Next:
Topping out on density

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