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Flash memory finally overtakes DRAM

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DRAM? NAND? NOR? flash memory market? smartphones?

With increasing demand for smartphones and tablet PCs, a recent report from IC Insights has forecast that the total flash memory market (NAND and NOR) to grow two per cent to $30.4 billion in 2012, surpassing the $28 billion DRAM market in sales for the first time.

The DRAM and flash memory markets have been growing closer in size to each other for several years but demand for flash used in portable media devices, coupled with two years of weaker demand and price erosion for commodity DRAM used in personal computers will finally be enough to push total flash sales beyond those for DRAM this year.

Among portable media devices, smartphones shipments are projected to finish the year up 55 percent to 750 million units and shipments of tablet computers are forecast to rise 80 percent to 117 million units.

table

Figure: Flash Memory Surpasses DRAM Market
Source: IC Insights.

Through 2017, the flash memory market is expected to widen its lead over DRAM. In fact, IC Insights forecasts the NAND flash memory market alone will be larger than the DRAM market beginning in 2013. Among more than 30 product segments classified by WSTS, NAND flash is forecast to have the third-highest average annual growth rate through 2017, trailing only the market growth rates for tablet processors and cell phone application processors. NAND flash sales are forecast to increase 14 percent annually from 2012-2017, growing to $53.2 billion at the end of the forecast period while the DRAM market is forecast to grow 9 percent annually over this same time.





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