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Smartphones, tablets, SSDs lift NAND flash sales

Posted: 19 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash? SSD? hard disc drive? smartphone? tablets?

As a result of increasing HD video content, social networking, shared data via the cloud, low power consumption and "instant on" features that continue to drive growth of consumer, communication and computing devices that use NAND flash memory, the market is predicted to grow 12 per cent in 2013 from $26.8 billion in 2012, said IC Insights. Additionally, smartphones, tablets and solid-state drives (SSDs) are forecast to be among the biggest users of NAND flash memory this year, added the market research firm.

Smartphones are forecast to account for 26 per cent of the $30 billion NAND flash memory market in 2013. According to IC Insights, nearly 56 per cent of total cell phone shipments in 2013 (975 million of 1,745 total shipments) are forecast to be smartphones, up from 750 million or 42 per cent in 2012 and 30 per cent in 2011. This is significant because smartphones contain as much as 9x more NAND flash than a basic or enhanced cell phone.

Another high-volume application for flash memory in 2013 are SSDs, which are built with high-density NAND flash chips and feature standard mass-storage interfaces that are found on hard-disc drives. SSDs are forecast to account for 13 per cent of NAND flash memory sales this year.

SSDs are built in form-factor sizes that are identical to hard-disc drives (such as 1.8in and 2.5in modules) so they can be easily plugged into existing PC and notebook designs. In recent years, SSD-storage capacity has quadrupled annually, and now it appears that SSDs are becoming serious challengers to conventional hard-disc storage in portable computers. Recently, SSD-storage solutions have gained favour in large server computers, which stand to benefit from the faster read/write speeds of flash-memory-built drives as well as reduced power consumption. Notebooks, installed car navigation systems, industrial equipment and digital video recorders (DVRs) are a few additional applications that are being targeted for SSDs.

2013 NAND market by application ($30B)

2013 NAND market by application ($30B). Source: IC Insights.

Tablets and HHP deviceshandheld players such as music/video players and handheld game systemsare expected to be significant consumers of NAND flash in 2013 as well. Tablets are the fastest growing segment of the PC market and represent one of the fastest-growing consumer devices of all time. Shipments of tablet devices such as the iPad grew to 117 million units in 2012, almost double the 65 million shipped in 2011. Tablet shipments are forecast to reach 167 million units in 2013.

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