Flash Demand for Tablets Will Zoom 400 Percent in 2011: Analyst

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-02-11 Print this article Print

Consumption of the solid-state memory is expected in 2011 to rocket to 2.3 billion GB. This represents a whopping 382.4 percent increase over 2010.

To cover the mass production of some 80 new touch tablet PCs flowing to eager consumers, the NAND flash memory business will need to produce a huge amount more solid-state chips in 2011 over 2010 totals, industry analyst IHS iSuppli reported Feb. 11.

Consumption of the solid-state memory for processors used in the super-popular tablets is expected in 2011 to rocket to 2.3 billion GB. This represents a whopping 382.4 percent increase over 2010, said Dee Nguyen, analyst for memory and storage at IHS iSuppli.

The industry produced less than a half-billion GB of NAND flash-about 476.8 million GB-last year. Most of that capacity went into consumer smartphones, cameras and more than 10 million Apple iPads.

The need for NAND flash isn't going to slow down anytime soon, iSuppli said. Shipments of NAND for tablets are on their way to a total of 12.3 billion GB by 2014, the analyst said.

Helping this trend in a big way will be devices such as Motorola's Xoom, Samsung's Galaxy and new tablets and smartphones from HP-the Slate 500 and TouchPad tablets and Veer and Pre3 phones, the latter three due out in the middle of this year.

NAND flash for tablets are mainly for the storage of content, such as books, photos, music and movies.

The proportion of NAND flash use among tablets, measured against the total supply of NAND memory, will jump to 11.8 percent in 2011, significantly up from 4.3 percent last year. By 2014, that figure will climb to 16 percent, iSuppli said.

"The bump in NAND consumption among tablets is likely to come from devices such as Apple's iPad as well as a raft of tablet devices powered by the rival Android operating system, expected to hit the market this year," Nguyen of IHS iSuppli said.

"Together, the iPad and Android-based tablets form one strand of the tablet experience offered by manufacturers-one centering on Internet-based media consumption. For such tablets, internal storage capacity is less an issue because the devices are intended to provide entertainment, not a full PC computing experience."

Average memory densities will range from 27.1GB for non-iPad slates to 41.5GB in the iPad, the analyst said.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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