Smartphone DRAM Demand to Rise 700 Percent by 2015: Analyst

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-10-18 Print this article Print

IHS is projecting that the DRAM market expansion will supercede the entire current market by a factor of three in the next four years.

Dynamic random access memory, which serves as the engine for millions of smartphones and other handheld devices, is a hot property that is rapidly becoming even hotter as time goes on.

As mind-boggling as it sounds, the DRAM market is poised for triple-digit growth -- serious triple-digit growth -- by 2015. Industry analyst IHS is projecting that this new market expansion will supercede the entire current DRAM market by a factor of three in the next four years.

DRAM shipments in smartphone handsets, as measured in 1 Gbit-equivalent units, are expected to rise to 1.7 billion in 2011, up 157.2 percent from 672.0 million in 2010. By 2015, shipments will increase to 13.9 billion units, up 700 percent from 2011.

"DRAM usage in smartphones is rising at a rapid clip, as a result of high memory densities in these devices, along with ever-rising sales to consumers," Clifford Leimbach, analyst for memory demand forecasting at IHS, said in a flash market report Oct. 18.

"Compared to this year's stunning DRAM growth in smartphones, a shipment expansion amounting to a much less spectacular 50 percent is expected for the total DRAM market, which is dominated by sales to the PC business. The major growth disparity between the two sectors explains why DRAM manufacturers are aggressively vying for a bigger piece of the cellphone DRAM market. While DRAM also is used in devices like tablets and PCs, smartphones will continue to command an increasing portion of the DRAM market."

Smartphones' share of total DRAM consumption will grow to 7.6 percent this year, up from 4.4 percent in 2010. This will expand to 10.6 percent next year and then climb to 13.4 percent in 2013, 14.9 percent in 2014 and 16.0 percent in 2015.

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 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 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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