Smartphone DRAM Demand to Rise 700 Percent by 2015: Analyst

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-10-18
 
 
 

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.

Rocket Fuel