Industries

NAND and DRAM poised to hit new revenue records

9th May 2022
Louis Regnier

Yole Développement (Yole) has developed comprehensive and accurate memory expertise for over ten years. All year long, Yole and its partner System Plus Consulting deliver in-depth analyses, including dedicated technology and market reports, reverse engineering and costing analyses, and market monitors.

Yole has released its annual Status of the Memory Industry report. With this new and significant analysis, the memory team offers in-depth coverage of the rapidly changing memory market dynamics and the leading players’ status and strategies. This technology and market study analyses the challenges and opportunities of the memory industry in detail.

Simone Bertolazzi, Ph.D., Senior Market & Technology Analyst, Memory at Yole, asserts: “Amid trade-war tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, the stand-alone memory market has been expanding throughout the last two years. Revenue was up 15% and 32% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Such remarkable growth was made possible by a combination of constrained production and strong demand growth across most market segments.”

The outlook for the memory business, therefore, appears bright. DRAM is expected to grow to US$118 billion, up 25%. NAND flash memory will reach US$83 billion, up 24%, in 2022. These are historic records. In the long term, the stand-alone memory market will continue expanding, with a CAGR during 2021-2027 of 8% and is poised to grow to over US$260 billion in 2027. However, cyclicality will remain.

Noticeably, the NOR flash market has seen a strong resurgence in 2021. Revenue grew to US$3.5 billion, up 43%. This is due to tight market conditions putting upward pressure on prices. Significant demand growth was driven by multiple applications, including consumer and the IoT , automotive, telecom, and infrastructure.

The year 2022 marks the 35th anniversary of NAND flash’s invention, a technology that has tremendously changed how humankind stores and uses digital information. Since 1987, the bit density and cost-per-bit of NAND devices have progressed relentlessly. To sustain such remarkable scaling, new technical solutions are being intensely researched, including CBA architectures such as YMTC’s XtackingTM approach. Nowadays, all memory manufacturers are carrying out R&D using hybrid bonding equipment. Major suppliers like Kioxia and Samsung are putting wafer-to-wafer bonding on their NAND roadmaps.

In the DRAM business, there is currently a consensus that planar scaling – even through lithography EUV processes – will not be sufficient to provide the required bit-density improvement for the entire next decade. Hence, monolithic 3D DRAM – the DRAM equivalent of 3D NAND – is being considered by major equipment suppliers and by leading DRAM manufacturers as a potential solution for long-term scaling. Yole’s analysts believe that this novel 3D technology could make its entry into the market in the 2029-2030 time frame.

High-end smartphones are equipped with superior LPDDR5 memory to support ultra-high-performance camera applications and AI , providing consumers with high-quality images and videos. LPDDR5 memories have increased transfer speed compared to the previous generation of low-power DRAM memory. LPDDR5 characteristics empower devices to match both consumer needs and technological innovations. The technological and economic comparison of low-power mobile DRAMS with the different processes of Samsung’s LPDDR5 using 1z technology, Micron’s LPDDR5, and SK hynix’s LPDDR5 has been further developed in the LPDDR5 Memory Comparison 2022 report from System Plus Consulting. Yole and System Plus Consulting invite you to follow the evolution of the memory industry and the strategy of leading memory companies all year long. Stay tuned on i-Micronews!

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