Memory business: applications are driving the long-term growth

Despite some cyclicality and seasonality, the stand-alone memory market has experienced extraordinary growth over the past decade. This has been driven by important megatrends, such as mobility, cloud computing, AI, and IoT.

“NAND and DRAM account together for around 97% of the overall stand-alone memory market”, announces Simone Bertolazzi, Market & Technology Analyst, Memory at Yole Développement (Yole). “Their revenues hit a record high of around US$160 billion in 2018, registering an impressive CAGR of 32% between 2016 and 2018.”

Yole Group of Companies including Yole, System Plus Consulting and Knowmade is daily working with the leading memory players to collect valuable market and technology data. Memory analysts collaborate with them to understand their vision of the industry and evaluate the market growth and technological evolution on an ongoing basis. Yole Group’s knowledge is now proposed through a wide collection of reports and monitor services….

At the end of 2018, both NAND and DRAM markets started experiencing oversupply caused by unseasonably weak demand, including lower than- expected smartphone sales and a slowdown in datacenter demand:

“DRAM prices are projected to decline by around 40% this year and likely will not increase again until 2020”, asserts Mike Howard, VP of DRAM and Memory Research at Yole.

“For NAND, hopes of a second-half 2019 market rebound are shrinking as the anticipated demand recovery continues to be elusive and supplier inventory levels remain elevated,” adds Walt Coon, VP of NAND and Memory Research at Yole. See the Quarterly DRAM & NAND snapshot: From bad to worse in Q1 2019 published on

As part of the NAND business, 3D NAND technology is showing impressive developments… “To answer to the impressive demand for higher storage capacity and reliability while lowering cost per bit, 3D NAND manufacturers implements innovative techniques,” explains Belinda Dube, Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting. “They change the storage type, the memory cell design and stack more layers with each generation to increase bit density hence reducing the die sizes. The technological changes in the cell architecture and modification of the fundamental memory features add complexity to the manufacturing process. However these techniques do lower the cost per gigabyte.” System Plus Consulting is following the evolution of memory technologies with a collection of reverse engineering and costing reports. With the Leading-edge 3D NAND Memory Comparison 2018 the team presents a technological and economical comparison of the latest generation of 3D NAND solutions available on the market from four different manufacturers. These are the 64-layer designs from Toshiba/SanDisk, Samsung and Intel/Micron and the 72-layer 3D NAND by SK Hynix… More info.

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