No one will argue that the “post-PC” era is here. Tablet shipments are expected to pass laptops by the end of this year, and desktops by the end of 2015. Add-in the nearly 1 billion smartphones shipment projected for 2013, and you would think that the DRAM industry would take notice of this volume.
DRAM manufacturers do care about this segment of the market, but this fact is not obvious when looking at their roadmaps. The reality is that DRAM specifications continues to be driven by the PC and server markets, and it does not look it will change anytime soon. This was one of the key takeaway items for me after attending MemCon in Santa Clara two weeks ago.
Although unit shipments for mobile devices are higher than PCs, they only represent about 13% of the overall memory shipments said Martin Lund, senior vice president at Cadence, in his keynote address. This number would justify maintaining the current DRAM roadmap—at least for now. The problem, although not a new one, is that other mobile and embedded products have to live within the memory constraints set by the PC industry, which is focused on ‘cost per bit.’
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