A 360˚ analysis of the memory industry and its competitive landscape.
Reports key features
- Overview of the stand-alone memory market and related technologies, including NAND, DRAM, NVDIMM, (NV)SRAM, NOR, emerging NVM, and more
- Analysis of the memory market from a system point of view, detailing present and future memory needs for servers, smartphones, personal computers, enterprise/client SSDs, and vehicles
- Description of the most important end-markets for stand-alone memory, i.e. datacenters, mobile, automotive, PC and consumer electronics
- Presentation of mainstream and emerging stand-alone memory technologies, along with technical trends and challenges, market evolution, scaling roadmap, and overview of main players
- Financial analysis of key memory companies such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, mapping of the stand-alone memory supply chain, and analysis of recent M&A and joint ventures
- Description of the China memory landscape, and analysis of the Chinese players’ activities in the fields of NAND, DRAM, NOR, and emerging NVM
- Presentation of packaging solutions for memory devices, and description of emerging packaging technologies and market trends
- Overview of embedded memory technology and progress towards processing-in-memory applications
- Present an overview of the stand-alone memory market:
- NAND, DRAM, NOR, (NV)SRAM, 3D XPoint, and more
- Current technological status and roadmap for the coming years
- Competitive landscape, activities and strategies of key market players
- Provide an understanding of stand-alone memory technologies and applications:
- Roadmaps with technology nodes, product development status, chip-density evolution, scaling challenges and potential solutions
- Main memory end-markets: datacenter, mobile, automotive, PC and consumer electronics
- Memory content evolution in key systems: servers, smartphones, personal computers, vehicles, client and enterprise SSDs
- Deliver market forecasts for the stand-alone memory businesses:
- Market forecast for 2018-2024 for established and emerging stand-alone memory technologies
- Detailed NAND and DRAM market forecasts for 2018-2024: revenues and CAPEX by players, price per bit, market shares, bit demand, bit shipments, wafer production, and more
- Detail and analyze the competitive landscape:
- Financial analysis: revenues, CAPEX, R&D, operating costs and margins of key memory companies
- Recent acquisitions and funding
- Latest company news
Table of Content
Noteworthy news 2018 19
Executive summary 30
Memory market – drivers and dynamics 72
- Mobile devices
- PC and consumer electronics
Stand-alone memory market andtechnology 122
- NAND market and technology
- DRAM market and technology
- NVDIMM market and technology – overview
- Other stand-alone memories: NOR, SRAM, eNVM, etc.
Memory players and supply chain 186
- Memory players – financial analysis
- Supply chain
- Mergers and acquisitions and new companies
Memory packaging 232
China memory landscape 248
NAND – market forecast 274
DRAM – market forecast 284
Emerging NVM technology, forecast and players 294
Embedded memory business Overview 318
General conclusions 330
Yole Développement’s presentation 334
EXPLOSIVE MEMORY BIT DEMAND FROM DATA-CENTRIC SYSTEMS AND APPLICATIONS WILL DRIVE LONG-TERM MEMORY MARKET 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, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). NAND and DRAM account together for around 97% of the overall stand-alone memory market. Their revenues hit a record high of around US$160 billion in 2018, registering an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% between 2016 and 2018.
At the end of 2018, both NAND and DRAM markets started experiencing oversupply caused by unseasonably weak demand, including lowerthan- 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. For NAND, the outlook is more positive with potential for tight market conditions in the second half of 2019.
In the long-term, NAND and DRAM revenues are forecast to grow with CAGR2018-2024 of 4% and 1% respectively. This is thanks to ever-growing bit demand fueled by novel AI/IoT applications and systems, such as smart cities, connected homes and intelligent factories, smartphones and Echolike personal assistants, virtual and augmented reality and autonomous vehicles. All these rely on a massive amount of data and on the networks that connect them all. Thus, the coming rollout of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology will be critical for their future market expansion.
Yole Développement’s memory team carried out a systematic study of the evolution of memory requirements in various key systems, including servers, smartphones, PCs, enterprise/client solid state drives (SSDs), and vehicles. Servers and enterprise SSDs for datacenters are the most important bit-consuming systems for DRAM and NAND memory, respectively. On the other hand, automotive is the fastest growing segment. The amount of bits in cars is expected to grow by orders of magnitude due to increasing penetration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for autonomous vehicles.
Notably, emerging non-volatile memory (eNVM) started making inroads into the storage-class memory (SCM) market with the introduction in 2017 of Intel’s Optane phase-change memory (PCM) products. As the new generations of Xeon server CPUs are conceived to be compatible with the new Optane persistent memory modules (NVDIMM), Intel might be able to gain significant business at the expense of Samsung and SK Hynix, who are now getting ready with their own PCM products.
The “Status of the Memory Industry” report provides a 360˚ overview of the stand-alone memory market and its competitive landscape, detailing the technology and market trends in the fields of NAND, DRAM, NOR, eNVM, and other stand-alone devices.
COMPLEX TECHNOLOGY-SCALING CHALLENGES REQUIRE INCREASINGLY HIGHER CAPITAL EXPENDITURES TO ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT BIT DENSITY GROWTH
Continuous advancements in semiconductor memory technologies are critical for the technical and economic viability of newly emerging data-centric applications. NAND and DRAM scalability was supposed to peak in 2020, but memory manufacturers and equipment players have found new solutions – just like in the past – to exceed this limit. New manufacturing techniques include self-aligned multiple patterning, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and metrology, as well as high aspect ratio (HAR) etching to produce contact holes in 3D NAND devices. Novel advanced packaging methods for heterogeneous integration include 2.5D silicon interposer and 3D stacking. Together, these technologies create new opportunities for the semiconductor industry to increase the bit density in next-generation memory devices, to improve their bandwidth and reduce their power consumption and cost-per-bit.
However, with each technology generation bit growth is also becoming significantly more expensive. For instance, multi-patterning requirements are increasing with each node migration, resulting in additional processing steps and therefore more cleanroom space per wafer produced. Huge annual capital expenditure (CAPEX) and R&D investments, reaching several billion US dollars, are still being made in existing DRAM and NAND technologies. However, due to the degradation of the pricing environment initiated in late 2018, CAPEX investments are now being reduced in order to quickly achieve a balanced market condition. In the long-term, the CAPEX required per 1% of bit growth is expected to continue rising, as illustrated in the figure for the case of DRAM.
THE ENTRANCE OF CHINESE PLAYERS MIGHT TRIGGER A NEW PHASE OF CONSOLIDATION OF THE MEMORY MARKET
Market concentration has accelerated dramatically in the last decade and is now very high, with three dominant NAND and DRAM players, namely Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix, and two pure NAND players, namely Toshiba and SanDisk/Western Digital, holding a combined 95% market share. Nowadays, it is unlikely that the memory market could consolidate further. No significant mergers or acquisitions were recorded in 2018 in the DRAM industry. The major event in the NAND business was the sale of Toshiba’s memory unit to an investment group led by Bain Capital and including Apple, SK Hynix, Dell, Kingston and Seagate.
Meanwhile, Chinese players could become a threat and might trigger a new phase of market consolidation in the long term. In China, central and local governments, in partnership with a number of private players, are investing billions of dollars to develop a local semiconductor memory ecosystem. The objectives are (i) to bridge the gap between domestic production and consumption, (ii) reduce dependency on the supply of global memory companies, and (iii) fulfill huge memorychip demand in strong growth segments like mobile/ wireless, consumer, servers, AI, IoT, and automotive.
In the NAND business, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) is the most likely to succeed out of all the publicly-known Chinese memory players, thanks to significant financial backing from government investment funds and a head start on R&D and manufacturing. The company’s volume production of 64-layer 3D NAND devices based on the newly-developed XtackingTM technology is expected to take off in the second half of 2019.
On the other hand, DRAM in China is still in the technology-development phase. DRAM manufacturing is incredibly difficult and it will likely take a while longer for China to achieve competitive parity with the rest of the industry.
We expect that significant output from Chinese vendors could reach the market in 2020 for NAND, likely later for DRAM. Meanwhile, stand-alone NOR will remain the most solid memory business in China thanks to a well-developed local supply-chain system. In coming years, a possible relaxation of the China-US trade tension might open up new opportunities for China to acquire key companies across the memory supply chain, which could reinforce China’s position in the semiconductor memory industry.
The “Status of the Memory Industry” report offers a critical overview of all key market players’ activities, highlighting challenges and opportunities to consolidate their business in the competitive memory landscape.
4DS, Adata, Adesto, Advantest, Alliance Memory, AP Memory, Apacer, Apple, Applied Materials, ASE Tech. Hold., ASML, Avalanche, Buffalo, Canon, Centon, CXMT, Cisco, CNE, Crocus, Crossbar, Cypress, Dell, Dosilicon, Etron, ESMT, Everspin, Facebook, Ferroelectric Memory Company, Fidelix, Freescale, Fudan Microelectronics, Fujitsu, Fusion IO, GigaDevice, GlobalFoundries, Google, GSI Technology, H-Grace, Hikstor, Hitachi, HLMC, Honeywell, HP, Huawei, IBM, IDT, Imec, Infineon, Intel, ISSI, JHICC, Kingston, KLA Tencor, Lam Research, Lapis, Lenovo, Longsys, Liteon, Lyontek, Macronix, Marvell, Maxio, Maxim, Materion, Mediatek, Microchip, Micron, Montage Technology, Nantero, Nanya, Naura, Nikon, NEC, NetApp, NetList, Numonyx, NXP, ON Semiconductors, Panasonic, Phison, Powerchip, Powertech, ProMOS Technologies, Qualcomm, Rambus, Reliance, Realtek, Renesas, Rohm, Samsung, Sandisk, Seagate, Semtech, Silicon Motion, SK Hynix, SK Materials, Smart Modular Technologies, SMIC, Sony, SPIL, SST, Spin Memory, STMicroelectronics, STEC, Swissbit, TDK, Texas Instruments, Tezzaron, TEL, Teledyne e2v, Toshiba, Towerjazz, TPSCo, Transcend, Tsinghua Unigroup, TSMC, UMC, UniIC Semiconductors, Unimos Microelectronics, Viking, Violin Memory, Weebit, Western Digital, Winbond, XFab, XMC, YMTC, new Chinese memory players and many more.