The entrance of Chinese players and the rise of new technical solutions are poised to trigger profound changes in the memory business.
- Analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the stand-alone memory market: effect on demand, bit shipments, and CAPEX
- Updated market forecast (2019 – 2025) for NAND and DRAM markets, considering COVID-19’s effect and the entrance of new players from China
- Overview of the NOR memory business: players, growth drivers, density-dependent applications, market share, ASP, revenue, and more
- Updated financial analysis of leading IDM companies – including Samsung, SK hynix, Kioxia, Western Digital, Micron, and Intel
- Updated list of Chinese memory players and detailed presentation of their activities in the DRAM, NAND, NOR, and emerging NVM businesses
- Summary of the stand-alone memory market and related technologies, including NAND, DRAM, persistent memory, NOR, (NV)SRAM, emerging NVM, and more
- Description of technical trends and challenges, scaling roadmaps, and overview of main players for standalone memory technologies
- Breakdown 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
- Profile of the most important endmarkets for stand-alone memory, i.e. datacenters, mobile, automotive, PC, and consumer electronics
- Presentation of packaging solutions for memory devices, and description of emerging packaging technologies and market trends
- Overview of embedded memory technology and progress towards in-memory computing applications
- Mapping of the stand-alone memory supply chain, analysis of recent M&A and joint ventures, list of noteworthy news, and company announcements in 2019 – 2020
- Provide an understanding of standalone memory technologies and applications:
- Roadmaps with technology nodes, product development status, chip density, scaling challenges, and potential solutions
- Memory content evolution in key systems: servers, smartphones, personal computers, vehicles, enterprise, and client SSDs
- Main memory end-markets: datacenter, mobile, automotive, PC, and consumer electronics
- Offer market forecasts for the standalone memory business:
- Market forecast (2019 – 2025) for NOR, (NV)SRAM, and other technologies including PCM, MRAM, and RRAM
- Market forecast (2019 – 2025) for NAND and DRAM, with details on capex by players, price per bit, market share, bit demand, bit shipments, wafer production, and more.
- Detail and analyze the competitive landscape:
- Financial analysis: key memory companies’ revenue, capex, R&D, operating costs, and margins
- Recent mergers and acquisitions, start-up funding, and latest company news
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Glossary and definitions 2
Table of contents 10
Report objectives 11
Report scope 12
Report methodology 13
About the authors 14
Companies cited in this report 17
Comparison with the 2019 report 18
Who should be interested in this report? 19
Yole Group’s related reports 20
Three-slide summary 22
Executive summary 26
COVID-19’s impact on the memory market 67
Memory Markets – Drivers and Dynamics 76
- Mobile devices
- PC and consumer electronics
Stand-Alone Memory Market and Technology 125
- NAND market and technology
- DRAM market and technology
- Persistent memory
- Other stand-alone memory
Memory Players and Supply Chain 202
- Memory players – financial analysis
- Supply chain
- Merger and acquisitions, and new companies
Memory packaging 251
China’s memory landscape 267
NAND – market forecast 297
Revenue, market share, ASP, shipments & demand, CAPEX, and more
DRAM – market forecast 307
Revenue, market share, ASP, shipments & demand, CAPEX, and more
Emerging NVM technology, forecast, and players 316
Technology description, challenges, roadmap, forecast, main trends, and more
Embedded memory business – overview 341
General conclusions 357
Noteworthy news 361
How to use our data? 370
Yole Développement’s presentation 371
IN 2020 NAND AND DRAM WILL DRIVE NEW GROWTH IN THE STAND-ALONE MEMORY MARKET, DESPITE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Driven by important megatrends such as mobility, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), the stand-alone memory market has experienced extraordinary growth over the past decade. However, this exciting growth period ended in Q4-2018 when both the NAND and DRAM markets started experiencing oversupply caused by weak demand. This included lower-than-expected smartphone sales and a slowdown in datacenter demand. Inventory levels increased for memory suppliers and their OEM customers, with average selling prices ($/Gb) declining by more than 40% in 2019. Meanwhile, combined DRAM and NAND revenue reached ~$106B, down 34% from 2018. In 2019, significant DRAM and NAND capex cuts initiated a market recovery that began in late-2019, and which has continued in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak – which negatively impacted the smartphone and automotive markets, but spurred demand for server and PC memory for stay-at-home activities – 2020 is expected to be a year of recovery and the beginning of a new era of prosperity for the memory industry.
NAND and DRAM are ubiquitous technologies, together accounting for 96% of the overall stand-alone memory market. Thus, they have considerable influence over the memory industry’s overall status and dynamics. However, besides NAND and DRAM, there exists a broad spectrum of technologies that fit the requirements of different end-systems and markets. NOR flash is the third-largest market (~$2.3B in 2019), fueled by numerous applications including industry and security (e.g. surveillance cameras), consumer and automotive electronics, as well as telecom infrastructure (e.g. 5G base stations). Despite some seasonality and cyclicality, NOR revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR2019-2025 of 4%.
Other technologies, such as volatile and nonvolatile (NV) SRAM, ferroelectric RAM (FRAM), and EEPROM represent “niche” markets that are rather static and collectively account for just ~1.5% of the stand-alone memory market.
On the other hand, emerging non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies – e.g. MRAM, PCM, and RRAM – are taking off in the storageclass memory (SCM) market. Their combined revenue is expected to reach around ~$4B by 2025, with a CAGR2019-2025 o f o ver 4 0%. I n this area, PCM (3D XPoint) will maintain its leadership until 2025 thanks to the involvement of Intel, which leads the persistent memory business with its OptaneTM non-volatile memory modules.
THE ENTRANCE OF NEW PLAYERS FROM CHINA IS POISED TO CHANGE THE MEMORY MARKET LANDSCAPE
Market concentration has accelerated dramatically in the last decade and is now remarkably high. Three dominant NAND and DRAM players – namely Samsung, Micron, and SK hynix – and two pure NAND players, Kioxia and Western Digital, together hold ~90% of the stand-alone memory market. In 2019, all major NAND manufacturers were developing the new 1xxL generation and ramping-up production of 92/96L 3D NAND. However, to mitigate the oversupply situation, most manufacturers chose to slow their ramping of 92/96L, and many products launched in 2019 were still based on 64L 3D NAND. In the DRAM business, market equilibrium was sought via significant capital expenditure cuts in 2019 (25% – 30%) – and as late as Q3-19, plans existed at suppliers to reduce capital expenditure by as much again in 2020. Both Micron and Samsung are expected to introduce products based on 1z technology by 2020; SK hynix will follow.
Meanwhile, Chinese players are starting to threaten the market’s equilibrium and could trigger profound changes in the memory business. In the NAND business, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) is the leading memory maker in China. The company is currently shipping 64L NAND domestically in low volumes (including SSDs), with 128L production in development and shipments expected in 2021. YMTC’s 2020 rampup has been in part hampered by COVID-19, with delays in equipment deliveries/installations at its Wuhan manufacturing site.
In comparison, Chinese DRAM 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 industry at-large. Changxin Memory Technologies (CXMT), China’s most advanced DRAM maker, is expected to ramp up production on the 1xnm node in 2020.
For NAND, we expect that significant output (~4%) from YMTC could reach the market in 2021, while it will take longer for DRAM. Meanwhile, stand-alone NOR flash will remain the sturdiest memory business in China thanks to a well-developed local supply-chain system and the activities of GigaDevice, a key local player.
TECHNOLOGY-NODE MIGRATION IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT AND EXPENSIVE
NAND and DRAM scalability was supposed to peak in 2020, but memory manufacturers and equipment players have found new solutions to exceed this limit. New manufacturing techniques include selfaligned multiple patterning, extreme ultra-violet (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, i.e. 3D stacking and 2.5D silicon interposer, enable highbandwidth memory (HMB) for fast data transfer between computing units (CPU/GPU) and DRAM.
All these singular technical solutions create new opportunities for the semiconductor industry to increase bit density in next-generation memory devices, improve their bandwidth, and reduce their power consumption and cost-per-bit. However, with each technology generation, bit growth is becoming significantly more expensive. For instance, multi-patterning requirements in DRAM are increasing with each node migration, resulting in additional processing steps and therefore more cleanroom space per wafer produced. As DRAM shrinks and defect probability augments, DRAM manufacturers are evaluating the idea of switching from self-aligned multiple patterning to EUV lithography. Noteworthy, Samsung recently announced the shipment of one million DDR4 DRAM modules that were manufactured using the EUV technology at the 1x node.
Leveraging our comprehensive expertise in memory technologies and related markets, Yole introduces the second edition of its Status of the Memory Industry report. This report seeks to provide the broadest overview of the stand-alone memory market and its competitive landscape, detailing technical challenges, opportunities, and trends in the field of standalone memory, including NAND, DRAM, NOR, (NV)SRAM, emerging NVM, and much more.
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, X-Fab, XMC, YMTC, new Chinese emerging NVM players, and many more.