Introduction of products by big players, emergence of new Storage Class Memory (SCM) applications and entry of the top five logic foundries will drive the market.
FAVORABLE MARKET CONDITIONS FOR ADOPTION OF EMERGING NON-VOLATILE MEMORY (NVM)
The key emerging non-volatile technologies like phase-change memory (PCM), magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) and resistive random access memory (RRAM) have long development histories. Yet, their adoption remains restricted to niche markets due to various factors. Available products have limited density, and the introduction of high density products by emerging NVM pioneers has been delayed. There are manufacturing challenges due to the introduction of new materials and process steps. Meanwhile, mainstream memory technologies are continuously improving in terms of density and cost. Finally, there has been an absence of a killer application that would challenge dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash memory.
However, favorable factors are now emerging that that will propel the emerging NVM business onto a rapid growth trajectory.These include:
- The appearance of new storage class memory (SCM) business segment. This is an additional memory hierarchy in system architectures between working memory and data storage. Its aim is to reduce latency by increasing system speed. It will support and co-exist with DRAM and NAND.
- Big players like Intel introducing PCM-based 3D XPoint memory to the market in 2017 for SCM applications. Micron will introduce a 3D XPoint memory product by the end of 2017.
- Investors are still upbeat about the emerging NVM business, as evidenced by >$100M funding in 2016.
- Big foundries like TSMC, Samsung, GlobalFoundries, UMC and SMIC are entering the emerging NVM memory business. They will introduce MRAM and RRAM technology for embedded MCUs in the 2018/2019 timeframe. Emerging NVM is a good opportunity for foundries to significantly grow their memory business as it is CMOS compatible technology.
MARKET GROWTH FOR EMERGING NVM IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WILL BE LED BY SCM AND EMBEDDED MICROCONTROLLERS (MCUS)
The market for emerging NVM will grow at a 106% compound annual growth rate from 2016-2022 (CAGR 2016-2022) to reach around $3.9B by 2022. The new SCM hierarchy and embedded MCUs will drive this. Creating a new memory category is a sea-change that will require numerous hardware and software developments by all memory ecosystem players. SCM will be adopted in enterprise storage and client applications, and later in mobile. The introduction of XPoint memory product by Intel in early 2017, targeting the SCM application, is the game changer.
Embedded MCUs often use eflash NVM technology, but this technology consumes lots of power and its scalability becomes cost-prohibitive at the 28 nm lithography node. With its recent scalability progress, emerging NVM will be increasingly used in low-power MCUs for Internet-of-Things (IoT) and wearables, smart cards, and other markets. This will happen first in the 40 nm-node processes thanks to their lower power consumption, and then at 28 nm thanks to their competitive cost, and then at 22nm. Top foundries such as TSMC, GlobalFoundries, UMC, SMIC and Samsung are definitely driving emerging NVM implementation because they manufacture most of the business’s MCUs.
A main selection criterion for memory is chip scalability and density, since this impacts both performance and cost. To this end, Yole’s report provides a precise memory roadmap in terms of technological nodes, chip density, and pricing.
This report describes why and how emerging NVM technologies will be increasingly used in various markets. There are two key market segments described in this report. The first is standalone applications, which includes enterprise storage SCM, client SCM, mass storage, industrial, transportation, and consumer electronics. The second is embedded applications, including MCUs, mobile device static RAM (SRAM), SRAM cache for high-performance computing and embedded NVM systems-on-chips.
THE STANDALONE EMERGING NVM MARKET IS MAINLY LED BY PCM AND RRAM, AND THE EMBEDDED MEMORY BUSINESS IS DRIVEN BY MRAM AND RRAM
The emerging NVM market is mainly led by three technologies: PCM, RRAM and MRAM. In the stand-alone market, which is mostly focused on SCM for the next five years, the big players’ technological choices are now quite clear. Micron/Intel has chosen PCM. SK Hynix and Sandisk/Western Digital have selected RRAM as the competitor to PCM for SCM applications. Samsung seems also to favor RRAM thanks to its compatibility with the vertical 3D approach used for 3D NAND. The SCM market will initially be led by PCM but later RRAM will take the lead.
For embedded applications, the battle will be intense between the different emerging NVM technologies. However, we expect that multiple solutions will coexist depending on application requirements. STTMRAM has been adopted by the top foundries including TSMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung and Sony. STTMRAM’s initial focus is the development of the MCU eFlash market followed by substitution of SRAM in mobile and high performance computing. For RRAM embedded applications, key adopters are TSMC, UMC and SMIC. RRAM’s initial focus will be for low cost applications like embedded MCUs for smart cards, IoT and general purpose applications. The ultimate target for RRAM is to replace 3D NAND in high performance MPUs, enabling integration into a single SoC. PCM is still in the race, with STMicroelectronics as the main promoter, having selected PCM as the best emerging NVM solution for the 28 nm node in the automotive market.
This report provides a market forecast for each technology by application, in units, in Gbit, by revenue, and also in number of wafers. It also presents a review of the main technological trends and some key technical developments by the main players.
There are a wide variety of technologies, business models, and markets, especially comparing stand-alone against embedded, in the emerging NVM market. As such, this report analyzes in detail the different supply chain players in detail. We present integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), foundries and emerging NVM start-up companies, in the stand-alone and embedded markets, and their strategies to adopt emerging NVM.
One big technological transition occurring right now is the substitution of hard disk drives with semiconductor NAND solid-state drives. The next revolution will be emerging NVM’s arrival. We have analyzed the supply chain’s dynamics to understand who today’s key market players are in each application and technology, and how the competitive landscape will evolve with the arrival of emerging NVM. We have also conducted a special analysis of the Chinese memory supply chain, which is growing rapidly thanks to huge Chinese government financing plans and the country’s substantial memory needs.
- New market segments: embedded high-performance static RAM and embedded non-volatile systems-on-chips
- One microcontroller (MCU) segment, combining ‘low-power’ and other devices
- In depth analysis of MCU automotive applications
- Updated market forecast for phase-change memory (PCM), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), including spin-transfer torque (STT) MRAM, and resistive RAM (RRAM)
- In depth analysis of China’s memory market
- Mapping of the main R&D labs
- In-depth analysis of embedded markets for MCUs and mobile CPUs
- Deep analysis of foundry positions in the supply chain
- Start-up funding analysis
- Analysis of new entrants
- Analysis of technical trends for MRAM/STTMRAM, RRAM, and PCM
Objectives of the Report
This report’s objectives are to:
- Present an overview of the semiconductor memory market: NAND, DRAM, embedded MCU, and mobile MPU
- Provide an understanding of emerging NVM applications for nine applications in standalone and embedded, covering technologies, market trends, players, challenges, and drivers
- Offer market forecasts for the emerging NVM business for seven applications and three technologies, which are: PCM, MRAM/STTMRAM, RRAM
- Describe emerging NVM technologies and players: roadmap, technical trends and key products