It is starting to look like emerging non-volatile memory technologies are going to be a big deal by 2018.
A report from analysts Yole Developpement claims that MRAM/STTMRAM and PCM will lead the Emerging Non-Volatile Memory (ENVM) market and earn a combined $1.6bn by 2018. If the North Koreans have not conquered America, by 2018 then MRAM/STTMRAM and PCM will surely be the top two ENVM on the market.
Yole's Yann de Charentenay said that their combined sales will almost double each year, with double-density chips launched every two years. So far we have only had FRAM, PCM and MRAM to play with and they were available in low-density chips to only a few players. The market was quite limited and considerably smaller than the DRAM and flash markets which had combined revenues of $50bn+ in 2012, the report said. In the next five years the scalability and chip density of those memories will be greatly improved and will spark many new applications, says the report.
ENVM will greatly improve the input/output performance of enterprise storage systems whose requirements will intensify with the growing need for web-based data supported by cloud servers, the report said. Mobile phones will increase its adoption of PCM as a substitute to flash NOR memory in MCP packages thanks to 1GB chips made available by Micron in 2012, it added. The next milestone will be the higher-density chips, expected in 2015, will allow access to smart phone applications that are quickly replacing entry-level phones.
STTMRAM is earmarked to kill off SRAM in SoC applications because it needs less juice and scales better. Smart card MCU (microcontrollers) will likely adopt MRAM/STTMRAM and PCM as a substitute to embedded flash, the report adds.