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NAND to surpass DRAM in 2012

Posted: 13 Feb 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:research  IC industry  NAND Flash  DRAM  MCUs 

According to IC Insights, 27 of the 33 major IC product categories defined by WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics) will experience growth in 2012, with 11 segments expected to grow better than the 7 per cent forecast for the total IC industry.

Six categories are forecast to show double-digit growth. The numbers stand in sharp contrast to the 15 products that showed positive growth and 18 that experienced a decline in 2011.

Interestingly, the market for NAND Flash memory is forecast to top the growth list while NOR Flash is forecast to be at the bottom of the list with the biggest per cent decline in sales for 2012.

IC Market

"NAND Flash has been a top growing market segment over the past few years due to the growth of consumer-driven mobile media devices—particularly smartphones and tablet PCs," the research said. "In 2012, NAND Flash will benefit from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs). The combination of strong demand for NAND Flash and continued weakness in DRAM average selling prices is forecast to result in the total Flash market surpassing the DRAM market for the first time ever in 2012."

Wireless Telecom—Special Purpose Logic/MPR devices (which includes the myriad of applications processors used in smartphones and tablet/media PCs) and 32bit MCUs are forecast to lead all product segments with 15 per cent growth in 2012.

Other products expected to show better-than-market performance are MPUs, display drivers, PLDs, and 16bit MCUs. The market for 16bit MCUs is forecast to surpass the 8bit MCU market for the first time, joining the 32bit MCU market, which first surpassed the 8bit MCU segment in 2010.

Momentum for automotive-related ICs is forecast to carry over into 2012 as well as semiconductor content per new vehicle increases due to government safety and environmental and consumer interest in on-board telematics.

Four memory categories and six segments in total—NOR Flash, SRAM, EEPROM/Other, DSP, Gate Array, and DRAM (the fastest-growing category in 2010) are forecast to experience their second consecutive year of slower sales in 2012.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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