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Mobile devices to consume more DRAM than PCs

Posted: 27 Jun 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  DRAM  tablet  PC market 

IHS has predicted that mobile platforms such as cellphones and media- and PC-type tablets will overtake traditional desktops, notebooks and servers as the biggest consumer of DRAM. In 2015, the mobile devices will use Rs.63,043.48 crore ($11.6 billion) worth of DRAM. Such a level compares to Rs.53,804.35 crore ($9.9 billion) for conventional PCs. In all, this will mark the first time ever that the mobile platforms have accounted for the majority of DRAM consumption—and the first time since the 1980s that traditional PCs haven’t led in the area, indicated the market research firm.

“The fortunes of the PC and DRAM industries have been intricately intertwined for 30 years now,” said Dale Ford, senior director at IHS. “DRAM makers have centered their technology, capacity and product strategies on the needs of their PC customers. At the same time, the performance of the DRAM business has been dependent on upturns and downturns in the PC market. But with the decline of the PC market and rise of wireless platforms, this alignment is coming to an end.”

The demise of the PC industry’s hegemony in the DRAM market reflects a broader trend throughout the electronics business, spurred by the arrival of the post-PC era.

“The post-PC era is already a reality in the electronics supply chain,” Ford noted. “This new era doesn’t mean that consumers and companies will stop buying and using traditional personal computers. What this does mean is that PCs are not at the center of the technology universe anymore. PCs are no longer driving the action in the global electronics supply chain—a development that has tremendous implications for the future of the high-tech industry.”

Similar trends to the DRAM market are occurring in other areas, with traditional PCs seeing their dominance over demand and technology development erode in the storage, display, software and overall semiconductor markets.

IHS in 2012 noted that the share of traditional PCs in DRAM revenue fell to less than 50 per cent for the first time in at least 30 years, marking a major milestone for the industry. While the share of PCs in DRAM consumption fell to 41 per cent in 2012—far below the 85 to 65 per cent share seen throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s—PCs remained the largest single DRAM market.

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