Emerging memory market is finding its direction

June 26, 2020 // By Julien Happich
memory market
Emerging memories have been relegated to niches for decades, but that scenario has taken an abrupt turn. Recent market dynamic changes are suddenly opening the door to their widespread use.

Despite COVID-19, despite Intel’s Optane DIMM delays, despite US-China trade wars, and despite numerous other setbacks, the emerging memory market is on a path to grow significantly over the next decade. A newly released report by Objective Analysis and Coughlin Associates, “Emerging Memories Find Their Direction,” shows that emerging memories are well on their way to reach $36 billion in combined revenues by 2030. This is driven by two phenomena. The first is the fact that today’s leading embedded-memory technologies, SRAM and NOR flash, are unable to efficiently scale past 28nm and thus will be replaced by embedded magnetoresistive  RAM (MRAM) or another technology. The second is the adoption of Intel’s Optane DIMMs, officially known as the “Optane DC Persistent Memory Module,” which is poised to grab a meaningful share of the server DRAM market.


Foundries, designers, and memory makers impacted

Foundries and other companies that participate in the memory markets must pay close attention to this transition or they will be left behind. Designers and users of SoCs should be thinking right now about what ramifications nonvolatile memories will have on their designs. The changes that these new memory types will bring to power consumption and system responsiveness will fundamentally alter the way we use and profit from memory technology. Those who understand these changes will have a profound competitive advantage.

Emerging memory technologies have become extremely interesting to designers of all types of systems. Chips for artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are starting to embrace them as embedded memories. And larger systems are already changing their architectures to adopt emerging memories as a superior alternative to today’s standard memory technologies. This transition will challenge the industry, but it will bring significant advantages.

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