Driven by such factors as the development of autonomous driving and the build-out of 5G infrastructure, the demand for automotive memories will undergo a rapid growth going forward, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. The market experts forecast a CAGR of DRAM demand surpassing 30% over the next three years.
The market researchers cite electric car manufacturer Tesla as a leader in the application of electronics for autonomous vehicles. Tesla adopted GDDR5 DRAM products starting with the Model S and X because it also adopted Nvidia's solutions for CPU and GPU. At the time, the GDDR5 series offered the highest bandwidth to work with these processors. Therefore, according to TrendForce, all of Tesla's model series are equipped with at least 8 GB of RAM. The Model 3 even has 14 GB of DRAM equipped, and the next generation of Tesla vehicles will have 20 GB. If content per unit is used as a reference for comparison, Tesla far surpasses PC and smartphone manufacturers in DRAM consumption. TrendForce predicts that the average DRAM content of cars will continue to grow over the next three years, with a CAGR of more than 30% for this period.
Based on existing vehicle models circulating in the global car market, TrendForce estimates that the average DRAM content of cars will reach around 4 GB in 2021. The growth in the average DRAM content of cars is expected to be much higher this year than in the past few years. However, car sales are not as great in scale when compared with sales of consumer electronics such as laptop computers and smartphones. In 2019 the annual global car sales totaled around 94 million vehicle units. Also, cars have less DRAM content compared with servers. Looking at the 2019 data, the distribution of the annual global DRAM consumption shows that the automotive memory segment accounted for less than 2% of the total.