Recent acquisitions by DRAM suppliers Elpida and Micron illustrate the increasing importance suppliers are placing on offering a complete portfolio of memory products in order to address the rapidly growing smart-phone market, according to iSuppli Corp.
The average amount of DRAM used in smart phones is set to rise by more than a factor of 10 during the coming years, growing to 1.3Gbytes by 2014, up from 123Mbytes in 2009.
“Mobile customers usually purchase memory in Multi Chip Packages (MCPs) that include both mobile DRAM and some non-volatile memory such as NOR or NAND,” said Mike Howard, senior analyst for DRAM at iSuppli Corp. “This makes it essential to have a complete portfolio of memory products in order to compete in the mobile market. Thus, it shouldn’t be that much of a shock that after Micron announced it was going to purchase NOR flash memory heavyweight Numonyx, Elpida followed with news that it would be acquiring a significant portion of Spansion’s flash memory assets.”
Elpida, which doesn’t manufacture NOR or NAND, had been in the unenviable position of having to rely on its competitors for parts to compete in the mobile memory market.
“By buying Spansion’s assets, Elpida at least will have more control over its supply chain and design process moving forward,” Howard said. “Will the acquisition pay off? Time will tell.”
Learn more about the changing mobile memory and DRAM markets with Howard’s new report, entitled: Memory Consolidation Continues—Elpida Purchases Spansion Assets.