PC no longer taking half the DRAM output, says IHS
Intel CEO Paul Otellini denies we live in a post-PC age, but one sign that we do is that the PC no longer uses half the world’s DRAM supply.
According to analyst IHS, the share of DRAM used by PC is in Q2 was 49% – below 50% for the first time since the 1980s.
In H2 the figure will fall to 46%.
‘This symbolises the decline of the PC market because of smartphone and media tablets,’ says IHS, ‘however, beyond symbolism, the development also illustrates the diminishing dominion of PCs in the electronics supply chain.’
DRAM suppliers must now focus on the needs of smartphone and tablet makers, says IHS
The share of DRAM output taken by media tablets will continue to rise. Tablet share of the DRAM space in terms of bit shipments grew to 2.7% in Q2, up from 1.6% in Q1, reaching 6.9% in Q4 2013.
Cellphones’ share of DRAM bits will rise to 19.8% in Q413, up nearly 7%s from 13.2% in Q212.
The combined share in Q413 by handsets and tablets of the DRAM market will reach 26.7% t—almost double from 14.1%.
The decline of PCs in DRAM share appears irreversible, says the analyst, PCs will remain the largest single market for DRAM at least through the end of 2013, and overall DRAM bit shipments for personal computers will continue to grow.
The expansion in DRAM market share for tablets partly is a result of the sheer growth in tablet shipments, which has come at tremendous expense to PCs. For instance, tablet shipments will climb 24% in Q3 and by 55% in Q4.
Laptop shipments, meanwhile, are expected to increase by just 9 and 12 percent, respectively, during the same two periods.
The growing share of tablets in the DRAM market can likewise be attributed to more DRAM bits being loaded onto the devices. The third-generation new iPad has double the DRAM content of its predecessor, with up to 1GB compared to 512MB in the iPad 2.
The additional DRAM in the new iPad brings it in line with direct competitors such as the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE from Samsung Electronics and the Jetstream from HTC, both of which also contain 1GB DRAM. Among tablet devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire is the only tablet with less than 1GB, but the Kindle Fire is not competing directly with the more powerful tablet devices.
Like the solid quarterly results, the long-term trend for DRAM in tablets is equally encouraging.
Rapid growth continues despite some deceleration in market share expansion for tablets, reaching a 9% rate of increase by 2016.
DRAM loading in tablets is also solid for the years ahead, reaching 2GB by 2015 after DRAM loading growth of 79% this year, and then tapering to a still-elevated 30 to 40% expansion rate from 2013 to 2016.