The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global NAND flash market for 2016-2020. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the top vendors in the market and lists other prominent vendors.
NAND flash is gaining more popularity over dynamic random access memory (DRAM) as it does not have to be powered continuously to retain data. In addition, NAND flash is now extensively used for solid state drives (SSDs), which is replacing hard disk drives (HDDs). This is a major factor for market growth.
The smartphone and tablet segments are the two largest application segments for NAND flash, accounting for 45.3% of the market. NAND flash is ideal for portable devices due to its non-volatile feature and hence it is widely used in smartphones and tablets. The smartphone market is growing at a CAGR of 7.61%, and the tablet market is growing at a CAGR of 8.32%, which provide an incentive for NAND flash vendors.
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Technavio hardware and semiconductor analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global NAND flash market:
- Increasing sales of mobile devices
- NAND flash-based SSDs replacing HDDs
- Growth of multimedia applications
- Increased end-user applications for NAND flash
Increasing sales of mobile devices
Major smartphone vendors such as Apple and Samsung are continually increasing the memory storage capacity in their latest smartphones with the use of NAND flash memory. The upcoming iPhone models are expected to have higher storage capacity, which will increase the demand for NAND flash memory. The growing sales of smartphones integrated with high memory capacity are boosting the growth of the global NAND flash market.
Chetan Mohan, a lead embedded systems analyst at Technavio, says, “Tablets are one of the important markets for NAND flash memory. Leading mobile and PC OEMs are entering the tablet market because of the growing demand for the Apple iPad and the high growth potential of the market. End-users demand high-performance devices with reliable and highly portable computing platforms.”
NAND flash-based SSDs replacing HDDs
“The global NAND flash market is expected to witness high growth because of the increasing adoption of SSDs. HDDs are gradually being replaced by NAND flash-based SSDs. This is because SSDs are more reliable than HDDs as they can withstand more heat, vibrations, and shock,” adds Chetan.
Moreover, they are more power-efficient, consuming only 50% of the power of HDDs, and they offer 12%-15% longer battery life. SDDs also boot and launch applications faster than HDDs and offer significantly faster performance. These benefits make SDDs a suitable choice for the next-generation notebooks. SSDs are a cost-effective option for upgrading older systems and enhancing their capabilities.
Growth of multimedia applications
The mobile devices segment is constantly evolving from a voice signal receiver to a full-fledged portable computer. This calls for advanced technologies in storage, which has resulted in the growth of MCPs in NAND memory. With MCPs, vendors have been able to increase the memory density required for memory-intensive mobile applications. With the introduction of the Internet of Things, where a mobile device is considered as the primary connecting device to other smart devices such as TVs, kitchen appliances, door locks, and thermostats, the role of mobile devices is constantly evolving.
In addition, technologies such as gesture recognition, augmented reality, and virtual reality are now being integrated in mobile devices, which require higher memory and processing power. An increase in such applications is expected to increase the demand for high-density NAND flash.
Increased end-user applications for NAND flash
The number of applications for NAND flash is expected to increase during the forecast period, leading to the addition of new revenue sources, thus contributing to the growth in the market. For instance, NAND flash is finding applications in embedded systems. The adoption of NAND flash in embedded systems is expected to increase as it offers many advantages such as high-volume storage at low cost, fast access times, and fast erase times. These features enable the device to process thousands of applications.
NAND flash is also used in other applications such as enhanced phones and HHPs, which is expected to contribute significantly to the revenue of the market during the forecast period. The adoption of NAND flash in these application areas is expected to increase the growth prospects of the market in the future.
- Micron Technology
- Samsung Electronics
- SK Hynix
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