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Total Flash Memory Market Eclipses DRAM for First Time in 2012

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

The flash memory market volume is expected to exceed DRAM revenue for the first time this year.

According to IC Insights, the total NAND and NOR flash memory market is predicted to gain 2 percent to $30.4 billion in 2012. DRAM is estimated to reach $28.0 billion this year.

Flash will widen its lead over DRAM until 2017 and NANF Flash alone will outpace DRAM in 2013, IC Insights said. The market research firm said that flash will show the second highest growth rates among semiconductors and only trail the market growth rates for tablet processors and cell phone application processors.

Average revenue growth is forecast to hit 14 percent between 2012 and 2017 and reach $53.2 billion by 2017. DRAM sales will only grow by 9 percent annually during that time, IC Insights said.

 

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  • -1 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 30, 2012 9:17 PM
    That's like saying HDD's outsell DRAM... Flash and DRAM has two different purposes so what is the point of this article?
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , December 30, 2012 9:21 PM
    Flash is SUPPOSED to outsell DRAM >_>

    Flash is SUPPOSED to supplant HDD's not DRAM...

    The writer of this article is a numbskull...
  • 0 Hide
    fearless1333 , December 30, 2012 9:52 PM
    chewy1963That's like saying HDD's outsell DRAM... Flash and DRAM has two different purposes so what is the point of this article?

    memadmaxFlash is SUPPOSED to outsell DRAM >_>Flash is SUPPOSED to supplant HDD's not DRAM...The writer of this article is a numbskull...


    The point of this article is to highlight the growing practicality and technology of Flash memory. SSDs continue to grow in popularity with prices under $1/gb in 2012... Flash is also being considered as a possible nonvolatile alternative to DRAM for use as RAM.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , December 30, 2012 10:21 PM
    The thing is that de flash demand is growing faster than dram demand. That means that people want more storage space than speed.
  • -1 Hide
    joytech22 , December 30, 2012 10:35 PM
    There is actual demand for flash memory compared to DRAM.
    RAM is in over-saturation at the moment, it's literally everywhere from TV's to set-top boxes, phones, computers, even fridges (some smart fridges) and cars.

    Flash is coming down in price fast enough to make it a high-demand thing, because not only is it fast, efficient etc it's also getting cheap.
  • 0 Hide
    laststop311 , December 30, 2012 10:55 PM
    This information is actually a little surprising, because every single computer uses ram but not every computer uses ssd.
  • 3 Hide
    11796pcs , December 30, 2012 11:07 PM
    Quote:
    NANF Flash alone will outpace DRAM in 2013

    I literally looked up NANF Flash before I realized it was a typo. Come on guys, it's not that hard to do a little proofreading.
  • 6 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 30, 2012 11:14 PM
    laststop311This information is actually a little surprising, because every single computer uses ram but not every computer uses ssd.


    It's not really surprising because the avg system needs say 4 GB of ram (say $20) whereas an SSD on an average system has say 128 GB flash (say $100), so it follows that if SSD's are in about 1 in 5 machines or more, it would beat dram in sales. The same can be extended to tablets and phones. Talk to me when SSDs surpass HDDs in sales, THEN we'll be talking.

    fearless1333The point of this article is to highlight the growing practicality and technology of Flash memory. SSDs continue to grow in popularity with prices under $1/gb in 2012... Flash is also being considered as a possible nonvolatile alternative to DRAM for use as RAM.


    Flash memory is lightning fast compared to HDDs, however I wouldn't want to use it as a replacement to DRAM as system memory because it's more than an order of magnitude SLOWER than DRAM. As I said before, flash should be compared to HDDs NOT DRAM.
  • 1 Hide
    fearless1333 , December 31, 2012 1:20 AM
    chewy1963It's not really surprising because the avg system needs say 4 GB of ram (say $20) whereas an SSD on an average system has say 128 GB flash (say $100), so it follows that if SSD's are in about 1 in 5 machines or more, it would beat dram in sales. The same can be extended to tablets and phones. Talk to me when SSDs surpass HDDs in sales, THEN we'll be talking.Flash memory is lightning fast compared to HDDs, however I wouldn't want to use it as a replacement to DRAM as system memory because it's more than an order of magnitude SLOWER than DRAM. As I said before, flash should be compared to HDDs NOT DRAM.


    Sorry I misspoke, not as a replacement. I was recalling a Toms article several months ago which detailed software that allowed flash memory to be used as an extension to DRAM.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/fusio-io-flash-ssdalloc-memory-ram,16352.html
  • 4 Hide
    ojas , December 31, 2012 3:33 AM
    Thank god this article didn't conclude in the death of the PC.
  • -4 Hide
    CaedenV , December 31, 2012 4:03 AM
    ojasThank god this article didn't conclude in the death of the PC.

    oh, but it is coming. laptops will die first over the next 2-3 years (replaced by phones and tablets), and then the desktop will follow 1-2 years later. People like you and I will continue to have a desktop a while longer than that, but to think that a desktop is not doomed is a bit short sighted at this point.

    I mean, I just got my first smartphone, and it pretty much completely replaces my need for a laptop. Sure, not quite as convienient as a laptop for some workloads, but for me personally it can do everything I was doing on my laptop, plus taking the place of my GPS, phone, camera, video camera, and mp3 player, while getting better battery life than all of the above, and being smaller than most of the above. For web browsing and multimedia it is more capable than a 2 year old netbook, while offering so much more.

    Desktops will stick around because you simply do not use a desktop for the same things you use a laptop for. You do not use a laptop for high end gaming, or as a file server, or for extreme workloads like HD video editing, or things that require a lot of screen realestate. You CAN get a laptop to do all of those things... it is just super expensive, and you end up with a pretty heavy laptop.

    But what happens when you start getting lightpeak (or some similar) connectivity on a phone? All of the sudden you would have a phone... which can attach to a NAS, or a real GPU with big displays, or whatever you want. Once you can do that then the traditional desktop becomes a glorified dock for your phone. The phone holds the OS, programs, and some bulk storage, and then the dock-like device would offer the processing power, and true mass storage, to be able to use your phone LIKE a desktop. It will not happen overnight, but it will start to happen in the next few years.

    When people talk about the desktop dying, they do not mean that the big screen, and keyboard, and mouse go away, but that smaller devices will be able to either provide, or at least host, the desktop experience. we already saw the first dockable phone come out in 2011. Just a matter of time until that gets taken to the next level.
  • 2 Hide
    thor220 , December 31, 2012 5:04 AM
    CaedenVoh, but it is coming. laptops will die first over the next 2-3 years (replaced by phones and tablets), and then the desktop will follow 1-2 years later. People like you and I will continue to have a desktop a while longer than that, but to think that a desktop is not doomed is a bit short sighted at this point.I mean, I just got my first smartphone, and it pretty much completely replaces my need for a laptop. Sure, not quite as convienient as a laptop for some workloads, but for me personally it can do everything I was doing on my laptop, plus taking the place of my GPS, phone, camera, video camera, and mp3 player, while getting better battery life than all of the above, and being smaller than most of the above. For web browsing and multimedia it is more capable than a 2 year old netbook, while offering so much more.Desktops will stick around because you simply do not use a desktop for the same things you use a laptop for. You do not use a laptop for high end gaming, or as a file server, or for extreme workloads like HD video editing, or things that require a lot of screen realestate. You CAN get a laptop to do all of those things... it is just super expensive, and you end up with a pretty heavy laptop.But what happens when you start getting lightpeak (or some similar) connectivity on a phone? All of the sudden you would have a phone... which can attach to a NAS, or a real GPU with big displays, or whatever you want. Once you can do that then the traditional desktop becomes a glorified dock for your phone. The phone holds the OS, programs, and some bulk storage, and then the dock-like device would offer the processing power, and true mass storage, to be able to use your phone LIKE a desktop. It will not happen overnight, but it will start to happen in the next few years.When people talk about the desktop dying, they do not mean that the big screen, and keyboard, and mouse go away, but that smaller devices will be able to either provide, or at least host, the desktop experience. we already saw the first dockable phone come out in 2011. Just a matter of time until that gets taken to the next level.


    I would have to disagree with desktops dying anytime soon. By the time smartphones get lightpeak or thunderbolt, you will have connections magnitudes faster already out on desktops. There is just not enough space to pack the latest tech in a tiny phone, desktop will always have the edge there. Linked to the previous conclusion, GPUs are becoming faster each year as well. There is no way a phone will be able to fully utilize a high grade GPU anytime soon. The CPU power of a phone is 1/50th of a modern computer. You may be able to steam games or other services to your phone, but it isn't a "desktop" experience. A final point I would like to make: T.V. have huge pixels, phones screens are tiny, desktop monitors, just right.
  • 3 Hide
    beavermml , December 31, 2012 7:08 AM
    desktop will not die.. except maybe for consumers.. i cant imagine working with hundreds of spreadsheet, specialized software like 3dsmax, etc using tablet,phone...
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 31, 2012 7:21 AM
    Quote:
    i cant imagine working with hundreds of spreadsheet, specialized software like 3dsmax, etc using tablet,phone...


    If you do these things, you arent the average consumer anymore. You belong in the 1% of computer users.
  • 3 Hide
    -Jackson , December 31, 2012 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    oh, but it is coming. laptops will die first over the next 2-3 years (replaced by phones and tablets), and then the desktop will follow 1-2 years later. People like you and I will continue to have a desktop a while longer than that, but to think that a desktop is not doomed is a bit short sighted at this point.

    I mean, I just got my first smartphone, and it pretty much completely replaces my need for a laptop. Sure, not quite as convienient as a laptop for some workloads, but for me personally it can do everything I was doing on my laptop, plus taking the place of my GPS, phone, camera, video camera, and mp3 player, while getting better battery life than all of the above, and being smaller than most of the above. For web browsing and multimedia it is more capable than a 2 year old netbook, while offering so much more.

    Desktops will stick around because you simply do not use a desktop for the same things you use a laptop for. You do not use a laptop for high end gaming, or as a file server, or for extreme workloads like HD video editing, or things that require a lot of screen realestate. You CAN get a laptop to do all of those things... it is just super expensive, and you end up with a pretty heavy laptop.

    But what happens when you start getting lightpeak (or some similar) connectivity on a phone? All of the sudden you would have a phone... which can attach to a NAS, or a real GPU with big displays, or whatever you want. Once you can do that then the traditional desktop becomes a glorified dock for your phone. The phone holds the OS, programs, and some bulk storage, and then the dock-like device would offer the processing power, and true mass storage, to be able to use your phone LIKE a desktop. It will not happen overnight, but it will start to happen in the next few years.

    When people talk about the desktop dying, they do not mean that the big screen, and keyboard, and mouse go away, but that smaller devices will be able to either provide, or at least host, the desktop experience. we already saw the first dockable phone come out in 2011. Just a matter of time until that gets taken to the next level.

    Your statement is basically just implicating that desktops won't improve while smartphones and the likes will continue to. While I partly agree that laptops may die out, desktops will NOT.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 31, 2012 11:34 AM
    thor220I would have to disagree with desktops dying anytime soon. By the time smartphones get lightpeak or thunderbolt, you will have connections magnitudes faster already out on desktops. There is just not enough space to pack the latest tech in a tiny phone, desktop will always have the edge there. Linked to the previous conclusion, GPUs are becoming faster each year as well. There is no way a phone will be able to fully utilize a high grade GPU anytime soon. The CPU power of a phone is 1/50th of a modern computer. You may be able to steam games or other services to your phone, but it isn't a "desktop" experience. A final point I would like to make: T.V. have huge pixels, phones screens are tiny, desktop monitors, just right.

    I do not disagree with you. Desktops will always have a place for the extreme high end of gaming and content creation. No argument there whatsoever. But that does not mean that the platform as a whole will not be 'dead'.
    Look at past great technologies like vinyl. Great tech that far out-strips the quality found in modern equipment, with the best 'DRM' the industry could ask for (you cannot copy it), and yet the entire industry has moved on to a much more convenient market. People still make record players, but it is a specialty thing.
    Look at servers for small to medium businesses. You no longer need a monster 4U rack to provide files to an office. A simple little consumer grade box has more than enough power for most companies, and some companies are foregoing the box altogether and just getting cloud services for their business. Servers will never disapear entirely as large corporations will always need them. But they will be needed by less and less people as server services can be provided by smaller and smaller devices.
    The desktop will be the same way. The NextBox is just going to be a Microsoft branded PC. Still a computer, still a personal computer in many respects, but decidedly a set-top box instead of a traditional desktop.
    Does a phone even need good graphics to play a game on a big screen? Perhaps the phone simply holds your licence and game saves, while the TV itself has all of the processing power to run the game, or perhaps the game is streamed to your devices so that there is little to no need to have a powerful computer in the home.

    All I know is that a few years ago in my little family of 2 we use to have 4 dekstops, 1 laptop, 2 netbooks, 2 phones, and a plethora of other single-purpose portable devices (ipods, gps, kindles, etc.). Fast forward 3 years and now we have 2 desktops and 2 smartphones, and that is it. And looking forward 5 years I am planning to move to 1 desktop/server for my work, 1 set-top/console for the kids, and 2 dock-able phones.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , December 31, 2012 2:07 PM
    I dunno CaedenV. My university has made laptops compulsory from next year, i'm just going to borrow an old Apple Notebook PC ( i mean a Macbook lol) from a family friend, throw in an SSD and install Mountain Lion, because that'll be the cheapest way to go about it. I wanted an ultrabook, but only in my final year, which is still 2 years away, my desktop is excessive for college work for now.

    Point is, anyone who wants to get any serious work done, will require a desktop laptop. NO ONE in my college carries only a tablet, it's usually laptop first, then tablet/phablet for handheld needs. I mean, i'd hate to even do word processing on an 11-inch screen, and i hate browsing the web on my ipod touch (4th gen) because it's just bad at it. plus the small screen.

    I work part time as a tech journo, so i NEED larger screens for my work, in fact maybe i'll shift to multi-monitors someday, but i think getting a 23-inch 1080p display would be more financially viable for now.

    And it'll be pointless carrying around a 13-inch tablet. Ultrabooks are slowly providing a compromise, with detachable screens, but i'm waiting to see what Broadwell brings to the table.

    In the meanwhile, i foresee Haswell coming to my desktop this year. \m/
  • 2 Hide
    Firedrops , December 31, 2012 3:25 PM
    mayankleoboy1If you do these things, you arent the average consumer anymore. You belong in the 1% of computer users.


    You fail to realise that the corporate market of desktops vastly outnumber the "average consumer"s. Handling spreadsheets, design works, simulations are all common purposes of corporate computers.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , January 1, 2013 3:23 AM
    CaedenVoh, but it is coming. laptops will die first over the next 2-3 years (replaced by phones and tablets), and then the desktop will follow 1-2 years later. People like you and I will continue to have a desktop a while longer than that, but to think that a desktop is not doomed is a bit short sighted at this point.I mean, I just got my first smartphone, and it pretty much completely replaces my need for a laptop. Sure, not quite as convienient as a laptop for some workloads, but for me personally it can do everything I was doing on my laptop, plus taking the place of my GPS, phone, camera, video camera, and mp3 player, while getting better battery life than all of the above, and being smaller than most of the above. For web browsing and multimedia it is more capable than a 2 year old netbook, while offering so much more.Desktops will stick around because you simply do not use a desktop for the same things you use a laptop for. You do not use a laptop for high end gaming, or as a file server, or for extreme workloads like HD video editing, or things that require a lot of screen realestate. You CAN get a laptop to do all of those things... it is just super expensive, and you end up with a pretty heavy laptop.But what happens when you start getting lightpeak (or some similar) connectivity on a phone? All of the sudden you would have a phone... which can attach to a NAS, or a real GPU with big displays, or whatever you want. Once you can do that then the traditional desktop becomes a glorified dock for your phone. The phone holds the OS, programs, and some bulk storage, and then the dock-like device would offer the processing power, and true mass storage, to be able to use your phone LIKE a desktop. It will not happen overnight, but it will start to happen in the next few years.When people talk about the desktop dying, they do not mean that the big screen, and keyboard, and mouse go away, but that smaller devices will be able to either provide, or at least host, the desktop experience. we already saw the first dockable phone come out in 2011. Just a matter of time until that gets taken to the next level.


    Laptops and desktops aren't dying. They may become less common, but they won't die anytime soon. Too many people rely on them in ways that smart phones and tablets can't replace them.
    Also, how can a three to five inch device (or going up to ten inch for tablets, maybe a little more) ever hope to give the same experience as something several times larger? The answer is simple. They can't. What experience they offer is not necessarily bad, but it is not the same as something that it is not.

    Even if you could attache a phone to a powerful discrete graphics card, what CPU are you going to use for it? The two to four watt SoC sure as hell won't be good enough for any serious gaming or similarly intensive workload.

    Also, a lot of people use laptops in ways that you listed as laptops not being used. How expensive it is doesn't matter when you need a mobile workstation because it pales in comparison to how much money the system would help you make.