PCM, MRAM will lead in non-volatile memory

December 03, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
After more than 40 years in development chalcogenide phase-change memory (PCM) will hit the big time and gain annual sales of about $5 billion in 2023, according to market analysis firm Yole Developpement.

This will represent about 83 percent of an annual stand-alone emerging non-volatile memory market worth about $6.1 billion in 2023 up from $273 million in 2018. This is a compound annual growth rate of about 86 percent.

The CAGR will be higher for PCM which is forecast to take market share at the expense of spin torque transfer magnetoresistive RAM (STT-MRAM). Stand-alone resistive RAM (ReRAM) is expected to move from an almost insignificant amount of sales in 2018 to a healthy but distant second place to PCM by 2023.

Emerging non-volatile memory market broken by technology market share in stand-alone and embedded applications. Source: Yole Developpement.

This growth of stand-alone non-volatile memory will be mainly driven by use as a so-called storage-class memory (SCM) and for the benefit of the pioneers of PCM Intel and Micron who have pushed 3D XPoint memory based on PCM. It is notable that SK Hynix is researching a similar approach to Intel and Micron (see IEDM: SK Hynix makes PCM-based 3D crosspoint memory).

"Although momentum is building around emerging NVM for embedded applications, stand-alone memories will be the dominant market, which will be mainly driven by SCM enterprise and client applications," said Simone Bertolazzi, an analyst at Yole, in a statement.

DRAM scaling will continue for the next five years but at a slower rate than previously, according to Yann de Charentenay, senior analyst at Yole. NAND flash memory capacity will also keep increasing thanks to advancements in 3D integration. So emerging NVM will not replace stand-alone DRAM and NAND flash but will complement them in combination memories.

Next: ReRAM misses out


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