Smartphone DRAM growth explodes

One industry segment the smartphone is really propping up is DRAM – which will see triple digit growth this year alone. That’s three times faster than the rest of the DRAM market.

Shipments, measured by IHS in one gigabit equivalent units, should swell to an astonishing 1.7 billion in 2011. That’s an increase of 157.2 percent compared to 2010’s 672.0 million. IHS sees no sign of the boom slowing, claiming that by 2015, the shipments should hit 13.9 billion units. Or 700 percent growth from 2011.

Analysts at IHS say the proof is in the smartphone pudding. If you crack open a smartphone from 2010, for example the SGH T939 from Samsung, you’d only find 128MB of DRAM in the innards. But a Galaxy Indulge has 576MB of DRAM, and HTC’s Thunderbolt managed 768MB.

The sky’s the limit, according to IHS. Manufacturers want to cut costs in spending on memory – with the average expenditure in the general bill of materials sitting at 15.7 percent for the phones IHS looked at.

However, the density is just set to increase. Average DRAM density per device is looking like it’ll be a stonking 715MB next year, an increase of 55 percent. 

As such, smartphones continue to make inroads in total DRAM consumption. This year smartphones will account for 7.6 percent of all DRAM, compared to 4.4 percent in 2010. By 2015 smartphones will make up 16 percent of DRAM in the market.