NAND value threatens DRAM market

July 25, 2011 — NAND flash is a serious threat to the DRAM memory industry in PCs, according to Objective Analysis, which reviewed a series of nearly 300 PC benchmarks. Objective Analysis released "How PC NAND Will Undermine DRAM," compiling these data points.

"We looked at the performance of industry-standard benchmarks in PCs with a range of DRAM and NAND configurations, and were rather surprised to find that even today a dollar’s worth of NAND improves PC performance more than does a dollar’s worth of DRAM," commented Jim Handy, who authored the study.  "Over time the price/performance gap between these two technologies will widen."

AS NAND encroaches more and more on DRAM, DRAM sector revenues will decline further, pushing consolidation, and the eventual rise of a fabless DRAM market.

NAND is more likely to displace a computer’s DRAM than its hard disk drives (HDDs), Objective Analysis found, which is in line with other predictions. "An appropriate balance of NAND, DRAM, and an HDD yields superior performance per dollar to a simple DRAM/HDD system," commented Handy.  "A well-designed NAND/DRAM combination brings SSD-like performance to a system at little or no price increase over a standard system based on the conventional DRAM-plus-HDD platform."

"DRAM makers will have to do some serious thinking about their future," says Handy.  "Since the middle 1990s the market has consolidated from 17 important players down to seven, and when PCs move to NAND the pace of this consolidation will increase."

The study: How PC NAND Will Undermine DRAM includes figures depicting the nature of the NAND/DRAM trade-off and forecasts based on this information illustrating its impact upon both the DRAM and NAND markets.

Objective Analysis is a semiconductor market research and business consulting firm covering all aspects of the semiconductor industry, market, and applications. Learn more at

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