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Average DRAM Density in Tablets to Rise by 147 Percent in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, CA —The amount of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) in media tablets will jump 147 percent in 2011 to an average of 676 megabytes (MB), according to new IHS iSuppli research.

“With tablets handling more data-intensive applications such as video, the average DRAM content in these platforms during 2011 will be about two-and-a-half times more than last year’s 274MB,” said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM & memory at IHS. “The rapid expansion will continue next year, when average DRAM in tablets reaches approximately 1.3 gigabytes (GB). In 2015, tablets will have DRAM content similar to that of today’s laptops, reaching 3.7GB.” Tablet DRAM density will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68 percent from 2010 to 2015, as shown in the attached figure.

Despite the substantial increase this year of DRAM content in tablets, growth could have been even greater if Apple Inc.’s recently released iPad 2 turned out to have the full 1GB of DRAM—similar to the iPad’s competitors, which prior assumptions seemed to indicate—instead of just 512MB. In comparison, the Xoom by Motorola, the TouchPad by Hewlett-Packard and the BlackBerry Playbook by Research In Motion—tablet devices competing with the iPad—each has 1GB of DRAM.

Apple’s choice to include only 512MB of DRAM isn’t really surprising, however, given that the company is attempting to focus on the overall tablet experience rather than its product specifications, IHS believes. Just the same, Apple’s dominance of the tablet market at present—taken in consideration with the 512MB in its iPad devices—means that the overall increase in DRAM content this year was much less than if Apple had used 1GB.

Meanwhile, speculation abounds that the next version of the iPad might feature a Retina display similar to Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPod Touch. If this turns out to be true, DRAM content surely will jump to 1GB, Howard predicts, which then would alter the forecast and result in even greater DRAM content growth in tablet devices. Future releases of the iOS operating system by Apple might also unleash iPad functionality that could require more DRAM.

DRAM growth in tablets is mirrored by a similar increase of DRAM content this year in smart phones, projected to grow 62 percent; and in tablets, expected to climb 33 percent. Around the 2012 to 2013 time frame, tablets will become a significant DRAM category rivaling smart phones, IHS iSuppli research indicates. And while both tablets and smart phones use less DRAM content per device than PCs, their combined shipments in 2011 will outnumber those of PCs, making them categories well worth watching in the DRAM arena.

Learn more about the latest developments in the DRAM market at: IHS iSuppli

3 comments on “Average DRAM Density in Tablets to Rise by 147 Percent in 2011

  1. jbond
    March 30, 2011

    It would seem like the tablets are going through the same thing PC's and laptops went through over the past two decades. Every six months to a year the average amount of memory and hard drive space always seemed to expand drastically. You could buy a brand new computer and six months later the new ones in the store made your six month old seem ancient. At what point is all this expansion going to stop?

  2. saranyatil
    March 31, 2011

    In todays Era this one of the important aspect for tablets / PC's / laptops etc, everyone wants their gadget to fly like a jet in speed hence definitely the Ram should be high and similarly more capacity to be given this automatically becomes the must add on th all the next gens of the products.

  3. Wale Bakare
    April 7, 2011

    I foresee exponential increase in memory of smartphones and tablet computers nearer than the predictions. The pace at which consumers responding to mobile gadgets too alarming. Tablet computers are becoming more appealling to quite few people – its obsession by people will only be credited to portablity. It will still call for more memory capacity,  surely as predicted.

    Imagine how mobile phone storing data amount to millions – may be trillions of information in nearest future.


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