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Emerging Memories: Why Now?

November 12, 2019

Author: Jim Handy

Emerging memory technologies have been waiting to take over the market for decades, but that change seems closer today than it has in the past. The most significant path to success for any of these technologies is to cost-reduce, and this can be achieved by ramping to high production volumes. Such a ramp doesn’t make sense, though, unless there is a market willing to take the product, and this market will only develop if the cost is low enough. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem.

DRAM and NAND flash are expected to reach their scaling limits (the point at which they can no longer reduce cost through process shrinks) in the foreseeable future. When they do, an opportunity will open up for a new memory (e.g., MRAM, PCM, or ReRAM) to displace these older types, because all of the emerging technologies promise to scale well beyond the limits of today’s favorites. As these new technologies continue to scale, their cost per bit will fall below those of DRAM and NAND, allowing them to take a portion of the older technologies’ market.

This article, excerpted from a new report on emerging memories, explores the dynamics that will allow one or more new memory technologies to take over the market once established technologies reach their limits.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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