The semiconductor memory market will witness considerable expansion driven by the higher adoption of memory and storage components in moveable medical devices and healthcare equipment. These intelligent point-of-care devices include glucose, heart rate, continuous temperature, and pulse oximeter monitors and are used to store real-time diagnostic data, which can be later easily derived from the semiconductor memory. This information not only assists in analyzing the disease source but also renders early treatment and diagnosis of the targeted diseases.
On this note, it has been reported that the global semiconductor memory market size will reach over USD 180 billion in annual remuneration by 2027.
Below are the key trends likely to influence the industry expansion
Rising preference for MRAM semiconductor memories
Magneto-resistive Random-access Memory (MRAM) semiconductor memory industry is pegged to see a CAGR of nearly 15% in the analysis timeframe. This is mainly ascribing to the non-volatility, low power consumption, higher durability, faster read/write cycles, and enhanced data storage capacities for extended durations of the MRAM devices. This has pushed leading business participants to come up with MRAM chipsets for use in consumer electronics applications. To quote an instance, Samsung Electronics, in March 2019, launched the eMRAM, deployed with 28FDS process technology to offer higher performance and endurance in applications of embedded systems.
Expanding industrial application scope
Demand for semiconductor memories in industrial applications accounted for around 10% of the overall market share in 2020. This is owing to the incessant requirement for semiconductor memory chipsets across numerous industrial components. The rise in the number of smart factories in South Korea, Germany, China, and the U.S. has bolstered the adoption of IIoT devices, robotics, and automation equipment. According to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the number of registered smart factories in Korea reached 19,799 in 2020. This penetration will add a positive edge to the intake of semiconductor memory solutions in the industrial sector.
Europe to emerge as a key producer
The semiconductor memory industry share in Europe is poised to expand at a 5% CAGR up to 2027 driven by the increased automotive production and the prominent presence of leading automotive OEMs in the region. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association estimated that Europe produced close to 15.8 million passenger vehicles in FY2019, accounting for nearly 21% of the total passenger vehicle production in the world.
Furthermore, semiconductor memories are widely integrated with in-vehicle communications, instrument clusters, navigation systems, telematics, among several other automotive electronics. This has paved the path for advanced automotive safety systems, including self-driving cars in the region.
Competitive business initiatives
Suppliers of different semiconductor memory types are working towards inorganic marketing strategies, like mergers and acquisitions to gain competitive advantages. For instance, SK Hynix, Inc., in October 2020, struck an acquisition deal with Intel Corporation to obtain its NAND memory and storage business for USD 9 billion. This acquisition is inclusive of Intel’s NAND component and wafer business as well as the Dalian NAND memory production facility from NAND SSD business Intel, which is in China.
Impact of COVID-19 crisis
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic tremendously affected the growth of the semiconductor memory market particularly in the first two quarters of 2020 owing to the imposition of severe nationwide lockdowns by several governments. This made way for supply chain disruptions as well as international trade barriers with regard to raw materials and components. However, the emergence of the work-from-home policies supported the demand for semiconductor memories amidst the pandemic given the growing sales of consumer electronic devices, like tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
Rising advancements in medical science and equipment have given rise to multiple opportunities for semiconductor memory manufacturers in integrating AI and IoT technologies. There is also an escalating need for telematics, in-vehicle infotainment systems, instrument clusters, and ADAS solutions in advanced automotive and connected cars. The increasing developments in Flash memory, such as 3D NAND Flash drives to enhance the transmission speed while reducing latency will further complement the industry expansion.
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