DRAM density in tablets set to rise by 147%

El Segundo, Calif. — The amount of DRAM in media tablets will jump 147 percent in 2011 to an average of 676 megabytes (MB), according to a media tablet report from IHS iSuppli.

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 packed 1GB — instead of 512 MB of DRAM — similar to the iPad’s competitors, including the Xoom by Motorola, the TouchPad by Hewlett-Packard and the BlackBerry Playbook by Research In Motion, according to IHS.

IHS iSuppli reports that tablet DRAM density will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68 percent from 2010 to 2015.
“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 274 MB,” said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM & memory at HIS, in a statement. “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 3.7 GB.”

Howard reports there is some speculation that the next iPad version might feature a Retina display similar to Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPod Touch, which would increase the DRAM content to 1 GB. In addition, future releases of the iOS operating system by Apple might also provide iPad functionality that could require more DRAM, he noted.

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, said IHS. The market researcher expects that DRAM demand for tablets will rival smart phones around 2012/2013.

In addition, while both tablets and smart phones use less DRAM content per device than PCs, their combined shipments in 2011 will outnumber those of PCs, said IHS.