The year ahead should be an interesting one, as wheels set in motion last year propel the sector into the future. Let’s take a quick look at the five technologies and trends that made headlines in 2012 and promise to stay in the spotlight in coming months.
Life beyond PCs
In Q212, for the first time in 30 years, PC consumption dipped below 50%
. It’s official, says IHS iSupply, we’re in the post-PC era. According to their recent market report, PCs consumed less than half of the DRAMs shipped in the second quarter, down from 55% at the beginning of 2008. That’s an important change. For decades, the PC market was the 10-ton gorilla, driving design and production decisions made by DRAM manufacturers. As a result of new technologies and changes in usage patterns, the market is shifting toward portable designs and embedded systems.
"The arrival of the post-PC era doesn’t mean that people will stop using personal computers, or even necessarily that the PC market will stop expanding," said Clifford Leimbach, memory analyst at IHS. "What the post-PC era does mean is that personal computers are not at the center of the technology universe anymore—and are seeing their hegemony over the electronics supply chain erode." By the end of 2013, the PC DRAM market should shrink another 6%, while the mobile phone sector is expected to grow by almost 20%.