It probably comes as no surprise to most people that cellular handsets are expected to consume more NAND flash than any other single product category in 2013. The surprising thing, really, is that this year will mark the first in which that is the case.
By now, cellphones are ubiquitous, of course. But it’s really the rise of the smartphone--and its increasing NAND content--that is giving the NAND market a much-needed shot in the arm, according to IHS iSuppli. The firm projects that the NAND market will grow about 10 percent this year after contracting about 5 percent last year.
Cellphones are set to become the world’s single largest consumer of flash memory in 2013, accounting for 24.6 percent of all global bit shipments, IHS said. In 2012, cellphones were the second largest consumer of flash, accounting for 23.3 percent, according to the firm.
"With smartphones accounting for an ever-increasing portion of the global cellphone business, the mobile handset market is demanding more and more memory—particularly flash," said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS, in a statement. "This is causing the cellphone business to eclipse all other application markets for flash usage. Indeed, the shift in flash demand is reflective of a widespread transition in technology markets to focus more on mobile platforms like smartphones."
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.