SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- At the JEDEX conference today, an executive from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. insisted the memory market is alive and well despite the current IC downturn, saying that a new class of digital applications will "digest" and propel the need for existing and next-generation devices in the market.
At the same time, the memory market is rapidly changing and moving away from its lowly and commodity-oriented status, declared Jon Kang, senior vice president product planning and application for the Memory Division at Samsung.
"I think we will see a paradigm shift in the memory market," Kang said. "Semiconductor memories have been looked at as commodities. But now, memories are becoming more divergent. I think we will see a lot more application-specific memories in the marketplace," said Kang, during a keynote speech at the first-ever JEDEX conference. The conference is being held in Santa Clara and co-sponsored by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association and other industry groups.
Kang's keynote, entitled "The Role of Semiconductor Memories in the Age of Digital Digestion," also indicated that the personal computer industry is no longer the key driver for DRAMs.
Instead, he predicted, a new class of consumer, mobile and networking products will emerge and cause a "proliferation of new memory types" in the market, such as fast-cycle DRAMs, reduced-latency DRAMs, and others.
The shift in DRAM technologies and applications will cause what the Samsung executive called a "digital digestion." For example, networking backbones are moving speeds from 2.5- to 10-gigabits-per-second and faster.
In another example, Kang said third-generation (3G) cellular-phones and other mobile devices are hitting the mainstream.
As a result of these developments, "the semiconductor memories have got to take different characteristics than before," the Samsung executive urged.