DRAM density in tablet PCs rising: iSuppli

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 12

With the introduction of more tablet models that tackle increasingly sophisticated tasks, including video viewing, the amount of DRAM used in tablet PCs is expected to match those used in laptops today by 2015, IHS iSuppli said.

The amount of DRAM in tablets is set to jump 147 percent to an average of 676 megabytes (MB) this year, up from just 274MB last year, the market researcher said in a report last week.

Average DRAM in tablets is expected to rise to 1.3 gigabytes (GB) next year and hit 3.7GB in 2015 — an amount that matches those used in laptops nowadays, the report said.


That would translate into a compound annual growth rate of 68 percent from last year to 2015 for DRAM density in tablets, the US-based technology research firm said, attributing the growth to tablets handling more data-intensive applications such as video.

Tablets recently released to compete with Apple Inc’s iPad — including Xoom by Motorola Inc, TouchPad by Hewlett-Packard Co and BlackBerry Playbook by Research In Motion Ltd — are all equipped with 1GB of DRAM.

DRAM growth in tablets could have been greater if the iPad 2 came with 1GB instead of just 512MB, the report said.

“Apple’s choice to include only 512MB of DRAM isn’t really surprising given its attempt to focus on the overall tablet experience rather than product specifications,” iSuppli said.


Meanwhile, speculation is rife that the next version of the iPad might feature a Retina display similar to its iPhone 4 and iPod Touch. If this turns out to be true, it must be equipped with 1GB of DRAM, which will further boost DRAM density in tablets, it added.

DRAM growth in tablets is mirrored by a similar increase of DRAM density in smartphones, which is projected to grow 62 percent this year, iSuppli said.

“While both tablets and smartphones use less DRAM content per device than PCs, their combined shipments this year will however outnumber those of PCs and make them categories well worth watching in the DRAM space,” it said.