Cell Phone Memory Industry Report 2009
02/08/2010

512Mb is a threshold in NOR flash memory, and the cost increases rapidly if it is higher than 350Mb. In addition, NOR flash memory has applied for limited fields and fewer clients.

Online PR News – 08-February-2010 – – 512Mb is a threshold in NOR flash memory, and the cost increases rapidly if it is higher than 350Mb. In addition, NOR flash memory has applied for limited fields and fewer clients. However, NAND flash memory has more and more cost advantages as capacity grows larger, and it has widely applied for more clients. Currently, the cell phone market changes rapidly, and the life cycle of a cell phone is usually less than five years, so NOR’s most outstanding advantage, long life, becomes meaningless as well. Although NOR flash memory cost will decline sharply after the entry of 65nm, Spansion is the sole which engages in NOR field. While in NAND, the powerful companies such as Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix, Micron and Intel all have gathered, and a large number of researchers will be involved once NAND has met any problems. Spansion, once No.1 in cell phone memory, has retreated from such field.

NAND will replace NOR flash memory if it is higher than 350Mb. The majority of manufacturers believed that it was not necessary that cell phones are with large-capacity NAND memory since they can rely on external memory card to achieve it. However, when cell phones with built-in large-capacity NAND memory launched by a small number of manufacturers have become popular, and others all have successively entered such field. Now, most of cell phone built-in NAND flash memory capacity becomes larger and larger, reaching 32 Gb at most, and promoted by eMMC, the smart phone NAND capacity is 1Gb at least.

Presently, all smart phones are provided with NAND+RAM memory, and around 60% of high-end cell phones have used NAND+RAM memory as well. In general, the medium and low-end cell phones adopt NOR+RAM memory, and most of ultra-low-end cell phones use NOR memory.

Except Apple, Sony Ericsson and Nokia, all smart phone manufacturers all adopt Samsung’s high-capacity memory. Toshiba has covered a high share in medium-end market, and Nokia’s support for eMMC has made Toshiba have larger development space. The main clients of Numonyx are Sony Ericsson, unlicensed cell phone manufacturers in China, Apple and manufacturers from Japan. Without support of RAM, Numonyx NAND+RAM memory has developed slowly. Spansion is adept in NOR, but serious lack of technologies for NAND and RAM. Being the new comers, Micron and Hynix both have shown powerful strength in NAND+RAM field, and they are capable of seizing market share from Samsung. Hynix has become Motorola’s supplier, and LG is also with great possibility to become another customer.

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