Automotive memory demand promising

Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Memory chipmakers and related controller suppliers have stepped up their deployments in the automotive field, looking to grasp new business opportunities.

Companies including Micron Technology, Nanya Technology, Winbond Electronics, Phison Electronics and Silicon Motion Technology have all made forays into the automotive memory market, which is expected to see extraordinary growth over the next several years, according to industry sources.

Automotive contributes less than 3% to total memory consumption, but demand coming from the sector is set to grow robustly thanks to the emerging smart vehicle and Internet of Vehicles (IoV) applications, the sources believe.

Micron introduced recently its new automotive LPDDR5, which is part the company's new portfolio of memory and storage products targeted for automotive functional safety based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262 standard.

Micron said previously that the company expects cars will be completely capable of self-driving by 2025. Such cars will require 74GB of DRAM and 1TB of NAND, according to the US vendor.

Winbond and Nanya both offer specialty DRAM chips for automotive applications. Winbond also provides automotive flash solutions and has over 10% of revenue generated from the automotive sector. Automotive also contributes over 10% to Nanya's overall specialty DRAM revenue, according to company sources.

Flash device controller specialist Phison regards automotive as its next business focus and future growth driver. The emerging self-driving and IoV technologies will be pushing up total memory consumption in the automotive sector through 2025, Phison indicated. The market for automotive storage is also forecast to rise at a CAGR of 15.6% through 2025.

Silicon Motion has expressed optimism about sales generated from the automotive sector this year. The company provides automotive grade storage solutions, including SSD, eMMC and UFS controllers, as well as FerriSSD, Ferri-eMMC and Ferri-UFS single-chip solutions for in-vehicle infotainment and autonomous driving applications. Silicon Motion also disclosed its automotive storage solutions are fabricated in TSMC's automotive-qualified wafer production process and meet AEC-Q100 and ASPICE qualifications.

According to Gartner, the automotive memory market will grow to US$6.3 billion in 2024, compared to US$2.4 billion in 2020.