Market Watch

eMMC Memory Shipments to Climb 62 Percent in 2011


Use of the portable storage medium will grow in high-end devices like smartphones and tablets
The ash memory product known as Embedded MultiMedia Card (eMMC) is set to enjoy a 62 percent jump in shipments for 2011, helped by increased proliferation in smart devices like mobile handsets and media tablets, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Shipments this year of eMMC are projected to reach 333.7 million units, up from 206.0 million units in 2010. Approximately 23 percent of all handsets in 2011—equivalent to some 239.7 million units—will feature eMMC, with the percentage to rise to 37 percent in two years’ time. Other important eMMC segments will include tablets, e-book readers and portable navigation devices with global positioning systems (GPS). And in place of the lower-density memory that camcorders and set-top boxes now use, those devices also are looking at the feasibility of using eMMC, which provides a cost-effective, long-term solution with standardized pinouts.

Shipments of eMMC will continue to rise in the next few years, climbing 42.3 percent to 474.9 million units in 2012, on their way to 779.1 million units by 2015. Handsets will account for the majority portion of the eMMC market, reaching 560.1 million units by 2015 for a 72 percent share. Tablets, the second largest application market, will see eMMC shipments to the segment soar from 18 million units this year to 148 million within four years.

 Flash Memory Forecast

The evolution of eMMC has been rapid, with nearly annual enhancements to performance. As an economical choice for greater flash-memory densities, eMMC has become viable in high-end markets like smartphones and tablets, in which high-density storage capacity is required along with low-power consumption and a small footprint, IHS iSuppli research indicates.

In particular, the 4.5 eMMC specification adds several new capabilities to increase longevity, including a single-data-rate HS200 mode at 200 megabytes per second, which nearly doubles existing memory transfer speeds. The specification also enables the addition of a volatile cache, which further leverages eMMC portioning to enable faster performance.

As NAND technology vectors into more segment-specific solutions, eMMC is poised to gain increasing momentum, IHS believes. It brings compatibility across multiple suppliers, long-term support and acceptable cost parameters. Moreover, the product’s enhanced reliability and performance will serve to recommend its continued application in future high-end devices, assuring reliable growth of the eMMC market for the next few years. 

Read More > Devices Keying the eMMC Surge