As the Asian community celebrates Chinese New Year, most companies around the world enjoy a planned respite from the busy world of electronics. However, with the growth of The Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to increase, manufacturers cannot afford to rest for too long. The number of connected devices is anticipated to reach the billions and all of these devices contain memory as a crucial part of this construction.
A rapidly developing niche in the IoT is wearable devices, such as smart watches and fitness bands. In response to this market growth, Samsung is introducing a new memory package that combines DRAM and eMMC called ePoP (embedded Package-on-Package). Originally designed for smartphones, this new package will also play a major role in wearables due to its reduced size that opens up room for a larger battery. ePoP merges a 3GB LPDDR3 DRAM and 32GB eMMC, along with a controller, and can be stacked on a mobile processor. The new design is also heat resistant due to a new technological solution from Samsung that prevents the chips from reaching a malfunction-level temperature range. In fact, wearables will cause design changes in other components in order to meet consumer demand for an inconspicuous device that they can put on.
Continuing on the theme of high-temp NAND, SanDisk introduced an automotive-grade NAND flash product line in response to the increasing demand for infotainment systems and connected cars. There is a big market open for those chip manufacturers who build for the connectivity and multimedia markets. By acquiring the AEC-Q100 certification for this new line of non-volatile memory, Sandisk is hoping to capture a big chunk of the available business. Another big trend in computing is the transition from conventional hard disk drives (HDDs) to solid state drives (SSDs); the auto industry is starting to move that direction too, opening up the gates for auto-grade NAND flash.
Just as previously predicted, 2015 should stack up to be a big year for NAND. Between the growth of new markets and increased applications for this type of memory, both chip and OEM manufacturers will likely increase demand and orders of 2D and 3D, or vertical, NAND as this year moves along.