Kingston Technology 2010 Predictions & Trends for the Memory Market

John Tu, President and co-founder of Kingston Technology, the independent world leader
in memory products,  discusses his predictions for developments in the
memory market in 2010 and the trends that are likely to emerge, such as
increased adoption of Solid State Drives (SSDs), USB 3.0 and DDR3
technology, all coupled with  improved confidence in the memory market.

SSD technology adoption to kick off – Greater
production of NAND, and the wide adoption of Windows 7, which includes
a number of SSD-specific performance-enhancing features, will make this
technology a mainstream part of the PC storage portfolio for corporate
and personal users in 2010. With complete bundle upgrade kits available
on the market, implementing SSDs really is painless and straight
forward with immediate performance gains.

Pricing & capacity evolution of SSDs – With
pricing getting closer to the $100 barrier, we expect that prices for
SSDs in 2010 will continue to decline as vendors refine production
processes and NAND die shrinks continue. The lower pricing will
directly result in capacity increases as costs come down. Thus,
capacities of SSDs will continue to soar, with
1 Terabyte drives on the horizon already.

USB sticks capacity to further rise? – With 256GB
capacities now available, Have USB capacities been pushed to the limit?
Of course not. In 2010 the trend will be to keep on increasing
capacities as technological advancements of chip density will further
push this tendency.

Improved confidence and continued consolidation in the memory market –
As predicted last year, consolidation in the DRAM market has taken its
toll in 2009, helping the industry’s recovery. The continued increase
in prices and the recent narrowing of chipmakers’ losses come as an
indicator of the upturn in the industry. Yet, with consolidation
expected to continue in 2010, caution will be a top priority for
manufacturers. DRAM supply and demand is projected to improve in 2010
in junction with the general global economic resurgence.

Cloud Computing – The buzz around cloud computing reached its highest this year, with Gartner placing cloud computing at the peak of its hype cycle.
However, widespread implementation of cloud services has not taken the
industry by a storm yet, as enterprises still need to understand the
real benefits and the best way to use the technology. Hype and
confusion aside, there is not doubt in the industry that the
operational and economic model of cloud computing will transform IT
over the next few years. The road to economic recovery and increased IT
budgets should help adoption of cloud services in late 2010.

Increase in power and costs savings IT equipments– The
uptake of lower energy IT equipment, such as SSD drives, and higher
capacity memory modules have proved that organisations are definitely
looking further into the future, by investing to reap costs saving
benefits over the next years. During the course of 2010, we will see
more organisations upgrading and extending the use of their server and
client systems as well as implementing technology, software and
solutions to reduce overall costs and become much more efficient.

DDR3 Technology take up – JEDEC based DDR3 memory
modules were launched by most manufacturers in the summer of 2007,
however, as with most new technologies implementation has taken some
time. It is predicted that DDR3 shipments will rise to account for more
than half of the global DRAM market by the second quarter of next year.
What is more, according to DRAMeXchange, DDR3 based platforms are
expected to account for 90% of new systems sales by the end of 2010,
leading the PC memory technology. For new PC users across the board,
this means faster performance and lower power consumption.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 – USB 3.0 technology has been in
the news for quite some time already, however we are yet to see a move
from major vendors seeking to push USB 3.0
compatible motherboards. With specifications confirmed to support data
transfer rates of up to 4.8GB/s, more than three times faster than a
USB 2.0, this new interface will truly set a new standard and also push
demand for high capacity USBs as data transfer times are reduced. The
first boards supporting USB 3.0 have begun shipping, with compatible
USB drives expected in 2010. How quickly this new interface will find
its way into the market is yet to be seen. USB 2.0 will remain the
major standard throughout 2010 with USB 3.0 becoming stronger in 2011.”


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