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A Quick Look at Embedded Memory Trends

Here’s another piece in my “quick look” series that provides a glimpse at the Chip Design & partner trends database. This database represents over 44K unique chip design architectural investigations collected since 1995.

This time, my focus is on embedded (on-chip) memory trends. These “quick looks” are not intended as rigorous technology reports, but rather as a glimpse  – another datapoint -  to be considered. Often, these “quick looks” do lead to future articles on the subject (depending upon the interest and response from readers). So with those caveats, let’s look at embedded memory.

From a weighted-average trend-line standpoint, embedded-memory usage actually exhibits a dip in recent quarters.  After seeming to average around 2.2Mbit, the trend line seems to be approaching 1.5Mbits.

For embedded memory usage, less than 1.0 Mbit is the sweet spot.

What does this all mean? Jordan Selburn, Principal Analyst for Semiconductor Design at iSuppli, shared these thoughts:

iSuppli data (from the Design Content Database) shows that, despite the ongoing decline in ASSP/ASIC design activity, the number of designs with embedded memory – particularly logic non-volatile memory and embedded DRAM – continues to increase. While the number of embedded DRAM ASSPs/ASICs may be only a relatively small portion of the overall number of chips being designed, these chips have a number of opportunities in the consumer space, especially mobile video, and in networking applications.

What do you think?

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