AI Advancements to Power DRAM and NAND Flash Business in 2024: TrendForce

There will be significant growth in both DRAM and NAND Flash, particularly in AI applications spanning smartphones, servers, and notebooks, due to demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
DRAM and NAND estimate for 2024Forecasts from TrendForce suggest that the server sector is poised for substantial growth, with projections indicating a 17.3 percent rise in content per box for server DRAM and a 13.2 percent increase in enterprise SSDs. This surge is attributed to the rollout of advanced AI chips, prominently championed by key players such as NVIDIA, AMD, and CSP ASICs, catering to the escalating demand for AI servers.

In the smartphones, despite concerted efforts by chipmakers to enhance processing performance, the absence of new AI functionalities has somewhat tempered the overall impact of AI. The oversupply-induced drop in memory prices during 2023 resulted in a 17.5 percent increase in average DRAM capacity and a 19.2 percent rise in NAND Flash capacity per smartphone. However, with no anticipated new applications in 2024, the growth rates in content per box for both DRAM and NAND Flash are expected to decelerate to 14.1 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

In the server industry, where the demand for AI servers is on the rise, the introduction and mass production of advanced AI chips by industry giants like NVIDIA, AMD, and CSP ASICs have been instrumental. Given that AI servers predominantly rely on DRAM for high-speed computing, the content per box for server DRAM is expected to outpace that of NAND Flash, with an annual growth rate of 17.3 percent, while enterprise SSDs are anticipated to experience growth at a rate of 13.2 percent.

Shifting focus to the notebook market, Microsoft’s AI PC specifications mandate CPUs with a capability exceeding 40 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS). Processors meeting these specifications, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, AMD’s Ryzen 8000 series (Strix Point), and Intel’s Lunar Lake, are expected to become widely available in the latter half of 2024, providing limited short-term momentum for increasing memory capacity.

AI PC hardware requirements emphasize expanding DRAM capacity to 16 GB, without a corresponding demand for a 1TB SSD. Consequently, the year-over-year growth rate for DRAM in laptops is projected to be around 12.4 percent, with expectations of more pronounced growth in 2025 as AI PCs enter mass production. Meanwhile, client SSDs are also witnessing an upward trend in content per box, but due to a sharp rebound in NAND Flash prices, their annual growth rate is estimated to be a modest 9.7 percent.