Computer memory refers to the physical devices which are used to store data or programs for use in a computer or other electronic device. There are many different types of memory storage including RAM (random access memory), DRAM (dynamic random access memory), and HDDs (hard disk drives).
In 2012, DRAM and flash memory made up 94 percent of the total memory semiconductor market, with DRAM alone contributing to over half of the industry’s revenue. From 2013 figures, Samsung stood as the largest manufacturer of memory semiconductors, holding more than a third of the overall market share. Today, Samsung is the major company in the memory sub-markets, holding a 47 percent share in the global DRAM chip market and a 34 percent share in the worldwide NAND flash memory market.
DRAM is a type of volatile memory which, unlike non-volatile flash memory, loses data quickly when cut off from a power supply. Compared to other varieties of volatile memory, DRAM is relatively structurally simple. Compared to SRAM (static RAM), which requires four to six transistors per bit, DRAM requires only one transistor and capacitor per bit. The DRAM market currently generates global revenues of around 11 billion U.S. dollars per quarter - or 40 billion U.S. dollars per year.
HDDs and SSDs (solid-state drives) are both forms of non-volatile memory commonly used for secondary storage in laptops and computers. HDDs remain the popular choice, with 481.33 million HDD units shipped in 2015. Yet usage of SSDs is rising, with a little over 100 million SSDs shipped globally in 2015. Again, Samsung appears as the market leader. In 2015, by quarter, Samsung's share of the SSD market never fell below 40 percent, and the company finished the year strongly with 47 percent of the overall SSD market by units shipped.
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