Mobile DRAM: Poised to Boom

Mobile DRAM industry to boom. Here's how you can profit from it.

Mar 12, 2014 at 10:30AM

Big changes are under way in the mobile DRAM industry. LPDDR3 memory modules are gradually replacing mainstream LPDDR2 modules. In addition, Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) and Micron (NASDAQ:MU) have developed their latest LPDDR4 modules for high-performance mobile devices. What does this technical jargon mean and how can you profit from it? Let's find out. 

Necessary iterations
LPDDR, or low-power DDR, memory is designed to operate on low voltages to reduce the overall power consumption of mobile devices. Similar to its desktop counterparts, LPDDR memory has evolved from LPDDR1 to LPDDR2, LPDDR3, and eventually LPDDR4.

From the perspective of performance gains, LPDDR3 is about 60% faster than LPDDR2. When compared with LPDDR3 modules, LPDDR4 is about 50% faster, while consuming 40% less power. 


Source: Memcon

The need for the latest mobile DRAM modules is illustrated in the chart above. With each iteration of LPPDR memory, capable processors get access to a faster memory bus. This, in turn, allows mobile devices to render content at higher resolutions and access memory locations at a rapid rate.

The future of LPDDR memory
Speaking of deployment, Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5s are currently equipped with LPDDR3 modules. Heading into 2014, however, Samsung and Apple will reportedly equip their flagship devices -- the upcoming Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, respectively -- with the next-generation LPDDR4 memory. 

This move will enable both consumer goods giants to deliver unrivaled user experience, and consequently, contribute to expanding their market share.

Meanwhile, TrendForce estimates that LPDDR3 will replace LPDDR2 as the mainstream memory standard during 2014. With a major memory update on the cards, the research firm expects mobile DRAM shipments to exceed PC DRAM shipments in the current year. This suggests that leading mobile DRAM manufacturers can have a great year ahead. 

Prime beneficiaries
Considering that Samsung is the largest DRAM manufacturer by market share, it stands to benefit greatly. The consumer goods giant unveiled the industry's first LPDDR4 memory modules in December last year, and shorty after, they were sent to programmers and software developers for rigorous testing and sampling purposes. 

The company will unveil its Galaxy S5 on April 11, and going by the rumors, it might just be the first mass-produced smartphone to be equipped with LPDDR4 memory. With that, Samsung's mobile DRAM portfolio will consist LPDDR2, LPDDR3, and LPDDR4 modules. 

Mobile DRAM Market Share


Market Share



SK Hynix




Nanya Technology


Windbond Electronics


Source: TrendForce

Micron is another beneficiary here. The company acquired Elpida Memory last year, which strengthened its foothold in the mobile DRAM segment and brought valuable clients like Apple along. Investors should note that Apple uses about 80% of Elpida's installed DRAM manufacturing capacity, and it represents about 13% of Micron's net sales. 

The pure-play memory manufacturer currently makes LPDDR2 and LPDDR3 modules and has sent its LPDDR4 modules for sampling. Considering that Apple is heavily reliant on Elpida Memory for its DRAM memory needs, Micron won't have to scout for willing buyers for its next-gen modules.

Foolish final thoughts
The mobile DRAM industry is expected to drive growth in overall DRAM shipments. So, it's a good strategy to invest in companies that have significant exposure to the mobile DRAM segment. Where Samsung offers diversified and balanced growth, Micron, being a pure-play memory manufacturer, tends to offer explosive returns. 

An Internet revolution is upon us. Are you set to profit?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Piyush Arora has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers