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Edge Computing Will Drive the Growth of Micro Server, Boosting the Demand for Server DRAM, Says TrendForce

25 July 2018 Semiconductors Mark Liu

DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, estimates that x86-based solutions will continue to be the market mainstream in 2018, with a global shipment share of 97%. Intel and AMD will continue to lead the development of server. Particularly, in the sector of Internet Datacenter, solutions based on the x86 architecture will still dominate the market due to its wide product range.

According to Mark Liu, senior analyst at DRAMeXchange, enterprise servers contribute to around 60% of the global server shipments, while hyperscale server applications account for around 30%. The demand for micro servers used in edge computing is projected to see significant growth in the next 3 to 5 years due to the construction of data center and the implementation of 5G after 2020. This trend is also expected to drive the demand for related components and DRAM products considerably.

The average content per box continues to see 20% annual growth in 2019 as Intel and AMD promote new platforms

Currently, x86-based solutions are still the market mainstream, while the penetration rate of Intel’s Purley platform has reached about 50%. Meanwhile, AMD has been migrating to products based on 14nm process. Previous product lines will be phased out as the wafer starts of 14nm process gradually increase. As for ARMv8 and RISC architecture, products are built to order at this stage with small production volume, mainly for the data center market. These two architectures are not able to compete with x86 servers until 2020, but may be adopted in more applications after that as the penetration rate of micro servers increases.

In terms of the product roadmap, Intel's Cascade Lake will still be based on the third-generation 14nm process, but would not become the mainstream until the second half of 2019. AMD's new solution will migrate to the 7nm process, with its EPYC Series becoming the main product line this year. The AMD Rome platform server processor will also have a chance to come onto the market in the second half of next year.

DRAMeXchange notes that, the penetration of new platforms may drive the average content per box. The average density of DRAM in servers will continue to see 20% annual growth in 2019.

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