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SSD Shipments To Double As Prices Fall

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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SSD shipments are set for a boom period according to IDC, with prices to fall below 64 pence per gigbabyte

New research from IT anayltics firm IDC has predicted a bright future for the worldwide solid state storage market, driven by technology advancements, new enterprise server and storage architectures, and near-term hard disk drive (HDD) shortages.

The worldwide solid state storage industry revenue reached $5 billion (£3.2bn) in 2011, a 105 percent increase from the $2.4 billion (£1.6bn) in 2010, and IDC expects the market will expand further in 2012 and beyond, the company’s report projected.

Record Growth

IDC said it expects worldwide SSD shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.5 percent from 2010 to 2015.

The report noted pricing remains a key metric for SSD adoption in both the client and enterprise markets. IDC expects client SSD prices will fall below $1 (£0.64) per gigabyte in the second half of 2012, which will boost adoption in the PC market.

There are a number of dynamics influencing the PC market, from the growth in media tablets and Ultrabooks to the upcoming introduction of Windows 8 and increased use of caching solutions such as dual drives (systems containing both an SSD and an HDD). IDC believes the net effect of these dynamics supports increased SSD shipments.

The report also noted the flood in Thailand is disrupting the PC supply chain and the HDD industry’s ability to supply the market near term. OEMs will certainly face unavoidable HDD shortages and higher HDD prices in 1H 2012. These shortages will present a significant short term opportunity for SSD vendors as OEM customers look to SSD vendors to fill HDD supply gaps. The adoption of solid state storage as a complementary solution to HDD storage for enterprise applications is also driving SSD market growth, IDC researchers said.

Flash Uptake

“2011 was a record year for the worldwide SSD market, with revenue more than doubling year over year due to strong SSD shipment growth in the enterprise and client segments,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research director of solid state storage and hard disk drive components at IDC. “The increasing use of flash in enterprise solutions, explosive growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing is creating a perfect storm for increased SSD shipments and revenue over our forecast.”

The IDC study, Worldwide Solid State Storage 2011–2015 Forecast Update, updates the worldwide solid state drive forecast detailed in the company’s Worldwide Solid State Drive 2011–2015 Forecast and Analysis released in June 2011.

The SSD industry dynamics associated with the first half of 2011 and the end-device forecast changes are aggregated, analysed and applied to IDC’s long-term SSD forecast in terms of units and revenue (by form factor) for each consumption category of SSDs.