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SSD revenue to soar

Renewed Ultrabook hopes to propel SSD market to new highs

SSD revenue to soar
Ultrabooks based on Intel’s Haswell microprocessor platform have the potential to catch on with consumers, says IHS iSuppli.

A new generation of lower-cost and more appealing Ultrabooks are expected to help cause global shipments of solid state drives (SSDs) to more than double in 2013, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief.

According to the report, worldwide SSD shipments are set to rise to 83 million units this year, up from 39 million in 2012. The report stated that shipments are set to continue to rise 239 million units in 2016, amounting to about 40% of the size of the hard disk drive (HDD) market.

"The fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for Ultrabooks and other ultrathin PCs that use cache drives," said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS. "While SSD shipments rose by 124% last year, growth actually fell short of expectations because Ultrabook sales faltered due to poor marketing, high prices and a lack of appealing features. However, if sales of the new generation of Ultrabooks take off this year as expected, the SSD market is set for robust growth."

Chien said the Ultrabooks loaded with Windows 8 have started to generate enthusiasm, with the superthin computers likely to pick up more steam this year. "Upcoming Ultrabooks based on Intel's Haswell microprocessor architecture have the potential to catch on with consumers. These factors should boost SSD prospects this year," he said.

The report pointed out that another factor driving growth is that average selling price (AVP) for NAND flash memory has come down and in the process establishing new price expectations. The lower prices are attracting deal-seeking consumer enthusiasts, as well as an increasing number of PC manufacturers that are now more willing to install the once-costly drives into computers, said IHS.

In the enterprise sector, IHS noted that SSD use is growing thanks to product introductions from major vendors and startups.

The report pointed that as NAND rides out variable cost and scale curves in ever-more efficient manufacturing processes, such things as solid-state PCs, servers and storage arrays become more achievable and attainable.

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