John Tu, president and co-founder of Kingston Technology, the world’s largest maker of memory modules, has issued a list of rather interesting predictions for 2010. The high-ranking executive seems to be confident in the memory market in general and believes that the next year will be an exciting one as the global economy will continue to recover.
The president of Kingston believes in increased adoption of solid-state drives (SSDs), completion of transition to DDR3 and further rise of USB sticks’ capacities. However, the president of Kingston does not believe in wide adoption of cloud computing or USB 3.0 in 2010. Here are Mr. Tu’s predictions for developments in the memory market in 2010 and the trends that are likely to emerge:
- SSD technology adoption is set to kick off – Greater production of NAND, and the wide adoption of Windows 7, which includes a number of SSD-specific performance-enhancing features, will make this technology a mainstream part of the PC storage portfolio for corporate and personal users in 2010, the president of Kingston predicts.
- SSDs will get more affordable and more capacious – With pricing getting closer to the $100 barrier, we expect that prices for SSDs in 2010 will continue to decline as vendors refine production processes and NAND die shrinks continue, commented Mr. Tu. The lower pricing will directly result in capacity increases as costs come down. Thus, capacities of SSDs will continue to soar, with 1TB drives on the horizon already.
- Capacities of USB flash memory sticks to continue increasing – With 256GB capacities now available, gave USB capacities been pushed to the limit? Of course not. In 2010 the trend will be to keep on increasing capacities as technological advancements of chip density will further push this tendency, claims John Tu.
- Transition to DDR3 will be completed in 2010 – JEDEC-based DDR3 memory modules were launched by most manufacturers in the summer of 2007, however, as with most new technologies implementation has taken some time and this time it was longer than usually. It is predicted that DDR3 shipments will rise to account for more than half of the global DRAM market by the second quarter of next year. What is more, according to DRAMeXchange, DDR3 based platforms are expected to account for 90% of new systems sales by the end of 2010, leading the PC memory technology, the president of Kingston noted.
- Improved confidence and continued consolidation in the memory market – As predicted last year, consolidation in the DRAM market has taken its toll in 2009, helping the industry’s recovery. The continued increase in prices and the recent narrowing of chipmakers’ losses come as an indicator of the upturn in the industry. Yet, with consolidation expected to continue in 2010, caution will be a top priority for manufacturers. DRAM supply and demand is projected to improve in 2010 in junction with the general global economic resurgence, hopes Mr. Tu.
- SuperSpeed USB 3.0: not for 2010 – USB 3.0 technology has been in the news for quite some time already, however we are yet to see a move from major vendors seeking to push USB 3.0 compatible motherboards. With specifications confirmed to support data transfer rates of up to transfer rates of up to 5Gb/s (625MB/s), which is 10 times faster than the previous high-speed USB 2.0 transfer speeds, this new interface will truly set a new standard and also push demand for high capacity USBs as data transfer times are reduced. The first boards supporting USB 3.0 have begun shipping, with compatible USB drives expected in 2010. How quickly this new interface will find its way into the market is yet to be seen. John Tu asserts that USB 2.0 will remain the major standard throughout 2010 with USB 3.0 becoming stronger in 2011.
- Cloud Computing will not go mass in 2010 – The buzz around cloud computing reached its highest this year, with Gartner placing cloud computing at the peak of its hype cycle. However, widespread implementation of cloud services has not taken the industry by a storm yet, as enterprises still need to understand the real benefits and the best way to use the technology. Hype and confusion aside, there is no doubt in the industry that the operational and economic model of cloud computing will transform IT over the next few years, says the co-founder of Kingston. The road to economic recovery and increased IT budgets should help adoption of cloud services only in late 2010.
- Increase in power and costs savings by IT equipments will get more widespread – The uptake of lower energy IT equipment, such as SSD drives, and higher capacity memory modules have proved that organisations are definitely looking further into the future, by investing to reap costs saving benefits over the next years. During the course of 2010, we will see more organisations upgrading and extending the use of their server and client systems as well as implementing technology, software and solutions to reduce overall costs and become much more efficient.