Solid-state drives are projected to become much more capacious, but more affordable in the coming years, according to Micron, a major maker of flash memory that powers SSDs. In general, the company believes that solid-state storage will get more affordable. On the SSD front, absolutely, I think the pricing will help increase density per drive, yet more advanced.
"On the SSD front [...] I think the pricing will help increase density per box, or per drive," said Steven Appleton, chief executive officer of Micron, at a conference call with financial analysts.
SSDs are currently much more expensive than traditional hard disk drives, yet they provide better performance and reliability. Lower prices would tangibly help SSDs to gain ground and market share primarily in the space of small computers that require storage devices in 1.8" form-factor.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal year, Micron had net income attributable to Micron shareholders of $342 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.5 billion, and generated a quarterly record $1.1 billion in cash flows from operations. The results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 compare to net income of $939 million (including $488 million in gains from the Numonyx acquisition), or $0.92 per diluted share, on net sales of $2.3 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2010, and a net loss of $100 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, on net sales of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
For the 2010 fiscal year, the company had net income attributable to Micron shareholders of $1.9 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share, on net sales of $8.5 billion. Cash flows from operations were $3.1 billion for fiscal 2010. The results for fiscal 2010 compare to a net loss of $1.9 billion, or $2.35 per diluted share, on net sales of $4.8 billion for the 2009 fiscal year.
"We reached several new company milestones in fiscal 2010, including generating the highest annual revenue, income and operating cash flows in Micron's history. We have emerged from the difficult economic conditions over the past few years as an industry leader with one of the strongest balance sheets and product portfolios in the business," said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and chief executive officer.