Solid-State Drives Will Only Become Important Market in 2011 – 2012 – CEO of SanDisk

Leading Flash Vendor Doubts Short-Term Success of SSDs

by Anton Shilov
10/21/2009 | 09:11 AM

After about two years of widespread hype solid-state drives (SSDs) related, the large flash memory vendors are trying to return the market from heaven back to earth. Eli Harari, chief executive officer of SanDisk, one of the leading suppliers of flash-based products, said during a conference call with financial analysts that SSDs would not hit the mass market until 2011 – 2012 timeframe.

 

“If SSD were to take off anytime in the next six months, it would exacerbate the supply situation. We do believe that SSD is going to be a very important market and we do believe that in around 2011 – 2012, the industry will not have sufficient supply to meet the demand from SSD that will be developed by that time,” said Mr. Harari during the company’s quarterly conference call.

Last year Steven Wozniak, chief scientist at SSD maker Fusion-io, said that he did not expect solid-state drives to replace hard disk drives anytime soon. Still, considering the fact that SSDs consume a lot less energy compared to hard drives while offering a lot higher performance and do not require complex storage systems, enterprise customers are adopting solid-state drives even now.

“SSD is coming along very well in enterprise. That is still a small driver of capacity, [since enterprise SSDs are] mostly SLC[-based], but we are actually quite optimistic about SSD and our role in SSD, but it is probably a 2011 type of event,” added Mr. Harari.

SanDisk’s total third quarter revenue (ended September 27, 2009) totalled $935 million and increased 14% on a year-over-year basis and was up 28% on a sequential basis. Net income, in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), was $231 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net loss of ($166) million or ($0.74) per share in the third quarter of 2008 and GAAP net income of $53 million, or $0.23 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2009.