by Anton Shilov
09/28/2012 | 08:33 AM
Micron Technology said during quarterly conference call that shipments of solid-state drives are growing very rapidly, boosting the company's revenue. Unfortunately, SSDs still represent a fraction of the company's business in general, which is why the SSD growth cannot offset declines in sales of DRAM and NAND flash memory.
"Micron SSD revenue was up 33% in the quarter with unit shipments up over 50% [quarter-over-quarter]. We are seeing steady growth of our client SSDs at key OEM partners and continued growth of Crucial-branded SSD drives in the channel. [...] Client SSD revenue was up close to 30% in Q4. For fiscal year 2012, unit shipments more than doubled. [...] Enterprise SSD revenue was up over 50% [quarter-over-quarter] albeit off of a relatively low base," said Mark Adams, the president of Micron, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.
Micron claims that as solid-state drives get more affordable and demand towards low-power small form-factor storage is increasing due to growing adoption of ultrabooks and ultra-thin notebooks, client SSD business will continue to grow. What is important here is that Micron's client SSDs are actually bringing profit to the company, which partly offsets losses made by other divisions, particularly DRAM and NAND.
"Where other channel competitors have struggled to generate a profit, Crucial continues to drive solid financial performance. We are now shipping client SSDs to 5 of the top OEMs in the world and plans to grow our share in the coming year," said Mr. Adams.
Micron plans to significantly enhance its presence on the market of enterprise-class SSDs later this year, when it launches new SSDs with Serial Attached SCSI, Serial ATA and PCI Express interfaces. At present, the forthcoming solid-state drives are being qualified by various enterprise-system OEMs.
Micron did not reveal exact SSD sales in the fiscal year 2012 (ended on August 30, 2012), however, it did indicated that Micron SSDs comprised 14% of trade NAND (excludes sales of NAND flash to Intel under long-term agreement) sales for the year. Considering the fact that revenues of Micron's NAND flash business group for FY2012 were around $2.853 billion, SSD sales definitely accounted for hundreds of millions of dollars per annum.