Solid-State Drive Shipments Continue to Grow Despite Macroeconomic Issues

Despite Slow Ultrabook Expansion, SSDs Set New Shipments Records

by Anton Shilov
10/11/2012 | 09:54 PM

Diversified use of solid-state drives (SSDs) and their very compelling value proposition will help SSDs to set up new shipments records this quarter even despite of the fact that ultrabooks and ultra-thin laptops have failed to significantly improve their popularity this year.

41 Million SSDs to Be Shipped This Year


SSD shipments in the first half of this year amounted to 12.9 million units, according to the IHS iSuppli. Shipments reached 10.5 million in the third quarter and will rise to 17.5 million units in the fourth, amounting to a total of 28.0 million units in the second half - more than double the total shipped during the first six months of the year. This is down from the previous forecast of 13.0 million in the third quarter and 20.0 million in the fourth.

IHS projects the SSD industry will finish 2012 with $7.5 billion in revenue and 41.0 million in shipments, with compound annual growth rates of 35% and 69%, respectively.

The shipment numbers cover pure standalone SSDs (hybrid hard drives are not considered as SSDs, but caching SSDs are considered as solid-state drives). These numbers cover all applications for SSDs, including the enterprise segment, ultrabooks and other so-called ultrathin computers.

“Intel Corp. has not matched its ambitious goals for ultrabooks with the marketing needed to propel the platforms as a desirable, affordable alternative to conventional notebooks and tablets. This has prompted IHS to lower its cache SSD shipment projection. However, pricing for SSDs has fallen well below the $1-per-gigabyte threshold, making their value proposition more attractive than ever. Because of this, SSDs are finding uses in other products, helping to compensate for the shortfall in ultrabooks,” said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS.

Bright Future Ahead

IHS is maintaining an aggressive long-term outlook for SSDs due to NAND die shrinks, increasing utilization of triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash, and controllers with more advanced flash management techniques that are accelerating the cost curve.

By the second half of this decade, SSDs will be a de facto standard in non-budget notebook and desktop PCs, thanks to a mixture of lower prices, consumer education and an optimized software ecosystem.