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Ultrabooks strategic to increasing SSD shipments

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SSD shipment? HDD? Windows 8? Haswell? NAND flash?

According to the most recent forecast from IHS, a new generation of lower-cost and more appealing ultrabooks will allow worldwide shipments of solid-state drive (SSD) shipments to more than double this year. Global SSD shipments are set to rise to 83 million units this year, up from 39 million last year. Shipments will continue to rise 239 million units in 2016, amounting to about 40 per cent of the size of the hard disc drive (HDD) market, added the market research firm.

SSDs can serve as an alternative to HDDs in PCs, storing data by using NAND flash memory semiconductors rather than by employing traditional rotating media.

The SSD data presented in this release covers traditional solid state drives in both the consumer and enterprise segments, as well as cache SSDs that along with an HDD component make up a composite storage solutionsuch as that found in Intel's ultrabooks. Not included is revenue for hybrid HDDs, in which the NAND component lies inside the hard drive.

The newest wave of ultrabooks loaded with Windows 8 has started to generate enthusiasm, with the superthin computers likely to pick up more steam this year. Upcoming ultrabooks based on Intel's Haswell microprocessor architecture also have the potential to catch on with consumers. These factors should boost SSD prospects this year.

Another factor driving growth is that average selling prices for NAND flash memory have come down, in the process establishing new price expectations. The lower prices are attracting deal-seeking consumer enthusiasts, as well as an increasing number of PC manufacturers that are now more willing to install the once-costly drives into computers.

Furthermore, in the enterprise sector, SSD use is growing thanks to product introductions from major vendors and start-ups alike.

As NAND rides out variable cost and scale curves in ever-more efficient manufacturing processes, such things as solid-state PCs, servers and storage arrays become more achievable and attainable. Recent developments around nonvolatile memories such as STT-RAM and resistive RAM also hint at sustained performance improvements for SSDs beyond the drives' current use of NAND flash memory.

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