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Why Solid State Storage Demand will Grow in 2012

Flash memory technology advancements, changes in the expectations for new mobile PC capabilities, enterprise server and storage architectures, and hard disk drive (HDD) shortages are all impacting the worldwide solid state storage (SSD) market.

Chromebooks and media tablets are just one example of where the requirement for fast start-up and instant-resume access to the client device has raised the bar on design considerations. Informed people simply won't accept the legacy mobile PC constraints. The demand for superior SSD technology has risen as a result.

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide solid state storage industry revenue reached $5 billion in 2011 -- that's a 105 percent increase from the $2.4 billion in 2010.

IDC expects the SSD market will expand further in 2012 and beyond.

"2011 was a record year for the worldwide SSD market, with revenue more than doubling year over year due to strong SSD shipment growth in the enterprise and client segments," said Jeff Janukowicz, research director, Solid State Storage and Hard Disk Drive Components at IDC.

The increasing use of flash memory in enterprise solutions, explosive growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing is creating a huge demand for increased SSD shipments and revenue over the forecast period.

Other findings from the IDC market study include:
  • IDC expects worldwide SSD shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.5 percent from 2010 to 2015.
  • Pricing remains a key metric for SSD adoption in both the client and enterprise markets. IDC expects client SSD prices will fall below $1 per gigabyte in the second half of 2012, which will boost adoption in the PC market.
  • There are a number of dynamics influencing the PC market, from the growth in media tablets and ultrabooks to the upcoming introduction of Windows 8 and increased use of caching solutions such as dual drives (systems containing both an SSD and an HDD). IDC believes the net effect of these dynamics supports increased SSD shipments.
  • The flood in Thailand is disrupting the PC supply chain and the HDD industry's ability to supply the market near term. OEMs will certainly face unavoidable HDD shortages and higher HDD prices in 1H 2012. These shortages will present a significant short term opportunity for SSD vendors as OEM customers look to SSD vendors to fill HDD supply gaps.
  • The adoption of solid state storage as a complementary solution to HDD storage for enterprise applications is also driving SSD market growth.

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