MIS Asia — Sage Microelectronics (SageMicro), a four-year-old company based in Hangzhou, China, plans to release an 8TB solid-state drive (SSD) next month as it attempts to break into the U.S. market. The company, which emerged from quiet mode last year, already sells a 5TB SSD in a 2.5-in. form factor, along with SD cards and NAND flash memory controllers. The 8TB SSD simply adds another stack of eMMC flash memory crammed into a 9.5mm-high SSD.
Network Asia — Intel and Samsung separately announced new solid-state drives (SSDs). Intel’s boasts the company’s fastest speed to date at 5Gbps. Intel’s new P3608 Series PCIe SSD comes in 1.6TB, 3.2TB and 4GTB capacities and delivers up to 850,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) random reads and 150,000 random writes. The drive has a sequential read/write speed of up to 5,000MBps (5Gbps) and 3,000MBps (3Gbps), respectively.
Taiwan-based InnoDisk, which develops and manufactures industrial-class storage products, has disclosed the company is partnering with NAND flash chip vendor Toshiba and Super Micro Computer (Supermicro), a specialist in application-optimized servers, workstations, blades, storage and GPU systems, to provide SSD solutions for data centers and cloud computing. A joint venture between the companies, named AccelStor, has been formed to provide SSD solutions targeted at customers in the financial sector and telecom carriers, according to InnoDisk.
Transcend Information saw its cumulative 2015 shipments of SSD (solid state drive) products through March reach nearly the total shipped in the first half of 2014, according to the Taiwan-based company. Transcend specializes in the manufacture of memory modules, but has in recent years put increased focus on SSDs and other industrial and strategic products. The company noted that March sales of its industrial and strategic products totaled NT$1.16 billion (US$37.1 million) accounting for 51.4% of its total revenues for the month.
Micron Technology has raised its prices for NAND flash memory amid short supply from SanDisk, according to industry sources. Micron ships NAND flash chips mainly to Intel and Seagate based on long-term, fixed-price contracts, said the sources. While having the majority of its production capacity reserved for orders placed by the two biggest clients, Micron has told its other clients that prices for NAND flash chips have been adjusted upward on tight capacity, the sources noted.
Prices for 256GB SSDs will likely fall below US$70 in the second half of 2015, while prices for 128GB drives will reach a sweet spot of US$40, according to Apacer Technology general manager CK Chang. With SSDs becoming more affordable, a wave of demand could be stimulated, said Chang. Upstream chip vendors have migrated their process technologies to 14nm, 15nm or 16nm, dragging production costs down substantially. As a result, prices for NAND flash memory will fall resulting in more friendly prices for SSDs, Chang indicated.
SSD (solid-state drive) prices in the China market have drastically fallen, with prices for a 128GB model dropping to US$50-55 and those for a 256GB model to below US$100, according to Taiwan-based memory module makers. The prices declined following a price war started by China-based SSD vendors TIGO Technology and Galaxy Microsystems, the sources said. TIGO’s SSD solutions are provided by Taiwan-based Phison Electronics and Galaxy’s NAND flash controller ICs are supplied by Taiwan-based JMicron Technology, the sources noted.
Global SSD sales are expected to grow 60% on year in 2014 after nearly doubling a year earlier, buoyed by continually declining NAND flash prices, slimming-down of notebooks, and the rise of convertible tablets, according to Digitimes Research. SSD products with a storage capacity of 60GB were the mainstream in 2012, but shipments of 120GB and 240GB models began gaining momentum in 2013, buoyed by falling prices. By 2014, 240GB models have become the mainstream, while the roll-out of 480GB devices is likely to drive a new round of shipment growth, said Digitimes Research.
In view of continued growth in global demand for SSDs, Micron Technology and SK Hynix are interested in investing in Taiwan-based SSD controller IC design houses including Silicon Motion Technology, Phison Electronics and JMicron Technology to strengthen their competitiveness, according to industry sources.
SSD (solid state drive) sales are expected to enjoy strong growth in 2014 thanks to falling NAND flash prices, according to Peter Shu, chairman of memory module maker Transcend Information. Prices of SSDs are expected to decline another 20-30% in 2014 after falling 30% in the previous year, Shu observed, adding that demand for 256GB SSDs will surge if their average price falls to below US$100.