As both SSD prices and form factors get smaller, it's no surprise that SSD market revenue will more than double in 2013. In this year alone, worldwide shipments are expected to reach 83 million units sold, up from 39 million in 2012. By 2016, per-year shipments should reach 239 million units, equaling 40-percent of the HDD market.
According to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS, the increase in 2013 will be the result of renewed "Ultrabook hopes" as Intel's form factor is expected to pick up steam thanks to Windows 8, Intel's Haswell architecture, and cheaper touchscreen technology.
"The fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for Ultrabooks and other ultrathin PCs that use cache drives," said Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at IHS. "While SSD shipments rose by 124 percent last year, growth actually fell short of expectations because ultrabook sales faltered due to poor marketing, high prices and a lack of appealing features. However, if sales of the new generation of ultrabooks take off this year as expected, the SSD market is set for robust growth."
Also driving SSD market growth in 2013 will be a reduction in the average price of NAND flash memory, the firm said. Not only are the lower prices attracting "deal-seeking consumer enthusiasts," but manufacturers who were previously reluctant to install the once-costly alternative to the typical HDD. Even the enterprise sector is flocking to SSDs thanks to rising capacities, cheaper prices and superior performance.
"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," the firm said on Wednesday. "Recent developments around nonvolatile memories like STT-RAM and resistive RAM also hint at sustained performance improvements for SSDs beyond the drives’ current use of NAND flash memory."
The SSD data presented in IHS iSuppli's latest report covers traditional solid state drives in both the consumer and enterprise segments, as well as cache SSDs used to help speed up super-thin form factors using HDDs for storage and program installations.