The SSD market moves rapidly and some users want to know what's on the horizon before making a purchase. This is my first State of Solid State editorial here at Tom's Hardware, and it's full of future-looking statements that lay out technology and products just over the horizon, as well as advances that will take shape several product generations from now.
We sat down with engineers, product managers and others in the know at this year's Computex to get a clear picture of what to expect in the second half of 2015. Contrary to recent (misguided) reports, you will not be able to buy a 4TB SSD for $150 anytime soon, and SSDs will not reach price parity with hard drives in the next five years.
SSD prices will continue to decline on a dollar per gigabyte basis. Expect the same sort of controlled decline we've seen in the past. The bottom doesn't just fall out when only a handful of companies control supply to the key component. Historically, the Black Friday holiday shopping season is the time to look for large price reductions, and this year should be the same.
NAND flash accounts for the largest cost of SSDs. This is true for fabs, which is what we call companies that make the NAND flash (Intel/Micron, Toshiba/SanDisk, SK Hynix and Samsung) and third-party customers (Mushkin, Patriot, Kingston and so on). All flash starts out as a wafer, and the easiest way to reduce what an SSD costs is increasing the usable amount of storage density per wafer. The two key words in that statement are usable and density. In the latter half of 2015, both will be addressed.