Solid-State Drives Are Poised to Grow in 2012, says Gartner

By Ashok Bindra May 12, 2011

With falling memory prices, solid-state drives or SSDs are ready to give hard disk drives (HDDs) a run for their money. A recent report by market research firm Gartner indicates that by the second half of 2012, prices of mainstream personal computer SSDs will reach US$1 per gigabyte. As a result, SSDs will come within the reach of consumers, wrote CrunchGear.

According to a report on CrunchGear site, thinner and lighter laptops such as MacBook Air and Dell's Vostro V130 now come with SSDs, and more PC makers are offering them as an alternative to HDD drives. By comparison, SSDs are smaller, faster and more power-efficient than hard drives, wrote CrunchGear reporter Jordan Crook. Also, wrote Crook, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have measured longer battery life in new laptops with SSDs than configurations with HDD drives.

As per Crook’s report, about a year from now, in the second half of 2012, Gartner  predicts that mainstream PC SSD prices will drop to just $1 per gigabyte, making it affordable for electronic consumers. Even though SSDs entered the enterprise market in 2010, high prices have kept them away from use in data storage on PCs.

For speed, size and power efficiency, SSDs are based on NAND flash memory. Gartner expects that average selling price of NAND flash will continue to fall as capacity rises.

Some major suppliers of SSDs include Intel and Samsung. In fact, last Christmas, Intel lowered prices and introduced a new 120 GB model. Also, recently, the semiconductor technology giant unveiled a new SSD 510 model featuring fast SATA 6 Gigabits per second (Gbps) data transfer speed. Supporting data transfers of up to 500 megabytes per second (MBps), the Intel SSD 510 doubles the sequential read speeds, and at up to 315MBps more than triples the sequential write speeds of Intel's current 3 Gbps SSDs.

Major desktop and notebook manufacturers bundling SSDs include Apple, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba and OCZ Technology.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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