Notebook makers are increasingly opting to manufacture their computers to use solid state drives (SSDs) instead of hard disk drives (HDDs), according to a new report.
The number of notebooks built to use SSDs, which are based on NAND flash, exceeded analyst expectations this quarter, and the industry is on pace to surpass the 50% adoption rate in the 2017 to 2018 timeframe, according to a report from DRAMeXchange.
“Irrespective of the undersupply situation in the NAND flash market, the SSD adoption rate in the global notebook market is certain to pass 30% this year. Furthermore, this figure is expected to be above 50% sometime within the 2017 to 2018 period,” said Alan Chen, senior research manager of DRAMeXchange.
Shipments of notebook SSDs in the PC-maker market expanded 25% to 26% sequentially in the fourth quarter. The SSD adoption rate among notebook makers also reached around 35% to 36% during the same period.
Even as adoption increases, the average contract price in the fourth quarter for mainstream client-grade SSDs using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash was estimated to rise by 6% to 10% over the previous quarter. The average prices of mainstream client-grade SSDs carrying triple-level cell NAND flash were expected to rise by 6% to 9% sequentially in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, the gap in price between the most popular 128GB and 256GB SSDs versus the most popular 500GB and 1TB HDDs was larger than expected in the second half of 2016 due to the sharp rise in SSD prices, according to Chen.
MLC flash stores two bits of data per transistor or “cell,” and TLC flash stores three bits per cell, making it denser and ultimately less expensive to manufacture.
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