|Ultrabook, SATA3 to buoy SSD demand, says Transcend chairman |
Josephine Lien, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Friday 6 January 2012]
The growing market for ultrabooks is expected to a catalyst that accelerates demand for embedded SSDs in 2012, according to Peter Shu, chairman for dedicated memory module maker Transcend Information. Meanwhile, the SATA3 interface brings performance and reliability to SSDs, which will be another contributing factor, said Shu.
Shu believes 2012 will be the year when the SSD market truly takes off. Ultrabooks and the faster SATA3 6Gbps interface are expected to create huge demand for SSDs in 2012, Shu indicated.
In response to industry speculation that ultrabooks are priced too high to stimulate customer buying, Shu agreed with the viewpoint adding the devices need to be priced lower in order to gain widespread adoption.
Shu suggested that the basic specifications of ultrabooks should have as low as 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage instead of 256GB - the main reason of their high prices. Ultrabooks should initially target entry-level users and for heavy users and enthusiasts, they can buy upgrade modules in the retail channel for more storage capacity, Shu indicated.
With prices for NAND flash memory falling annually, SSD storage in an ultrabook could be upgraded with lower prices, Shu pointed out. SSDs will ultimately become the sole storage medium for ultrabooks in the future, Shu said.
The first available ultrabooks tend to use hybrid drives, a combination of low-capacity SSDs and hard disk drives, for cost reasons.
Shu also identifies the availability of SATA3 will be another demand driver for SSDs in 2012.
Transcend is working with both of its retail and OEM customers to market its consumer SSD products, according to Shu. The company also offers industrial-use SSD and other storage solutions, which now account for 20% of its total revenues, said Shu.
In addition, Shu commented that the growing market for ultrabooks will have a negative impact on the DRAM module business. Shu expressed caution about demand for DRAM modules - used mainly for conventional PCs - in 2012, and added that the company continues to intentionally hoard DRAM chips purchased previously.