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SSD Prices Start Tumbling


5 Aug 2011
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NAND flash Solid-State drive (SSD) prices have started tumbling and the industry has started betting on wider adoption. The OEM contract rates are expected to cost less than a dollar per GB by beginning of April, expect industry sources.

With HDD prices still more than double the rates prior to Thailand floods, the gap between mainstream SSD drives and traditional hard drives has narrowed. However, despite hitting an all time low, SSD is about five times as expensive as HDD.

Yet, partners are reporting more sales in February and March, because more enthusiasts are buying SSD drives. “Performance has been the key reason why people are adopting flash drives. Most customers see that despite using the latest processors, and loading their PC with 8 GB RAM, performance expectations are not being matched. They are all buying SSD drives and are not looking back,” said Sharad Gowda, SN Systems, Bengaluru.

Bengaluru-based Kingston partner Avance Technologies also reported that the interest levels in SSDs have shot up. Kingston 64 GB drive prices have dropped to around Rs 4,500 in March, while the 128 GB drive prices have dipped below Rs 10,000.

With non-availability of enterprise SATA and SAS drives, customers have also started opting for SSD drives for servers. “While it is not still practical to use flash for large capacities because of prohibitive costs, for IO intensive apps SSD makes a world of difference. Typically with 128 GB SSD and 146 GB SAS prices being in similar bracket, many customers see value in SSD,” said Sandeep Lodha, Director, Netweb Technologies, Delhi.

There are few factors that remain matter of concern, one of them is the reliability of technology. “We had seen some failure rates in initial days. But in the past one year we do not have any RMA issues,” noted MA Mannan, Country Manager, Corsair India.

Vendors such as Corsair, Intel, Transcend and Kingston have been promoting SSD over the past few quarters, and a number of channel partners have started recommending SSD drives. “Many customers are using a combination of SSD and regular drives, with SSD being used to host operating systems and key applications and the drive being used to store files. These customers have seen performance improvements that is unbelievable.” he added.

Mannan expects by April end, consumer SSD prices for 120 GB SSD to dip below Rs 9,000. “We should see another 30 to 40 percent drop in price, which should see the market adoption grow faster.”

Anshuman Gupta, CEO, Strontium Technologies also sees the SSD price dip as a tipping point. “We will soon see rapid adoption, and this will increase demand, forcing manufacturers to invest more into manufacturing, which would further drive down prices.”

Source : crn
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