Factors affecting SSD growth include the proliferation of cloud computing, performance advantages of SSDs over HDDs, an increase in the number of data centers and rising big data applications.
Solid-state drives (SSD) are becoming more widespread these days and in many cases they capture market share from traditional hard drives. The current demand for SSDs is healthy and shipments are growing, but there is a great concern about supply of NAND flash memory for SSDs. In fact, there are several factors which limit the amount of NAND flash memory available for solid-state drives.
SSDs are the next big thing in the market. The device is faster, crash proof and the data saved is secure. It can reduce power consumption, which translates into cost savings. However, pricing has been the biggest reason for its delayed adoption. SSDs use microchips that retain data in non-volatile memory chips and contain no moving parts. They are distinguishable from electromechanical Hard Disk drives (HDD) with spinning disks and movable read/write heads. SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, are silent and have lower access time and latency. The technology uses the same interface as hard disk drives—it’s basically a drop-in replacement.
It is a well-known fact among pundits in the IT industry that advances in CPU and memory performance have increased at a rate that is very disproportionate to advancements in storage technology. This fundamental deficiency in storage performance has caused enterprise users to turn to creative multi-drive arrays and software applications to amplification performance. With increased demands of server virtualization and cloud computing, IT managers are looking for even more ways to bolster their storage performance to stay ahead of the curve.
Although high-speed performance is one of the key benefits of modern solid state drives, perhaps an even more essential factor for enterprise use is reliability. In the enterprise computing world, reliability, downtime, hardware footprint, complexity, and power consumption are all pivotal decision factors, and have led IT managers to turn to SSDs as more efficient and reliable alternative storage solutions.
Market Size & Revenue Forecast
According to Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology – India, Kingston had shipped been the second most SSDs in Channel Worldwide last year. According to Forward Insights, out of a total of 63 million SSDs that were shipped worldwide in the channel in 2016, Kingston® SSDs accounted to nearly 10.1 million units. With 16 percent market share. We invested in Solid State Drives at a time when many considered it heading into a dead zone. We are proud to see the technology flourishing even in India as we continue investing in educating people, especially corporates, about the benefits of SSD over traditional HDD in India. Speaking on the Indian market, we have seen it rise from being a Zero to becoming a Hero product category. The adoption of Kingston SSDs has been rising every day. Yes, there have been turbulent times but the product has been shining for those households, datacenters, gaming centers and corporate houses that struggled with slow speeds. That’s not all as the Indian market still offers tremendous potential. We have seen market growth in multiple segments including corporates, SMEs, SMBs, Enterprises, Government, gaming and even retail.
“The demand for SSDs has risen given the need for Faster, Reliable Technology with the surety of Lesser Time taken to ensure Higher Productivity. If SSDs are incorporated into all sectors Better Profits can be achieved at lower costs. In terms of Market share, Kingston is ranked as the no.1 memory module manufacturer in the world with almost 60% market share globally. Throughout our journey here, we have been focusing on nurturing relations with our channel partners. We have plans to map the untapped Tier II and Tier III cities in the country and thus expand on our existing market, wherein our channel partners will play a key role in sustaining and expanding the brand’s presence in the country. In the past couple of years, Kingston’s market share has grown exceedingly in India. We are very confident about establishing a stronger foothold and building in India,” he further added.
“The driving force for SSD adoption rate has been the performance benefits over conventional HDD. With NAND suppliers increasing their wafer production capacities, and new NAND players coming from China, the global supply for NAND continues to increase. SSD consumed around 40% of the global NAND production in 2016 and in 2017, it is expected to grow to 44%. Based on Gartner’s Jan 2017 report, the CAGR from 2016 – 2020 is expected to be 10% for Revenue growth; 24% for unit shipments growth and 48% for GigaBytes growth, for SSD globally. The average size of an SSD will grow, and there will be continued price erosion. These factors are all converging to support increased SSD adoption,said, Mehul Kagalwala, Country Director, Liteon.
“Compared with conventional hard disk drives (HDD), Solid State Drives (SSD) features low power consumption, anti-vibration and cool & quiet operation characteristics which result in extended battery life for PCs and laptops. The most crucial feature are sequential read/write speed rates that significantly faster than traditional HDD. However, while the price of SSDs has been continuously declining over
time, consumer-grade SSDs are expecting to replace consumer-grade HDDs in the near future. Regarding the end user consumer market, there are over 60 million units of SSDs sold in 2015. We foresee a 30% to 40% annual growth rate forecast on the India SSD market” said, Mr. Calvin Yang_Sales Director, PNY Technologies Asia.
According to Mr. Ankoor B Sarkar, Executive Director – Asia Pacific OWC APAC “ For last few decades HDDs are the primary storage technology in enterprise domains. This has been changing with the matured technology adoption of NAND Flash, the GAP is nearing its end. When , there are important differences to consider while comparing SSD vs HDD pricing. Modest forms of NAND FLASH(E.G. TLC NAND) have been playing larger role for narrowing the GAP of the costs/GB between HDD VS SSD. Moving on to the 3D NAND shall be playing much larger roles in days to come, while slicing down the GAP, bringing in the prices more closure to HDDs. Considerations on SSD’s boast IOPS – 1000 times greater than HDDs – HDD Latency is Milliseconds as compared to SSD Latencies in Nanoseconds.
“As a result of the increase in demand, the India has seen a steady growth trend in the past 3 year. The consumption and storage of data has increased so has the demand for SSD. The SSD drives are handy and convenient to use, find its space in the market. This makes the drives worth the extra cost per gigabyte, especially as SSD prices continue to decline. Thereby making it feasible for customers to buy. As per the trends the market we anticipate a growth rate of more than 50-60% YoY till 2020,” said, Mr. Umesh Singh National Distribution and Product Head of ADATA.
“The major user of SSD will continue to be Client PC products, in particular laptops and tablets. However, the Cloud is dominating every discussion on future data platforms. Even the Automotive industry wants to leverage data in the Cloud to enable Telematics and Autonomous Driving capabilities in cars of the future. To enable that, fast and reliable SSD products will form the front line of the Cloud infrastructure, while the Clients (PC, laptops, and even cars), will have fast SSD to interact with the Cloud. Many companies are already well on their way to providing the right Cloud infrastructure, and Liteon is today supplying our Enterprise SSD products to a number of these companies. SSDs will be a standard feature in Client products, as well as in Enterprise Cloud products moving forward,” opined, Mehul of Liteon.
“In the last year alone, we have observed our SSDs getting superb adoption rates in almost all market segments ranging from consumer to corporate to SME to enterprises. Technologically SSDs have become more suitable for not just network environments like servers, databanks, etc. but it now offers entry level product lines that offer aspiring end user to upgrade his notebook from a traditional HDD to high performance Solid State Drive. Kingston offers a complete profile of SSD that suits corporates, system builders and assemblers, enthusiasts and end users. Speaking of usage trends, earlier there was a shift in terms of higher transfer speeds. In due course of time, the trends were more skewed towards preferring higher capacity drives. India, being a value driven country, is a good market for us,” said, Vishal of Kingston Technology.
“India SSD market is expected to reach over $125 millions by 2022. OWC being the PREMIUM brand across SSD domains addressing the Pro consumer categories, eyes to address odd 4-5% of the total SSD market size by the year 2022. India’s Solid State Drive (SSD) market has been divided into SLC SSD (SATA II, III and SAS 6GB/s), MLC/ eMLC SSD (SATA II, III, mSATA, PCIe/ NVMe, SAS 6GB/s and SAS 12GB/s) and TLC/ TLC 3D NAND SSD (SATA III, mSATA and PCIe/ NVMe).Current trend of HDDs being dominant, SSD segment is addressing the niche market in Client grade while the enterprise domain has moved on to SSD”,said, Mr. Sarkar of OWC.
Segments drive the demand for SSD
“In India, SSDs have made considerable progress as far as understanding the innovation and its reception is concerned. SSDs are the characteristic advancement past HDDs and offer imperative components like high speeds, high information security, better strength, higher portability, better reliability and a steady framework.It is because of this steadfast reliability that the corporates are embracing this technology with open arms. They have utmost need for these SSDs as they generate a lot of information that has seen a steady rise post digitalization. They will need the larger and faster SSD to manage with this shift from paper to digital programs. Besides this, Digitalization has also created a climate conducive for gamers. They, too, require SSDs to cope with their data overload,” pointed out Vishal of Kingston Technology.
“As more and more SSD are made available to the Indian customers, the cost of owning the device will come down, thereby reducing the gap between the HDD and entry level SDD. These entry level SSD will ultimately replace the HDD in PC bundle market. The exception to this being the external HDD which makes about 1/5th of the market. Slowly the demand from the SME`s is also on rise.
Their need for high performing machine along with the technology upgrades will push these SME`s to opt for SSD`s,” said, Mr. Umesh of ADATA.
“We believe, rapid rise in next generation connected devices, growing premium & high-end PC market, need for higher performance & capacity storage devices, coupled with increasing IT spending would proliferate SSD market in India. Amongst all end user market, consumer end user segment acquired largest revenue share of the market pie in the country. Over the next six years, enterprise end user segment is forecast to grow at relatively higher CAGR from 2016 to 2022”, said, Mr. B Sarkar of OWC.
“The current growth in India is primarily driven by the System Integrators. These users make customized systems for customers who demand high speed and performance from their storage devices. The major customers in this space are gamers, and technology enthusiasts. The Enterprise space is driven by Hardware companies who provide server solutions. Many of the SW companies in India are getting their solutions from the major HW vendors. We believe this market is still in its infancy in India, and the scope for growth here is immense. Liteon is engaged with most of these current vendors, as an SSD provider to their solutions,” said, Mehul of Liteon.
“We believe the evolution of 3D NAND flash process and architecture will drive the demand for the SSDs market in India. 3D NAND is getting mature, and the yield rate of 3D NAND flash chips is stabilizing. The benefits from them are unprecedented higher densities, high-performance, better reliability, and lower costs. The price of SSDs would be more friendly and acceptable in the Indian market. In these circumstances, the entry level and advanced level SSD products would be easy to lead the market. Thus, the demands of high density USB will be replaced by the demands of faster SSD products. The applications of SSD products will broaden out into the full range of in-car and household accessories”, said Mr. Calvin of PNY.
Durability, Form Factor and Speed
“3D TLC will be the mainstream SSD assembly NAND Flash and the durability will be almost the same with 2D MLC in past several years. The most common form factor is 2.5” SSD and commands around 85% in all regions for channel SSD. For the SATA SSD, the performance is almost the same, because all of the SSD firmware has the SLC caching function,” said, Mr. Umesh of ADATA.
“We are in an era where computers come in multiple forms, right from a Full tower ATX system to a thin Ultrabook to even a mini PC. Letting each of these system users unleashing the power of a reliable SSD, is something Kingston works with its R&D teams and channel partners for. Different system form factors are already the next big thing in the market. Hence, having an SSD that is compatible with them definitely gives the user an edge. The drives are faster, crash proof and the data saved is more secure. It can reduce power consumption, which translates into cost savings. The major advantages of an SSD over HDD are its non-moving parts and reliability. The SSD remains to be an internal drive for higher processing speeds which HDD will not be able to match. Simply speaking, the SSD is an evolution in storage that supersedes HDDs in terms of speed, reliability, data security, durability, efficiency, physical space required and so much more. This is the reason why we are seeing a rise in SSD-powered systems in all market segments mentioned earlier,” said, Vishal of Kingston Technology.
“The SATA interface has physical limitations in its speed. PCIe has a lot more bandwidth to get to higher levels. Increasingly, PCIe solutions are being offered by SSD suppliers, including Liteon. A Client user is unlikely to feel the difference between a SATA and PCIe solution, but a gamer on a game machine will immediately recognize the difference. Enterprise solutions with PCIe are far more efficient in handling high volume transactions. There is currently a high premium for PCIe over SATA interfaced SSD, but we expect the gap to reduce in the coming years. SSD form factors are standardized, and they will fit into existing HDD platforms. Future SSD products will get smaller for better space utilization on M.2 (NGFF) and BGA SSD. With 3D NAND technology rolling out, the space utilization will become even more efficient,” said, Mehul of Liteon.
According to Mr. Calvin from PNY “Different specifications depended on different levels of requirements from customers. Considering form factor, the major interfaces are SATA and PCIe. The choice of form factor depends on the device that you utilize. Different specifications of desktop/laptop require different form factors. As for durability, business/professional users usually pay attention to this condition than personal users do. In addition, one of the reason that SSDs is replacing HDDs is that every user considers speed rate while they are making their purchase decisions”.
“We believe, rapid rise in next generation connected devices, growing premium & high-end PC market, need for higher performance & capacity storage devices, coupled with increasing IT spending would proliferate SSD market in India.Amongst all end user market, consumer end user segment acquired largest revenue share of the market pie in the country. Over the next six years, enterprise end user segment is forecast to grow at relatively higher CAGR from 2016 to 2022,” said Sarkar of OWC.
Key technology trend that will generate more demand
“SSDs have been around even in India for quite some time and has seen good adoption rates. We are at the brink of getting higher speeds and capacities even by the existing SSD market standards. Considering the vastness of the Indian market, there is a lot of potential for growth of SSDs.Knowledge and understanding about the true value an SSD can derive, is the key to growth expectations mentioned earlier. What also helps is customizing the performance of the SSD solutions according to the needs and requirements of the individual system or user. This is where Kingston draws its expertise in all market segments – from consumers to corporates to enterprises to data centers. Without compromising on the quality, we have introduced budget variants of the SSD to fit more pocketsFlash memory-based SSDs are increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to traditional HDDs in IT applications due to their high-speed performance and high reliability,” said, Vishal of Kingston Technology.
“Almost all SSDs currently in the market connect over what’s known as SATA III, which in its standard 3.0 format is theoretically capable of transmitting data at around 6.0 GB/s. On the other hand, PCIe slot is more powerful and can handle speed around 15GB/s. So when compared on paper, it’s hard to deny the obvious benefits you can get out of a PCIe SSD than you would the classic SATA variant. The demand for the PCIe SSD in India is still in a nascent stage and is expected to pick up within next two years,” said Mr. Umesh of ADATA..
“ OWC Modest forms of NAND FLASH(E.G. TLC NAND) have been playing larger role for narrowing the GAP of the costs/GB between HDD VS SSD – This shall enhance much larger footprint for SSD as a product in the Consumer grade users. Inclusion of 3D NAND shall be bringing in more tractions on to narrowing the price GAP between SSD & HDD, while addressing the mid size/SOHO customer domains”.
“Well Driven Demand from the enterprise domains of customers shall be playing instrumental roles in bringing in more tractions while driving the VALUE for Enterprise grade SSDs in SATAIII – NVMe etc domains,” said Mr. Sarkar of OWC.
“We believe the major enabler for higher SSD adoption will be driven by interaction with Data in the cloud. Fast and reliable communication is the only way to ensure a good consumer use experience. For that, SSDs are the right front line products for the Client user, as well as the Data servers, in the cloud. Cloud data and computing servers will be the drivers for increased SSD adoption,” said, Mehul of Liteon.
“The prediction of India market in 2017 is US$ 50M & 900K units. By Interface, SATA series will occupy 95% of market share, and PCIe will take the rest of 5%. By NAND flash memory type, 2D NAND flash will occupy around 80% of market share in the 1st half of 2017 while 3D NAND flash will pick up the rest of 20%. In the 2nd half of 2017, 3D NAND flash will drastically grow up to 80%, and 2D NAND flash will take the rest of 20%”, said Mr. Calvin of PNY.
The modern PC storage is rapidly transforming from traditional HDD technology to Solid State Drives (SSDs). The evolution in ‘Bit growth’ has facilitated the 3-bit MLC NAND technology in the PC storage industry. The solid state drives are gaining considerable attention due to their performance benefits, such as higher random access speeds, multi-tasking ability, and higher reliability and durability, compared to its traditional counterparts. The growth of consumer electronics market, along with rapid development in the information and technology (IT) service sectors in the developing countries, including China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan is fueling the growth of the solid state drive (SSD) market in Asia-Pacific.