Hard disk drives could finally be out by Christmas if this trend continues

Analyst agency Trendforce has forecasted that the typical promoting worth of NAND Flash, the fundamental constructing block of all SSD (Stable State Drives) and microSD cards will fall by as much as 15% throughout the present quarter. It has already been down by virtually 25% over the past quarter prompting the most important producers; Kioxia, Solidigm, Micron and WDC to slash manufacturing in an effort to scale back provide out there.

Weak demand within the shopper and enterprise SSD prospects mixed with Samsung’s reluctance to maintain producing as a lot NAND as attainable signifies that the worth drop we’ve seen over the previous 12 months throughout SSD and microSD merchandise will doubtless keep it up unabated with smaller capacities step by step phased out. 

Samsung is the biggest NAND Flash vendor and has already dedicated to investing closely in R&D in an effort to keep forward of rivals. SK Hynix and Micron introduced in 2022 that they might launch 238-layer and 232-layer merchandise respectively which – on paper – will dramatically carry down the price of Terabyte for strong state drives.

For apparent causes, no vendor has but launched PLC (penta degree cell) NAND, the subsequent technological breakthrough which is able to allow even cheaper, excessive capability SSD. 

Knowledge massacre by Christmas 2023?

The most cost effective 1TB microSD playing cards are at present promoting for round $75 at Amazon, a close to 50% worth drop in comparison with a yr in the past. Whereas we don’t count on costs to half, one other 30% drop by the tip of the yr seems to be cheap, which might carry the worth of a 1TB microSD card nearer to $50. 

This could have a knock on impact on smaller capacities (512GB, 256GB, 128GB) and we count on 64GB and 32GB microSD to be pushed out of the market altogether.

The identical applies for USB flash drives the place the most affordable real 256GB fashions are at present promoting for round $10 with distributors resorting to multi-pack provides in an effort to entice prospects with decrease capacities. The truth that many current laptops would not have a Kind-A connector or a microSD card slot additionally dramatically reduces the scale of the overall addressable market.

Essentially the most thrilling market stays that of SSD the place prospects are having an absolute area day as costs proceed happening. The most cost effective SSD per TB on the time of writing is the Leven JS600 ($74.99 for 1.92TB), an extra drop of round 30% over the subsequent 9 months will see it attain parity with smaller capability arduous disk drives just like the Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM008.

These low cost fashions are 2.5-inch SATA storage gadgets and since they’re defacto outfitted with a SATA connector, they need to quickly supplant exterior arduous drives with a capability of as much as 2TB as effectively. Two traits although that’s value making an allowance for: 2.5-inch drives are on the best way out in addition to they’re being changed by M.2 PCIe drives.

Bigger capability arduous drives are secure for now but it surely’s solely a matter of time earlier than the subsequent tier (3TB, 4TB) are on the best way out. A 4TB SSD from Leven retails for $180, nonetheless about twice the worth of a 4TB WD Passport arduous disk drive for instance.


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