Strong Growth for the Solid State Drive Industry as It Transitions to 3D NAND Flash


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The outlook for the solid state drive (SSD) industry remains strong as units, revenue, and total capacity shipped are all expected to see robust growth throughout the 2016-2021 forecast period. In a new SSD forecast update, International Data Corporation (IDC) now expects worldwide SSD unit shipments to increase at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1%. SSD industry revenue is expected to reach $33.6 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14.8%.

The key factors underlying the improved outlook for the SSD market are greater product availability and improved pricing dynamics as the industry transitions to 3D NAND Flash. IDC believes the current NAND flash supply constraints will begin to diminish in 2018 and contribute to further price erosion in the overall SSD market. In turn, lower SSD pricing beyond 2017 will drive greater SSD adoption in PCs and other client devices. IDC expects client SSD shipments into the PC and consumer electronics markets to see a 2016-2021 CAGR of 15.8%. Meanwhile, enterprise demand for SSDs will remain strong throughout the forecast as customers turn to flash-optimized systems for traditional storage needs as well as for server-attached solutions.

"SSDs continue on a path to become a more broadly used, ubiquitous storage technology across IT markets," said Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president, Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies. "SSDs play an important role in making the digital transformation possible, a dynamic that IDC expects will continue to propel the adoption of SSDs and underpins the secular growth of the SSD market for both the client and enterprise segments."

In the client market, IDC expects higher SSD capacities at key price points to result in higher attach rates over time in new notebook and desktop PCs as well as in detachable tablets or 2-in-1 tablets such as the Microsoft Surface. In the enterprise market, lower SSD prices on a per-gigabit basis will drive SSD attach rates higher in servers, network storage arrays (all-flash arrays and hybrid flash arrays), and hyperscale cloud service provider datacenters. In the commercial market, IDC expects to see increased adoption of SSDs in a variety of secondary markets and applications, including the Internet of Things (IoT), where the high reliability, extreme flexibility in form factor and capacity, and operating ruggedness in harsh environments will prove to be beneficial.

The IDC report, Worldwide Solid State Drive Forecast Update, 2017-2021 (IDC #US42011017), offers an updated look at the SSD market through 2021. The forecast provides a detailed analysis of SSD unit shipments, revenue, and capacity shipped (in petabytes) for each consumption category of SSDs (client, enterprise, and commercial). Forecast data for average capacity, average selling price (ASP), and price per gigabyte is also provided.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers.

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