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CQ2 ’16 Showed SSDs are Ahead of Schedule!

With all SSD companies (finally) reporting results for CQ2 ’16, one thing is clear – SSDs are ahead of schedule!

It is now very clear that client SSDs going into Notebook PC’s are tracking fantastically, with expected attach rates to be around 34% for 2016, or over 1/3 of the market! Obviously, pricing has been a big factor in this adoption. A 128GB SSD is well under the price of a 500GB HDD, with 256GB continuing to drop in price each month. PCIe modules are also gaining momentum outside of Apple, with estimates putting volumes at 2 million units or so (up from zero just a short time ago).

On the enterprise SSD side, although SATA SSDs still dominate both hyperscale and system OEMs from a unit volume perspective (3.2 of the 4.07 million units shipped in CQ2 ’16), SAS SSDs saw a tremendous jump in capacity shipped in CQ2 ’16. Unit volume rose only 5.4%, but exabytes shipped increased a whopping 100.5% from the previous quarter. The move to higher capacities (like 3.84TB and even a few 15TB) is real. The storage networking companies taking SAS SSD solutions have embraced these higher capacity devices (helped by declining prices) at a surprising rate.

One thing to note – it will be interesting to see how the flattening of SSD pricing over the coming quarters (due to NAND supply tightness) will impact SSD purchases – on both the client and enterprise sides. One thing is for sure though, if the NAND supply stays at an acceptable level, SSD shipments should only continue to increase – but at what rate??

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