SSDs hit 65¢ per GB, OCZ predicts further price cuts

Posted 04 May 2012 21:51 CEST by Seán Byrne

OCZ Technology Group, one of the market leaders in SSDs has said that due to the recent cuts in NAND flash memory pricing along with improvements to its proprietary controller technology, it has been able to bring its SSD pricing to about $0.65/GB. OCZ claims it can do this without a negative impact on its gross margins either.

The company predicts possible further price reductions through the use of Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND and upcoming 10nm process NAND. Depending on NAND availability, OCZ plans to launch SSDs using 10nm process and TCL NAND. TCL stores 3-bits per cell in comparison to today’s 2-bits per cell with MLC and costs a third less to produce, however, it currently suffers from poor endurance and performance, but work is being carried out to overcome these issues.

Since SSDs first came on the market, the $1/GB mark was long seen as the holy grail for SSDs to start attracting mainstream users. With these recent price cuts that beat and go well beyond this point, SSDs are now predicted to become a popular upgrade option for existing PCs. These prices will also be especially attractive to businesses where these price cuts make SSDs much more affordable for SANs and servers where the price gap between enterprise HDDs continues to decline.

OCZ’s net revenue for SSD products during its Fiscal Year 2012 increased 154% to $338.9 million in comparison to the previous year with $133.2 million. Their total revenue for Fiscal Year 2012 was $365.8 million, clearly showing how profitable SSD for them. They expect net revenue to increase to between $630 and $700 million in its Fiscal Year 2013, not including any possible technology breakthroughs.

At $0.65/GB, this works out at US$83.20 (€63.55) for 128GB or US$166.40 (€127.09) for 256GB. Now it’s just waiting time for these price cuts to reach high street and online shops.



alan1476
Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 04 May 12 21:49
Crucial already has a 199.00 price tag on their 256gb SSD.
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FreqNasty_RiseS
MyCE Member
Posted on: 05 May 12 05:14
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan1476
Crucial already has a 199.00 price tag on their 256gb SSD.
You've been watching the Amazon website. There was a constant price reduction over a couple of hours on the Crucial M4 256.
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alan1476
Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 05 May 12 20:31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreqNasty_RiseS
You've been watching the Amazon website. There was a constant price reduction over a couple of hours on the Crucial M4 256.
You are correct.
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tmc8080
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 06 May 12 23:35
At 65 cents per gb a 3tb SSD drive would be $1,950.
One reason why SSD companies aren't interested at accelerated innovation is because the SD flash card industry wants to keep milking the SD cow for another 5 years before doubling and tripling capacities with SDXC.
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lucky9
MyCE Member
Posted on: 09 May 12 01:36
There appears to be a lot of money in the SSD business. That's why there are so many players of late have come into the market. It's natural. It also means that prices will (have) come down as the market gets bigger and it gets cheaper to make them as process technology gets smaller/better.
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tmc8080
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 11 May 12 23:29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky9
There appears to be a lot of money in the SSD business. That's why there are so many players of late have come into the market. It's natural. It also means that prices will (have) come down as the market gets bigger and it gets cheaper to make them as process technology gets smaller/better.
Yes, but while this might be good.. will it be competitive enough for long enough to possibly replace hard drives? Probably not. You remember what happened to the HDD makers, there were about a dozen major players (albeit 6 major patent holders including IBM) who made drives... and NOW?!? We're lucky to have 3...
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alan1476
Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
Posted on: 19 Jul 12 23:08
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc8080
Yes, but while this might be good.. will it be competitive enough for long enough to possibly replace hard drives? Probably not. You remember what happened to the HDD makers, there were about a dozen major players (albeit 6 major patent holders including IBM) who made drives... and NOW?!? We're lucky to have 3...
And one of those 3 , just bought OCZ.
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Kenshin
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 20 Jul 12 02:21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc8080
At 65 cents per gb a 3tb SSD drive would be $1,950.
One reason why SSD companies aren't interested at accelerated innovation is because the SD flash card industry wants to keep milking the SD cow for another 5 years before doubling and tripling capacities with SDXC.
It is not fair to compair SSD drive makers with HDD drive makers.

Quantum, Alps, IBM, Hitachi, Toshiba, Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital, Conner, these companies all developed their own heads and platters. They all had their own factories, marketing and sales forces, and customer support personnel.

Most of the SSD drive makers don't have any R&D - not directly related to SSD and some of those that do are mostly concerned only with controller IC chips, the boards, casing, connectors, and not the SLC/MLC/TLC NAND flash memory and DRAM chips for caching.

Seagate doesn't need to invest billions and tens of billions of dollars into NAND and DRAM as they can always buy chips from Samsung, Hynix, Intel, Micron, Toshiba, etc., but I know no company buying HDD platters from Seagate and label and distribute them under their own brand names.

SD and CF are another matter. Those portable flash memory chips are also mostly NAND, but the standards of those technologies are largely Japanese. It's Sony, Matsushita of Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba, Olympus, Sanyo, Canon, Nikon, and some other Japanese electronics companies that control the development, specification, and licensing of those. It would have become a vastly different market if it were dominated by Taiwanese, or European, or South Korean companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky9
There appears to be a lot of money in the SSD business.
The commercial airplane market, especially the market for planes like Boeing 787 and Airbus A380, is much larger. Some airlines order literally by the tens of billions of dollars though it's often divided into several phases. That doesn't make automobile distributors with US$50 million fund in South Africa and Qatar design and sell something faster and larger than A380.

Around half of the companies that first designed and sold controllers for SSD and complete SSD units were South Korean, but only Samsung itself had more than 1 billion dollars. Zalman makes their own SSD's, but its annual revenue is only about US$30,000,000. They don't really make profits. Since they often lose money by selling coolers, cases, power supply units, drives, etc. and SSD is just a very tiny part of their business, just how much money could they have afforded to invest in SSD development?

Compare that at what prices IBM sold their HDD business unit to Hitachi and Conner, Quantum, and Samsung to Seagate.

OCZ doet not decide the price of SSD, either. They have some power, but not as much power as Apple and HP. A Benz or Nissan engine in a Hyundai car may play an important role, but the cost of an engine in most cars is usually negligible. It's still expensive, sometimes thousands in USD, but the differences among the prices of various engine are small enough to say it's negligible as they can only be tiny parts of those among the prices of cars. With MP3 players, even luxurious and proud ones like the iPod players, and SSD drives, it's a different story. Most of the hardware cost go to the NAND makers like Samsung and Intel. That was the real reason why iPod was so successful: Samsung provided NAND at extremely attractive terms to Apple as Samsung guys then lacked self-confidence which Apple had in abundance though it should have been the opposite.

So if you are interested in the deeper side of the SSD industry, sometimes it's better to read EE Times Asia instead of Western websites for gamers and overclocking. Western media are usually too proud to read the deeper sources of news and announcements of East Asia where things are actually made and first tested and leaked.

http://www.eetasia.com/STATIC/ARTICL...R_NT_01_F1.jpg
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