‘256GB SSDs to become mainstream in laptops next year’

Posted 26 April 2018 23:19 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Laptop vendors will increasingly use SSDs in their devices and 256GB will become the mainstream capacity for SSDs in laptops by 2019, according to the Taiwanese website Digitimes. The growth in capacity and demand is fueled by dropping prices and the growing demand for more storage capacity, industry insiders told the website.

Since the beginning of 2018, prices of SSD drives have started to go down after they showed an upward trend for the last 18 months. The lower prices are due to weaker demand in the historically slow first quarter of the year and due to improved yield rates in (3D) NAND flash memory. The latter has an effect on the price as it has caused oversupply.

SSDs are perfect for laptops because they are small sized and shock resistant. Digitimes expects that 55% of all laptops will soon contain an SSD and where now 128GB is the mainstream capacity, it’s expected that 256GB will become the mainstream capacity next year. In the future this could grow to capacities of 512GB or even 1TB.

The higher capacity is possible because of even cheaper NAND flash memory chips. Sources have told Digitimes that Intel plans to start mass production of Quad Level Cell (QLC) NAND in the second quarter of this year. With 4 bits per cell, data density per chip increases with 33% compared to Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND. This not only reduces costs but should also boost the adoption rate of higher capacity SSDs.

Low-end laptops will not feature higher capacity SSDs for now. Laptop vendors usually combine a small sized SSD with a traditional HDD to reduce costs. But because the SSD is used to store frequently used data, it does increase performance compared to HDD-only devices.

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