For a long time, while SSDs have often been regarded as the higher performance drives, that performance has placed a premium on capacity. This has been changing recently, with the prices of SSDs dropping faster than their mechanical counterparts. The last quarter alone has seen the prices of SSDs drop by as much as 12%, placing them far closer in pricing than ever.
For the first quarter of 2016, DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reported that MLC-based SSDs had fallen by around 10-12% and TLC-based SSDs sinking by 7-12%. Following the analysis by DRAMeXchange, the price difference between a 128GB SSD and a 500GB HDD could be as little as US$3 in 2016, with the difference between the larger 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD to shrink to US$7 before the end of the year. While this would still leave the price-per-gigabyte of SSDs at almost 4-times that of HDDs, the trend is certainly in favour of the flash memory drives going into the future, with demands set only to increase and prices to shrink as SSD adoption is expected to grow at its highest annual rate between 2016 and 2022.
While many SSDs still make use of the traditional SATA interface, which makes them easy to switch over to SSDs, the rising star amongst SSDs is those with PCIe interfaces. SATA-connected SSDs are likely to make up the largest share of the SSD market in the near future, it is also anticipated that PCIe SSDs will see the largest growth. These drives, which take advantage of the high-speed of PCIe and the ability for laptop manufacturers to attach them direct provide many advantages have many advantages that will appeal to smaller form-factor PC and laptop developers and enterprises.
All of this is good news for consumers, with prices dropping and adoption rising, SSD manufacturers are battling to roll out increasingly large SSDs that incorporate more and more advanced technology. 3D NAND SSD products may still be a little while off, but 2016 is shaping up to be a very good year for SSDs.