An excellent article by Hot Hardware’s Joel Hruska (see “Analysts Predict Skyrocketing SSD, Cache Drive Sales, But What Happened To Hybrid Hard Drives?”) contains several tasty bits of data and a quote from Ryan Chien, analyst for memory and storage at HIS iSuppli. First and foremost is the prediction that sales of cache SSDs, which are SSDs used strictly to cache HDDs, will grow explosively in 2012 and 2013. Here’s the graph from the IHS iSuppli press release:
According to the definition in the IHS iSuppli press release, “cache SSDs are employed as a discrete, separate memory component alongside a hard disk drive, with both elements existing side by side, not together in one housing unit.” The reason that IHS iSuppli believes that cache SSDs will ship in significantly larger volumes that hybrid HDD/SSDs (drives that combine an HDD and Flash in one physical package) is because each hybrid drive is a proprietary design. From Hruska’s article: “… hybrid hard drives are less popular due to single-source manufacturing (Seagate has the only solution on the market) and a lack of options.” So despite the advantage in physical volume, hybrid HDD/SSDs suffer from lack of interchangeability–especially right now because they are currently single-sourced. Notebook PC vendors have many more options with cache SSDs, .
At the same time, all-SSD approaches to notebook storage still prove too expensive when measured using a cost/Gbyte metric. From the IHS iSuppli press release quoting Chien: “The cache SSD solution was first hit upon by PC manufacturers because the use of a dedicated solid state drive proved too expensive when passed on to consumers in the retail market.”
For the full IHS iSuppli press release on this topic, see “Cache is King in Solid State Drive Market.”
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