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Micron boasts of high demand for SSDs

Micron boasts of high demand for SSDs

Micron has enjoyed a 20 per cent boost in SSD shipments in the last quarter as consumers demand more speed, but the DRAM market isn't looking quite as healthy.

Demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) is on the up, with memory maker Micron claiming that it has seen a 20 per cent rise in orders in the last financial quarter.

The claims of boosted interest in NAND flash-based storage came during the company's regular earnings call, in which Micron's president Mark Adams reported shipments rising 20 per cent in the quarter, with 17 per cent of the company's NAND components going into own-brand solid-state drives - a figure which rises to 35 per cent if you include component sales to other SSD manufacturers.

Adams also confessed that his company has been experiencing some issues with a drop in process size. 'We saw a slowdown in our 20nm ramp related to manufacturing issues,' Adams told press, 'but we still expect production crossover in three to six months. While cheap multi-level cell (MLC) parts account for around 80 to 85 per cent of the company's wafer production, Adams claimed that interest in faster single-level cell (SLC) and tri-level cell (TLC) components are increasing, with the remaining production capacity split evenly between the two.

Not that Micron is resting on its laurels: 'On the NAND technology front, we are making steady technical advancements with both our planar and 3D NAND technologies.' Adams claimed. 'We began sampling our 20nm TLC NAND flash with selected controller companies, and we'll begin production in calendar Q1 [early 2013.]'

Micron's experience in the SSD market is echoed by other manufacturers, who are all reporting increased sales over the last few months. As for the reason why, the boosted interest is likely due to a number of factors: the launch of Windows 8 has slightly increased new system sales and convinced some owners to consider upgrading their machines, while Intel's Ultrabook - and its Windows 8-based hybrid spin-off - project continues to force manufacturers to give up on bulky spinning-platter storage in favour of compact SSD solutions. Price, too, is helping, with the cost to the consumer of a large-capacity SSD continuing to fall even as Micron reports an 8 per cent rise in component costs.

For the DRAM market, the news isn't quite so rosy: pricing for dynamic memory components has been in freefall, and Adams has reported only partial success in pushing prices back up again by reducing production output. According to industry analyst TrendForce, the major DRAM manufacturers - including Micron - will be looking to reduce their capital expenditure budgets by an average of 21 per cent in 2013 with some companies going even further: Samsung, the only company to show a profit in its DRAM arm for the last financial year, has announced a reduction in capital expenditure of 48 per cent year-on-year.

Lowered capital expenditure means lowered research and development budgets, which in turn means that we're unlikely to see any major breakthroughs in the commercial DRAM market until things get back to normal and prices begin to rise once again - or until DRAM-focused companies begin to go bankrupt and supply becomes constrained.

9 Comments

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Corky42 21st December 2012, 13:35 Quote
It would be nice to see an end to the good old HDD but you cant really beat them at the moment for TB storage.

SSD will only get cheaper and more wide spread hopefully, all we need now is a faster interface than SATA III and a reason to manufacture faster RAM, maybe that will be DDR4.
Cerberus90 22nd December 2012, 15:43 Quote
Why do we need to go faster than SATA3?

Most of the time, you won't even be saturating SATA2 bandwidth, maybe with a RAID array you might hit the limit of SATA2.
rollo 22nd December 2012, 16:04 Quote
Ram speeds do so little outside of benching if you have 1600mhz ram its going to be enough for years and years to come.

No program can use the bandwidth offered by ddr2 let alone ddr3. Most program's can't even use more than 2gb of ram, the actual amount of 64 bit program's could be counted on one hand.

Sata 2 is easily maxed with a high spec ssd.

Pcie x4 offers alot more bandwidth and is the future for super high speed ssds. We will not likely we sata 4 till ssds are widespread at hd level prices for tbs of them.
dolphie 23rd December 2012, 12:18 Quote
Keep em coming ssd people. Bigger faster cheaper.
docodine 24th December 2012, 19:43 Quote
there's a performance difference between sata2 and sata3 with ssds, don't know if there's a real-world performance difference but the benches show it
ssj12 28th December 2012, 05:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
The actual amount of 64 bit program's could be counted on one hand.

You must have a ton of fingers then. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-windows7-vista-64-bit-software.htm

The site's list does not include Frash, Java, and VLC plugins that are 64-bit. Or paid programs like Adobe's creative suites, Microsoft Office x64, etc.
mucgoo 29th December 2012, 18:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
The actual amount of 64 bit program's could be counted on one hand.

You must have a ton of fingers then. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-windows7-vista-64-bit-software.htm

The site's list does not include Frash, Java, and VLC plugins that are 64-bit. Or paid programs like Adobe's creative suites, Microsoft Office x64, etc.
With the exception of media editing programs and games if a program needs more than 2GB of RAM then its a case of poor optimization.
Elton 30th December 2012, 02:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
With the exception of media editing programs and games if a program needs more than 2GB of RAM then its a case of poor optimization.

Chrome with 20+ Tabs.
dolphie 1st January 2013, 13:04 Quote
Yeah but besides media editing programs, browsers, and games, what have the romans done for us?!
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