Driven by Market Research: Are you SOLID to the Power of 3?

By Shawn Adams - 2016-07-18

As a purchaser of electronic devices I am always driven by numbers, facts and statistics. I study the latest market trends, review the latest findings and even consider the 5 star rating of a particular product device. Today, Micron’s analysis of market data is telling us we are on the verge of the long-predicted HDD disruption. SSD will displace HDD in client computing, leading me to ask “Are you SOLID to the Power of 3”?

Thin is in

Figure 1 Source: Micron, Industry Analysts

For years, Micron has been studying market data for storage devices in client computing, and we’ve seen the shift into ultrathin personal computers and a demand for M.2 module based form factor coming for some time. This module based form factor is about the size of a stick of gum, offered in SATA III and PCIe interfaces and ideal for the ultrathin laptop or desktop PC. The traditional HDD form factor is 2.5-inch, limiting its ability to support the tiny footprint requirements of today’s ultrathin computers and even smaller ones in the future.

Figure 1 shows us the trend into ultrathin is happening now. In 2016 the form factor split is 71% M.2 and 25% 2.5-inch form factor. By 2019 we expect nearly 85% of client storage will be M.2. Leading me to believe that HDD in the client computing space may truly be a thing of the past.

Both Micron® 1100 SATA SSD and Micron® 2100 PCIe NVMe SSD will offer the M.2 form factor supporting this progression. For more information on the M.2 evolution reference technical brief New Data Challenges, New Form Factors: M.2 SATA and PCIe® NVMe™ SSDs Are Taking the Computing Experience to New Heights.

Breaking through the storage bottleneck

Figure 2 Source: Micron, Industry Analysts

With the SATA bus reaching its performance ceiling, PCIe is the next interface technology shift for Client SSD storage. Figure 2 shows us in 2016 PCIe will be about 30% of the SSD interface, growing to more than 60% by 2019. Already, the latest platforms include an embedded M.2 socket. Many of these sockets will accept either the established SATA SSD, or can auto detect and use PCIe SSD. Native OS support of NVMe in Windows 10 and Linux is making the switch between SATA and PCIe NVMe literally plug and play. In addition, NVMe is architected for NAND Flash PCIe based storage so it will optimize the performance and efficiency of the SSD. The long existence of the “storage bottleneck” is over as PCIe NVMe SSDs provides several times more available bandwidth than that of SATA. Micron® 2100 PCIe NVMe is positioned nicely by expanding our Client Product Portfolio and supplementing our PCIe NVMe SSDs solutions supporting corporate notebook application.

The Next Dimension of Storage

Figure 3 Source: Micron, Industry Analysts

Micron’s TLC NAND provides three times more capacity than any other NAND die in production. These significant improvements in density and cost enabled by our new 3D NAND technology creates the tipping point to accelerating the displacement of HDD by SSD. In addition, we are seeing a rapid adoption of our cost effective 3D NAND through enablers of Micron storage solutions.

Micron Client SSD solutions encapsulate these SOLID market trends accelerating the HDD disruption by the power of 3.

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Amit Gattani

Shawn Adams

Shawn Adams is Senior Client SSD Product Manager at Micron.