Computex, Taiwan – Solid-state disk (SSD) has for years been touted as "the next big thing" in computer hardware, but it has been patently slow off the mark. This situation is, however, about to change.
Steve Chang, vice-president of one of Taiwan's leading memory and storage companies, Transcend, believes that 2011 will finally be the year that SSD comes to the fore in the IT sector.
In an interview two years ago, Chang was optimistic that SSD would have found its rightful place in the hardware industry by last year, but various issues such as high prices proved to be major obstacles.
This year, however, he says the industry has changed its tune regarding SSD.
"I think this year will see the start of SSD taking off," Chang says. "We can already see more and more applications for it – the Mac notebooks and iPad are perfect examples – and other notebook and tablet manufacturers are now following in Apple's footsteps.
"They are testing SSD and they all know that it is a looming trend," he adds.
Traditional hard drive manufacturers such as Seagate, he says, have also recognised the trend and are starting to make moves towards SSD.
"This year is critical for applications as the price of SSD becomes cheaper and cheaper," Chang says. "The price of 1Gb of SSD is about $2.00, but the real cost to manufacturers is probably $1.50, so it is becoming more and more practical from a cost point of view."
Chang says Transcend is targeting three main sectors when it comes to SSD: "There are industrial applications, such as in motor vehicles where motion and heat are an issue; in enterprise storage where power consumption has become a top priority; and in notebooks which have a huge part to play. If 30% of the notebook manufacturers use SSD, then the demand will very quickly escalate dramatically."