How very timely that OCZ reported today that they will file for bankruptcy and try to sell their assets to Toshiba. OCZ's previous management often blamed their slower than expected sales growth on NAND supply shortages however I don't think that was the entire story. It's quite sad that such great technology was so mismanaged (as is happening with Violin Memory). Sometimes "visionary" CEOs that ignore all opposition and charge on ahead hoping the market will catch up to them if only they spend enough are in the end just crazy not eccentric.
You could make a case the handful of global flash makers are using their clout and lower costs to grab buisness from independent card makers. I'm not sure if that's a big enough issue to arouse regulators.
I know the price pressure out there is intense. Anyone haerd of selling below cost to buy market share?
It seems highly likely to me that as the price expected by the market for SSD's falls, the available margin for anybody other than the NAND makers disappears. It makes sense for the NAND makers to want to control the format their products are sold in and to make their products look best, hence doing their own SSD's or even their own controllers. By doing this the SSD's can get closer to being competitive in price to HDD's, enough for their own advantages in terms of speed, shock resistance power etc to make sales happen.
Note that at the same time the computer manufacturers are ditching SSD's in the sense of a bought in HDD replacement, and building their own on the motherboard - look at the latest MacBook's.
SSD as a plugin replacement for HDD's may therefore have only a limited market lifetime in newly manufactured equipment, leaving consumer end upgrades as the only market.
To me it looks like it is still too early to call a winner in this market. It is very tempting to draw a straight line in terms of SSD's replacing traditional spinning mass storage, but there are architectural shifts still happening in the computing market. At a minimum I can see solid state devices moving off of SATA and other traditional interfaces and onto ones that better support them. I also expect even more integration of PC components rather than the traditional mix-and-match component architecture we have had for so long. In that situation it's hard to tell who might come out on top.
Just a few weeks ago there was a news story that said that DRAM and FLASH pricing was in decline due to over supply, as the result of slower than anticipated sales of phones/PC's/Tablets. So, what is the true state of supply for Flash/Dram??
According to most data sources and nand producers, nand prices have been steadily declining for last several months. Lsi issues are due to samsung delivering new ssds with their own controller. Side note ... two of the largest acquisitions listedb were by wd..... which is not a pc vendor or a nand producer
It seems highly likely to me that as the price expected by the market for SSD's falls, the available margin for anybody other than the NAND makers disappears. It makes sense for the NAND makers to want to control the format their products are sold in and to make their products look best, hence doing their own SSD's or even their own controllers. By doing this the SSD's can get closer to being competitive in price to HDD's, enough for their own advantages in terms of speed, shock resistance power etc to make sales happen. It's only natural that computer manufacturers are ditching SSDs given the greater cost compared to HDDs, unless consumers want to upgrade which is only going to account for a very small space within the larger market. As for flash makers trying to grab business from independnet card makers, regulators would have been all over that had the idea come to the surface, not to mention it may not be worth the costs of selling below what it takes to manufacture the components.
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