A dearth in NAND flash chip supply will cause the prices of mainstream SSDs (solid-state drives) to leap by as much as 16 percent this quarter over the previous quarter, meaning laptop makers won’t likely offer consumers higher capacity SSDs in their new systems, according to  from market research firm DRAMeXchange.

On average, contract prices for multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs supplied to the PC manufacturing industry are projected to go up by 12 percent to 16 percent compared with the final quarter of 2016; prices of TLC (triple-level cell) SSDs are expected to rise by 10 percent to 16 percent sequentially, according to DRAMeXchange.

In the second quarter of 2017, the average prices of mainstream client-grade SSDs will keep climbing, but at a more moderate rate.


The 960 Pro, an M.2 NVMe SSD, is available in up to 2TB.

“Average contract prices of client-grade SSDs in the PC-[manufacturing] market are rising this first quarter because not only [are] PC clients … aggressively stocking up their inventories, [but] smartphone clients are also maintaining strong demand for storage components,” said Alan Chen, a senior research manager of DRAMeXchange.

Lucas Mearian

A 240GB SSD from SanDisk that is based on triple-level cell NAND flash and uses the SATA III (6Gbps) interface.

As for SSD interface technologies, the adoption of the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) specification by computer makers (excluding Apple) will steadily increase compared with the more common serial ATA (SATA) interface. The PCIe interface is a physical interconnect for motherboard expansion. It vastly outperforms SATA as it requires no adaptor and the latest PCIe 3.0 specification allows for up to 16Gbps throughput.

The latest SATA specification offers up to 6Gbps throughput.

Intel has improved PCIe support for its CPU platforms and the number of suppliers for this interface has also grown, DRAMeXchange said in its report. DRAMeXchange expects the penetration rate of PCIe in the client-SSD market to reach around 25 percent in 2017, with PCIe 3.0 as the market share leader for that interface type. SATA III, however, will remain as the mainstream interface in the client-grade SSD market.

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