The oversupply in the NAND Flash market has resulted in price decline of Client SSD – driving the demand, said TrendForce.
The SSD adoption rate in the notebook market will exceed 50 percent this year. PCIe SSDs will gradually replace SATA III SSDs, the current mainstream product, at a faster pace. The penetration rate of PCIe in the client-SSD market may reach over 50 percent this year.
PCIe SSD has an edge over SATA SSD for read/write performance. As the price difference between PCIe SSD and SATA III SSD will narrow considerably during this year, major PC OEMs and modules makers are expected to increase the PCIe SSD adoption rate in their products.
The oversupply in the NAND Flash market has put most SSD suppliers under the pressure of capacity consumption. Together with most SSD suppliers’ promotion of their new 64- and 72-layer 3D SSDs at lower prices, contract prices of mainstream Client-SSDs for PC-OEMs are on a slide during Q2 2018.
The average contract price of SATA Client-SSDs dips by 6-11 percent quarter on quarter, while that of the PCIe counterparts drops by 3-10 percent. For both SATA-SSD and PCIe-SSD, contract prices have fallen in two consecutive quarters.
The average contract price of PCIe products is about 10 percent higher compared with that of the SATA III products. The price difference will narrow considerably during this year due to the drop in prices of Client SSD in general, as well as the release of entry- and mid-level controller chips for PCIe SSDs.
In addition to existing suppliers like Marvell, SMI and Phison, some new players like ASolid, Maxiotek, Realtek, SAGE, etc. have also entered the market of SSD controller chip. Marvell, SMI, and Phison have complete product lines, ranging from entry-level SATA to high-end PCIe, with the most extensive customer base.
New entrants currently focus on SATA DRAMless controller chip solutions. They aim to first secure a place in the SATA sector, before expanding their research and development to more challenging PCIe products.
ASolid’s AS2258 SSD SATA 6Gbps Controller is designed for 3D NAND Flash with high performance-price ratio and dual-channel architecture. It integrates SDRAM, LDPC of Error Correction Code and Die RAID for better performance and data protection.
These new entrants are actively deploying in PCIe controller chip product lines. Realtek’s existing PCIe products have entered mass production, while ASolid, SAGE, and Maxiotek all plan to send their PCIe products to clients for test in the second half of this year, adding new growth momentum to PCIe SSD market.