SSD price influence factors

Author: Queena
Source:
Date: 2017-12-07

Solid State Drive (SSD) is a storage device that USES NAND Flash Memory as a storage medium. Due to the physical characteristics of NAND Flash, compared with the traditional Hard disk (Hard Drive), SSD with low power consumption, low noise, light, shock resistant, highly efficient, and many other advantages, so in recent years in the whole SSD storage market shipments to rise year by year.

According to semiconductor storage device research report pointed out that the kinetic energy of the SSD shipment today still in high-grade, especially in consumer (Client) SSD market, its growth momentum is expected to will be able to continue into 2020 (figure 1).

SSD interface continues to evolve PCIe expansion to win over SATA

The physical interface of SSD is supported mainly by Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe). SATA Gen3 is the most popular SSD transmission interface in the current market, and its theoretical transmission bandwidth is 6GT/s. Over the past few years, SATA Gen3's data transmission bandwidth has a distinct advantage over traditional hard drives, prompting the market share of SSD to increase year by year.

NAND Flash, meanwhile, the process and the related technology is also constantly evolving, NAND Flash and transmission interface standard of the controller, the Legacy Mode from the past to the present Toggle/ONFI 4.0 2.0 has amplitude greatly speed improvement, make the most popular SATA Gen3 in the past few years, its theoretical bandwidth have become a major bottleneck in their development of SSD, PCIe SSD will embolden.

For PCIe Gen3, the theoretical bandwidth can be up to 8GT/s (1-lane). Besides, the PCIe interface provides excellent expansibility, and the theoretical transmission bandwidth will be multiplied by the number of channels (lane). At present, PCIe interface can be extended from 1-lane to 16-lane, which can be said to be not on the same level as SATA.

In addition to the physical Interface to support evolution, SSD and motherboard (the Host), the transport protocol between the also respond to the rapid development of NAND Flash, from earlier to the SATA device for the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI), gradually to the Non - Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), table 1 simple controls the AHCI vs. NVMe major differences.

In other words, the transmission protocol of NVMe, following the evolution of PCIe interface, once again freed SSD, which USES NAND Flash as a storage media device, to push SSD to the next generation. With the adoption of the NVMe transmission agreement in SSD market, the consumption grade PCIe SSD is expected to reach the market share of around 50% in 2018.

There are several major factors that can directly affect the sales number of products in the consumer class SSD market.

price

Generally speaking, NAND Flash is the most expensive component of the entire SSD. With the SSD configuration of different manufacturers, NAND Flash can cost 80%~95% of the total Material cost of SSD (Bill of Material, BOM).

However, NAND Flash is an essential storage configuration for SSDS. Therefore, it is a method to save cost to reduce the price and remove unnecessary components from other SSDS.

The first thing the vendors want to remove is the Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), which is roughly $3 to $4 for a 4Gb DRAM chip. Obviously, if DRAM can be removed from the BOM on SSD, there will be considerable help for the cost and price of SSD.

Power consumption

Power consumption will be another major consideration for SSD vendors, especially for the target market, which is the SSD product for PC OEM. Generally, the SSD will take up about 5%~10% of a portable device.

If the SSD reduces Power consumption, the overall Power Budget will be left to the rest of the zero component and to extend the battery life of the portable device.

reliability

The reliability of the data of SSD as a user's storage device is bound to be the most important consideration. Although today's all kinds of error detection and error correction technology increasingly developed, but if you will be a power outage or loss of data DRAM removed, can further reduce the possibility of user data is lost or distortion.

performance

Even if all these factors are SSD manufacturers and users, efficiency still strongly influences consumers' willingness to buy SSD. If an SSD does not have a DRAM to use as a Cache, its effectiveness is bound to be significantly affected, which is why dram-less SSD is not widely available in the PCIe SSD market today. Consumers who buy PCIe SSD products today are mainly in need of high-speed access, while removing DRAM is a discount to the overall performance of SSDS.


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