Brian Beard, flash marketing manager for Samsung Semiconductor, told CNET in a phone interview that solid state disks are expected to reach price parity on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis with hard disk drives in the next few years.
Beard explained why a cost gap persists between solid-state drives and hard-disk drives. "The difference in cost is fundamentally very different. A hard drive has a fixed cost of $40 or $50 for the spindle, the motors, the PCB (printed circuit board), the cables," he said. "To make the hard drive spin faster (increase speed) or to add capacity doesn't really add a lot of incremental cost to the drive." (The price for most laptop-class hard-disk drives on the market is between $60 and $100 at retail, Beard said.)
"When you contrast this with SSDs, they also have a fixed cost for the PCB and the case and the controller, which is lower than the fixed cost of a hard drive," according to Beard. "But as you scale the capacity of the SSD up, the cost scales linearly. For example, if the spot price of the flash chip itself is $2, a 64GB drive is going to cost $128 just for the flash and then you would add the fixed cost of the PCB and the case, he said. So, the cost will double as you double the capacity, according to Beard.