Could hard disk drives disappear much sooner than expected? New reports indicate prices of NAND memory are dropping like a rock thanks to the adoption of 3D NAND technology. A story by NetworkComputing notes 2016 is going to be a huge year for solid state disks: not only will SSDs surpass HDDs in terms of capacity, but they're also expected to achieve price-parity with HDDs towards the end of 2016.
So what about SSD price points? In 2014, prices for high-end consumer SSDs dropped below enterprise-class HDD, and continued to drop in 2015. A terabyte SSD can be had for around $300. Moreover, this is before 3D NAND begins to further cut prices. By the end of 2016, it’s a safe bet that price parity will be close, if not already achieved, between consumer SSDs and the bulk SATA drives.
This will put pressure on hard-disk drive makers to lower prices, but, frankly, they’ve used up most of the tricks to reduce cost and are already at single-digit margins for bulk SATA drives, so they don’t have much wriggle room.
With parity achieved in capacity and price, one has to ask whether HDDs will still be needed. SSDs are blindingly fast in comparison. Typically, large consumer SSDs are 5x the streaming performance and 5000x the random read/write rate. With low operating power and very low standby power, SSDs are ideal for large archives, too.