Why are SSDs so expensive?


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Nov 11, 2007
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#2
Hard disk drives are cheaper because they have extremely low cost of manufacturing. The aluminum/glass platers with magnetic layers are less than US$5 per piece. Add the read/write head which cost like super cheap (less than US$3) as they are all mass manufactured on a single wafer before they are diced into individual heads. Other significant parts are the spindle motor, voice coil motor, E-block assembly, hard casing, etc; these don't cost a lot. The profit margin on your hard disk drives is still rather large. The main selling point of Hard disk drives is the larger capacity, offering cheaper dollars per Gigabyte when compared to SSDs.
 

sgvideoman

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#3
Hard disk drives are cheaper because they have extremely low cost of manufacturing. The aluminum/glass platers with magnetic layers are less than US$5 per piece. Add the read/write head which cost like super cheap (less than US$3) as they are all mass manufactured on a single wafer before they are diced into individual heads. Other significant parts are the spindle motor, voice coil motor, E-block assembly, hard casing, etc; these don't cost a lot. The profit margin on your hard disk drives is still rather large. The main selling point of Hard disk drives is the larger capacity, offering cheaper dollars per Gigabyte when compared to SSDs.
I wonder when the price of SSDs will drop to the level of harddisks.
 

adorable

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#5
Will we reach a state where most HDD in future products, are replaced by SSD in, say, 5 years' or 10 years' time? :dunno:
 

Oct 30, 2007
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#6
Will we reach a state where most HDD in future products, are replaced by SSD in, say, 5 years' or 10 years' time? :dunno:
at the rate things are going today, bring that down by 2 years. so i'd say rughly 3 years down the road, SSD will be as cheap as HDD.
 

aryanto

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#7
It seems cant escape this reality yet: You get what you pay ...

article linked above part 3 said:
There is, however, a problem that still has to be overcome before SSDs can achieve that future growth. Evolution toward lower cost will be made possible by finer manufacturing technology, multi-level architecture and other advances, but these changes will also degrade NAND Flash memory quality.

NAND Flash memory quality is also beginning to drop. Chips manufactured using 90nm-generation technology in 2004-05, for example, were assured for about 100,000 rewrites and data retention of about a decade. As multi-level architecture and smaller geometry are introduced, quality is showing a sharp decline. The 30nm 2-bit/cell chips expected to enter volume production in 2009-10 may well end up with a rewrite assurance of no more than 3,000 cycles, and a data retention time of about a year. The first 3-bit/cell chips are hitting the market now, with only a few hundred rewrites.
Link http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/HONSHI/20090528/170920/
 

Jan 20, 2008
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#8
Can't say for the next 50yrs, but for the next decade or so...
SSD will always command a premium.
The premium either comes at higher price or lower space.
While traditional harddisk still offer the cheapest cost per unit.
 

diver-hloc

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#9
Like everything else.... price will drop as time goes by.

1TB 3.5" HDD used to cost $300-$500 2 years ago.... now, less than $150....

Sooner or later the price of SSD would drop also.... just don't expect large 500GB SSD would be cheap anyime soon. :sweat:
 

Limsgp

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#10
Simply because HDD manufacturing is more matured than Flash memory production.

If the manufacturers shift their attention to SSD and invest more in it's research, and spend less effort on HDD, then SSD may reach comparable pricing with HDD. If they continue to invest equal effort on both, it'll be quite far away for the SSD to reach similar pricing with HDD on a cost per GB basis..
 

#11
There could be a possibility that SSD will be even cheaper than harddisk in the future as demand grow towards SSD rather than harddisk. Just like what you see now, a IDE harddisk is more expensive than SATA harddisk, because not much people are using IDE harddisk now...
 

Limsgp

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#12
That is provided SATA manufacturing cost is not much higher than IDE, so if the demand for SATA increases it's price will drop below IDE.

But for flash memory, it's manufacturing costs is much higher than HDD on a per GB basis. If the manufacturers continue to invest in HDD to make it much cheaper, it will be difficult for SSD to catch up. In the first place, due to much higher pricing, the demand may not be that great. On the other hand, if the manufacturers invest more on SSD, so as to bring down the manufacturing costs while HDD costs remains not much changes, than SSD might catch up, as mentioned in previous posts.
 

lioneldude

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#13
Actually the HDD market is looking into high storage capacity with low cost. The future in the next 5 years would prob see products like 4~8TB drives that will be aimed to the home user, not only for PC, but HD Video, etc.

SSDs will unable to match the storage size of HDDs as there is a limitation in the size of the cell. The aim of SSD market at the moment is cost reduction, and targeting towards mobile storage devices like for laptops, handheld gaming, phones, etc.
 

#14
Simply because HDD manufacturing is more matured than Flash memory production.

If the manufacturers shift their attention to SSD and invest more in it's research, and spend less effort on HDD, then SSD may reach comparable pricing with HDD. If they continue to invest equal effort on both, it'll be quite far away for the SSD to reach similar pricing with HDD on a cost per GB basis..
Sure, hard drives were available for small systems in the late 1970s at a cost of about US$5000 for 5 MB. Thirty years later, they've become about as efficient as they can be, both to make and to use.

We still have a while before SSD systems become reliable enough to use inexpensively. It doesn't seem possible to wear our electronic parts but it certainly happens with flash RAM.
 

Jun 12, 2008
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#15
Just look at these:
floppy disk - CDR - thumbdrives

CRT monitor - LCD monitor - LED monitor

VCR - LD - VCD - DVD - Blu-ray

Film - digicam

HDD - SSD - well, it is a matter of time.
 

Gizmore

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#16
Lets not forget that conventional HDD and NAND SSD HDD are completely different technology.

It is not like SSD storage are invented by conventional HDD companies (i.e. seagate) to replace existing HDD technology. SSD HDD technology are at an infant state whereby sustainable/reliable writes/read is nowhere near that of conventional HDD.

Whether or not SSD HDD will replace conventional ones remains to be seem as like I said, they are driven by different companies (technology). It could well complete in parallel like USB and firewire.

That said, in terms mechanical robustness, SSD wins hands down for now. But who knows, there just might be new technology to just kick SSD too.
 

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