Samsung Electronics led the global solid state drive (SSD) market last year with its market share double that of its U.S. rival Intel, the biggest semiconductor corporation in the world.
Intel is the world's largest and highest-valued semiconductor chip maker, including both memory and non-memory chips. Due to its absolute power in the microprocessor (MPU) sector, the company still leads the overall market with 3 percentage points more market share than Samsung.
However, the situation is the opposite in the SSD market. According to data provided by market research agency HIS on April 20, Samsung Electronics recorded US$3.996 billion (4.31 trillion won) in sales last year in the global SSD market with a market share of 34 percent, while Intel posted US$1.99 billion (2.15 trillion won) in the same period with a market share of 17 percent. Intel’s figure was just half of that of Samsung.
In 2014, Intel’s sales increased by almost 50 percent to beat Sandisk by a small margin and maintain the number two position. But Samsung’s growth rate was even higher with 53 percent to top, as it started mass-producing SSDs based on its vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology.
IHS also expected that Samsung’s market share will reach 35 percent this year, while Intel will maintain its current market share to around 17 percent, widening the gap further. Also, the figures of Samsung and Intel in 2016 are expected to be 35 percent and 16 percent.
Samsung Electronics has been aggressively strengthening its leading position in the global SSD market by introducing a new cutting-edge product line-up including Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe)-based SSDs and the portable SSD T1.
Samsung also gained a competitive edge over its rivals by starting the mass production of TLC-applied 3-bit V-NAND which will be considered as a game changer in the next-generation SSD market.
According to the IHS forecast by need of demand of NAND flash in the market in the next five years from 2014 to 2019, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of demand for PCs, including SSDs, will reach 51.9 percent, surpassing the figure of mobile devices with 49.7 percent during the same period.
IHS also expected that the USB and flash card market would show a minus growth with 0.2 percent, while the growth of chips for tablet PCs will stay at 39.4 percent.
Comparing the demand of SSDs and existing HDDs in the market, it is expected that the global SSD market will grow at an annual average rate of 21 percent from 83 million units sold in 2014 to 220 million units projected to be sold in 2019. On the other hand, the HDD market will decrease 3 percent annually from 442 million units sold in 2014 to 389 million five years later.