SSD market revenue could double in 2013 thanks to ultrabooks

The solid-state drive market is poised to have a record year--if lower-cost ultrabooks can hold up their end of the bargain.

The DRAM market isn't the only supply chain partner depending heavily on PC--and especially ultrabook--shipments to meet revenue forecasts this year.

The solid-state drive (SSD) market could see its revenue as much as double this year if ultrabook shipments meet expectations, based on a new report from IHS Suppli.

According to the market intelligence firm, SSD shipments worldwide are poised to reach 83 million units this year--up from 39 million in 2012.

Ryan Chien, an analyst covering memory and storage at IHS, explained in the report that ultra-thin computing devices are expected to be more popular this year, especially thanks to the recent launch of Windows 8.

The fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for ultrabooks and other ultrathin PCs that use cache drives. While SSD shipments rose by 124 percent last year, growth actually fell short of expectations because ultrabook sales faltered due to poor marketing, high prices, and a lack of appealing features. However, if sales of the new generation of ultrabooks take off this year as expected, the SSD market is set for robust growth.

Besides projected ultrabook sales, analysts cited lower prices for NAND flash memory as well as more use within the enterprise sector as contributing factors to an expected record year for the SSD segment.

IHS analysts forecasted that SSD shipments will grow to approximately 239 million units by 2016, which would equal roughly 40 percent of the hard-disk drive market at that time.