Intel: SSDs may never be price competitive

Knut S. Grimsrud suggests that time may be running out for SSDs

A leading Intel Fellow explained that SSD "may never" become competitive with normal hard drives in terms of price.

Speaking at this year's IDF San Francisco, Intel's SSD guru, Knut S. Grimsrud, Technology and Manufacturing Group Director of Storage explained that time may be running out for the SSD.

He suggests that the timeframe for SSDs becoming cheaper than traditional spinning platter hard drives - on a price per gigabyte level - is "quite a way off." Grimsrud followed that up by saying that it "may actually never be the case."

"That doesn't mean it's hopeless," he continued. "On a per unit basis I do see that in the very near future SSD can actually be cheaper."

Price per unit more of interest

Grimsrud explained that in terms of usage then you could argue that a cheap, "big enough" SSD would be cheaper than an unnecessarily large hard drive. "On a netbook maybe you don't need a terabyte of storage, maybe all you need is $30 worth of storage."

"The unit price of a big enough SSD could make it interesting even if the $/GB isn't competitive."

He followed that up by talking about when we might actually see large capacity SSDs on the market. "There really aren't any technical barriers to making really big SSDs today, but there are financial barriers because you pay proportional to the capacity."

Prices are coming down relatively. "Costs are scaling really nicely," Grimsrud continued. "You'll notice with each generation you're getting more for roughly the same price."