Solid-state drive (SSD) providers were busy last quarter. Collectively, they shipped nearly 30.8 million SSDs during the first quarter of 2016, amounting to 10 exabytes of flash storage, according to Trendfocus, a data storage research firm.
Samsung is the undisputed leader in terms of both units shipped (42 percent) and total capacity (51 percent). SanDisk, which was just snapped up by hard drive marker Western Digital, is a distant second having shipped over 12 percent of all SSDs and nearly 10 percent of SSD capacity.
"In an otherwise down market for HDDs [hard disk drives], the enterprise SSD market saw growth in all segments – SATA, SAS, and PCIe," observed Trendfocus vice president Don Jeanette in a blog post. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, the PCIe segment grew the fastest at 16.3 percent, followed by SAS (6.7 percent) and SATA (5 percent).
Forty percent of all NAND flash chip output last quarter made its way into SSDs, noted Trendfocus. The rest (60 percent) went into tablets, phones and other devices.
Despite the PC downturn, vendors made some gains in the client SSD space in Q1.
All told, suppliers shipped 27 million SSDs, a 4 percent quarterly increase. The market for drive form factor SSDs, typically of the 2.5-inch variety, edged out SSD modules by rising 5 percent, quarter-to-quarter. "This is a reflection of the down PC market in CQ1 '16 as modules are somewhat tied directly to PC demand with system OEMs."
The PC market is in a sustained slump, although there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Last year, worldwide PC shipments dropped 8 percent to 288.7 million units compared to 2014, according to figures released by IDC. For Q1 2016, the research firm said vendors shipped 60.6 million PCs, a 11.5 percent year-over-year decline. Among the market leaders, HP was the hardest hit with a 10.8 percent drop, followed by Lenovo and Asus, with declines of 8.5 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.
"In the short term, the PC market must still grapple with limited consumer interest and competition from other infrastructure upgrades in the commercial market," said IDC research manager Jay Chou, in a statement. "Nevertheless, IDC still projects total business IT spending to grow compared to 2015, and as we head toward the end of 2016 things should start picking up in terms of Windows 10 pilots turning into actual PC purchases."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.