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Cache SSD shipments to see hundred-fold increase in four years

Intel's commitment to the ultrabook market will push cache SSD sales through the roof.

Sales of cache solid-state drives (SSDs) will soar in the next four years thanks to booming ultrabook sales, according to iSuppli.

The market research company believes that increased demand for a halfway house between a laptop and a tablet device, along with major backing from computing giant Intel, will see ultrabook sales increase substantially in the next three years.

Cache SSDs are like regular SSDs but are made up entirely of NAND flash, and must run alongside a traditional hard drive.

However, they provide much faster boot-up times and are a more economical means of enhancing system performance than a hard disk drive.

Intel is really pushing the ultrabook market, revealing at the Consumer Electronic Show 2012 at gesture-controlled models will be among the 75 new laptops it plans to introduce this year.

With this in mind, iSuppli expects shipments of cache SSD units to reach 25.7 million units in the next 12 months, and 68.2 million units the year after.

By the end of 2015, this figure could be 121 million units - more than a hundred-fold increase on current levels.

Ryan Chien, research associate for memory and storage at iSuppli, said: "From
[Intel's] introduction of the Nikiski reference design, to its announcement that more than 60 additional ultrabook designs will enter the market in time for the 2012 holiday season, Intel at CES showed that ultrabooks have become the centrepiece of its mobile computing strategy.

"Cache SSDs represent a key part of Intel's ultrabook specification, providing performance, convenience and power-savings capabilities that play a key role in defining the platform."

Of the more than 25 million cache SSDs to be shipped this year, about 22 million units will be present in ultrabooks. Last year this figure was just 500,000.

This is further good news for the SSD manufacturers, who are already benefitting from a supply shortage in the hard disk drive sector, caused by the flooding in Thailand.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801266031-ADNFCR