Kingmax Sales VP Talks About Trends In Flash Memory At Computex 2012
Members of the international technology media gathered in Kingmax’s booth at Computex 2012, to engage in a group Q&A session with Lawrence Chang, Senior Vice President for the company’s Sales Department. Here's what he had to say:
1. What are the main trends that are currently affecting your company, along with the rest of the memory and storage industry?
This year, the price of SSDs have dropped down to below US$1 per gigabyte, and is now approaching the US$ 0.85 mark. This has done a lot to create new demand for SSD products on the consumer side and more importantly the commercial and industrial side. We expect that 55 million SSD units will be sold in 2012 alone.
There is a growing number of regular users who have opted to upgarde their systems with speedier SSDs, along with factories and corporations which have switched to SSDs for their embedded storage, as they are more rugged and have no moving parts that may break down. This is also why one of our main focus areas this year is Industrial SSD solutions.
Another big trend is mobile technology. We’re seeing an explosion of affordable tablets and smartphones with dual and quad-core processors. These devices are going to need flash memory in the form of embedded SSDs and microSD cards, for both file storage as well as high-quality photo and video recording, which we offer.
2. What can you say about the new USB 3.0 standard and the Thunderbolt interface?
With the launch of Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform, more PCs will be featuring USB 3.0 ports, which should accelarate the adoption of the new standard. This, along with the increasing supply of USB 3.0 thumbdrives should also bring costs down to within 10% of USB 2,0 by the end of this year, and 30% of the market will be using USB 3.0
As for Thunderbolt, Intel has just recently released the technology to “Wintel” platforms, so we think it is going to take about a year for its price to drop, depending on how Intel coordinates with component makers to bring costs down. On our part, we are currently in talks with our suppliers, asking how soon key components for a Thunderbolt device will be available.
3. What about your more traditional products like DRAM memory modules? Is it still a priority product category?
Right now the PC market is not growing as fast as it used to - no more double-digit growth like before - due to the slowing world economy and entry-level desktops being replaced by middle-range notebooks, tablets and smartphones that use embedded components.
However, we see that this slowdown is being offset by the demand for better memory modules and storage for servers (thanks to cloud computing), along with the continued growth of demand for high-performance components by gamers. We are actually developing a cost-effective SSD-DRAM upgrade package for gamers who are looking to upgrade their storage and memory components.