While the next-generation storage device SSD (Solid State Drive) market continues to grow rapidly, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix’s ‘K-semiconductor’ products are showing outstanding performance.
Following surpassing the world’s No 1 SSD export market Taiwan and ranking first last year, Korean semiconductor companies are continuing to widen the gap this year. While Samsung Electronics is firmly maintaining its No 1 position, SK Hynix is also expected to chase Samsung through the acquisition of Intel’s business division.
According to the International Trade Center (ITC) under the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the 30th, the amount of world’s SSD export was USD 40.41 billion last year, up 31.5 per cent from USD 30.22 billion in the previous year. Compared to 2016 (USD 20.19 billion), the volume of trade was doubled in four years.
In contrast, export of the traditional storage devices such as HDD (Hard Disk Drive) peaked in 2018 (USD 75.272 billion), and has been decreasing to USD 65.37 billion in 2019 and USD 62.69 billion last year.
According to the industry, the growth of the SSD market is because demand for electronics such as laptops increased rapidly due to the telecommuting and online classes by the spread of COVID-19 and sales of SSD for business also increased significantly due to the continuous growth of big data and cloud industries.
SSD has advantages of fast data processing, low noise and power consumption, small size, and light weight. However, it also has disadvantages that it is more expensive than HDD and storage capacity is low. These disadvantages have been a constraint on replacing HDD.
However, sales of SDD has been increasing as global IT companies such as Google, Facebook, and Oracle use SDD to lower server operating cost in recent years.
SDD is still expensive to purchase, but it is effective in reducing operating costs in the long run with its lower power consumption and high durability.
According to the market research firm TrendForce, the average price of business SSD increased sharply by 13~18 per cent and consumer SSD also increased by 3~8 per cent as market demand grows again.
In particular, Korean companies’ performance is outstanding.
Between January and July this year, Korea’s SSD exports posted USD 6.327 billion, surpassing Taiwan (USD 5.972 billion).
Taiwanese companies had been strong in the SSD market, but the trend has changed since last year. Korean companies surpassed Taiwan last year for the first time by posting USD 10.12 billion exports.
Earlier this year, Korea and Taiwan were competing for the No 1 export country, but since May, Korean companies have been ahead of exports for three consecutive months, widening the gap.
According to TrendForce, the consumer SSD market may be slowdown as demand for electronics that surged due to COVID-19 has decreased, but the business SSD market, where Korean companies are strong in sales, is expected to continue to grow by 0~5 per cent in the fourth quarter.
As the market growth continues, the competition between Korean companies is also expected to be fierce.
Samsung Electronics has already made the ‘super-gap’ in the SSD market. According to the market research firm Omdia, Samsung Electronics had the largest share of the global business SSD market last year with 42.6 per cent.
SK Hynix is also focusing on expanding shares in the SSD market by announcing acquirement of Intel’s NAND Flash business division including SSD in October last year.
Although the merger process, including anti-trust review, has not yet been completed in China, the combined market share of SK Hynix and Intel will increase to 30.3 per cent from current SK Hynix’s share 10.7 per cent, greatly narrowing the gap between Samsung. ANI