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SSDs pose no threat to disks, says iSuppli

Market research firm iSuppli is warning that it doesn't see solid state storage hitting the mainstream in the near future, despite recent advances in the field.

Although more systems are coming equipped with SSDs as an option, with Apple's SSD-only MacBook Air refresh possibly being the most well-known, the technology still represents a vanishing minority in the storage market - and iSuppli believes that won't change for a long time.

Analyst Fang Zhang, who carried out iSuppli's investigation, claims that although 2010 brought increased penetration for SSDs in the enterprise sector, where their endurance, reliability, low power usage, and extremely fast seek times prove a boon to large-scale database servers, the figures are still poor.

Projected figures for the year suggest that adoption of SSD technology will roughly triple in desktop and server markets - but that still leaves both at 1.2 per cent and 1.7 per cent of the market respectively.

The laptop market, where the ability for an SSD to shrug off a sudden impact without flinching has proven a boon, has shown a greater interest in the technology, climbing to 2.6 per cent of the market - roughly 7.24 million units, in other words.

Despite this growth across all sectors, Zhang boldly claims that "SSDs pose no threat at all to the dominion of HDD."The server market, where many expect SSD growth to explode as companies aim to get the highest performance for the lowest power draw, won't give the technology the boost it needs to become mainstream: "a few financial, retail and social media segments might require fast access with better performance typical of what SSD cache can provide," Zhang predicts, "but SSD penetration even in those segments will remain at less than 20 percent in the next five years."

While growth is assured for SSDs across all markets, it looks like it's going to be a while before it displaces the decades-old mechanical drive.

The full report can be read over on the iSuppli website.