In a telephonic interview with CNET, Brian Beard, flash marketing manager for Samsung Semiconductor claimed that few years down the line, there will be a price parity between HDDs and SSDs. His reasoning behind this statement is that the flash memory prices have been coming down in the last five years and the trend indicates SSDs will someday meet the price point of a HDD.
“Flash on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis will reach price parity, at some point, with hard disk drives in the next few years.”
He also explains why the difference exists. “The difference in cost is fundamentally very different. A hard drive has a fixed cost of $40 or $50 for the spindle, the motors, the PCB (printed circuit board), the cables,” he said. “To make the hard drive spin faster (increase speed) or to add capacity doesn’t really add a lot of incremental cost to the drive.” (The price for most laptop-class hard-disk drives on the market is between $60 and $100 at retail, Beard said.)
“When you contrast this with SSDs, they also have a fixed cost for the PCB and the case and the controller, which is lower than the fixed cost of a hard drive,” according to Beard. “But as you scale the capacity of the SSD up, the cost scales linearly. For example, if the spot price of the flash chip itself is $2, a 64GB drive is going to cost $128 just for the flash and then you would add the fixed cost of the PCB and the case.”