The ups and downs of drive production

We take a look at how the supply of ceramic capacitors may effect HDDs...


Fast-growing demand from the big data-hungry businesses such as Google, Amazon and Facebook could be having a knock-on effect on HDD prices.

It comes down to basic supply and demand; if the demand grows faster than the supply (which it is), prices are set to rise.

But what’s behind the lag from disk producers in meeting the unrelenting thirst for data storage media?

It all boils down to one vital component. While most of the parts needed to produce disks are in good supply, ceramic capacitors (in which ceramic material acts as the dielectric) – are not. Analysts say the situation shows no signs of improving any time soon.

HDDs that are being made are quickly snapped up. With the big players mopping up supply, the resulting shortfall is affecting smaller businesses in particular. But across the board, it may well result in prices starting to rise. ‘May’ and ‘starting’ are key words here; “The good news is that prices currently are holding steady,” said Adam Blackwell, Hammer’s Business Unit Manager for HDD & SSD.

On the other hand, even though production (supply) is starting to grow again, SSD prices are also remaining level. Some analysts expect that to change this year.

SSDs saw a big price hike last year due to a shortage of NAND. As NAND production continues to increase, prices are expected to fall in what economists call a ‘market correction’.

But this price adjustment will most likely not be uniform across the sector, explains Adam Blackwell, who recommends talking to your Hammer account manager to find out the latest vendor-by-vendor news.

Source: Hammer
Published Date: 28/03/2018

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