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the Top SSD Companies - Q4 2017

43rd quarterly edition

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - January 19, 2018
Since this series began 11 years ago it has helped millions of readers in the SSD ecosystem confidently identify emerging market patterns and significant new companies.

About a year ago I started asking myself - is this list still needed? - as we now have plenty of market research companies which track the memory and SSD systems markets - so that anyone can see who the biggest companies are based on revenue and shipments.

And like countless writers in the past who have created popular characters and series I felt like I was trapped by the commitment of time needed to write the commentaries which accompanied many editions of the series in the years from 2014 to 2016.

Yes they were challenging to write succinctly but mostly repeated stuff I'd already thought or written. And maybe they were content-bloat...

I felt I'd rather write about other things.

So I did an experiment and quietly stopped publishing the lists for 2 successive quarters without any note of explanation. I still had the lists - and they were guiding my priorities for editorial and analyzing the market. That's how this type of list had become useful for me in my publishing of server hardware directories in the 1990s.

Several factors made me realise that I had to resume publishing this data.
  • readers were still seeking it - and even the ageing versions of the list were among the most popular articles sought by readers
  • one of the original arguments for the list is that financial data is backwards looking and the Top SSD Companies List had been a good predictor of 1-2 year ahead future companies who would be significant in the market (even if they often got acquired).
  • I was still finding that the (unpublished) lists were giving significant insights into emerging changes and the identities of the companies most likely to go up (or down) in the industry's considerations
So here's the new edition. Without commentaries. If you want to know more - just read more of the news and articles which were published here on the mouse site in the same period and in the year leading up to it - which you can always see in the news archives.

the Top 25 SSD Companies - Q4 2017

based on reader interest in this period)
1 NGD Systems - 1st time at #1
2 Pure Storage
3 Seagate
4 Micron
5 Intel
6 Violin Systems
7 Western Digital
8 Toshiba
9 Foremay
10 Diablo Technologies
11 Tegile
12 Symbolic IO
13 Virtium
14 Nimbus
15 Kaminario
16 Hynix
17 Samsung
18 Viking
19 V&G
20 IP-Maker
21 Dell EMC
22 IBM
23 (tied) Everspin
23 (tied) Innodisk
25 Silicon Motion
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Who were the SSD companies just outside this list?

The next 10 or so companies (not listed in ranking order) were:-
related reading

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guide to semiconductor memory boom-bust cycles - with an SSD bias

Decloaking hidden and missing market opportunities for enterprise flash

selected comments

Stephen Bates, CTO - Eideticom (on linkedin) - "It's always fun to see your list... Good to see NGD systems at #1. In-Situ processing is an exciting area for storage as the controller CPUs become overwhelmed by these new NVMe SSDs and we need to be a bit cleverer about where we provide our storage services...."

It looks like you're seriously interested in SSDs so if you've got the time - you might also want to take a look at the home page of which - unlike most home pages - also includes some real content.
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the top SSD oems

the Top SSD Companies - series overview

In this quarter there were permanent changes as the SSD and memoryfication markets adjusted to the reality that several so called "emerging" memories had irrevocably productized to create a new diversified tiered memory landscape.

Users were growing more receptive to new architectures.

The continuing memory shortages broke some business plans while facilitating others.

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after All Flash Arrays?
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how fast can your SSD run backwards?
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the Top SSD Companies - series overview
consolidation in enterprise flash arrays market
Branding Strategies in the SSD Market (case studies)
after 2017 - questions re SSD's onward direction
say farewell to reassuringly boring industrial SSDs
the enterprise SSD story why's the plot so complicated?
miscellaneous consequences of the 2017 memory shortages
from the fallout of nuclear to burying the hatchet - Toshiba's pageant

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recently in the SSD news archives
December 2017 Diablo Technologies ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy.

Toshiba and Western Digital buried the hatchet and resolved the disputes which had arisen from the changed ownership of Toshiba's flash memory fabs.
November 2017 IntelliProp demonstrated a memory controller for the emerging Gen-Z memory fabric.
October 2017 Infinidat announced a $95 million funding round round.
September 2017 Toshiba announced the winner of the $18 billion beauty pageant to find a suitable buyer for its memory and SSD business.
August 2017 Western Digital agreed to acquire Tegile which had pioneered innovative "utility" based customer pricing models in the hybrid storage array market.
July 2017 Viking shipped 50TB planar MLC 3.5" SAS SSDs based on a controller platform designed by rackmount SSD maker Nimbus.

Micron's Inotera fab scrapped 60,000 wafers - equivalent to 1 month of worldwide 3D nand flash wafer starts.

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after AFAs - what's next?
Throughout the history of the data storage market we've always expected the capacity of enterprise user memory systems to be much smaller than the capacity of all the other attached storage in the same data processing environment.

after AFAs - click to read rhe articleA thought provoking blog on - cloud adapted memory systems - asks (among other things) if this will always be true. the article

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