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the Top SSD Companies in Q1 2018

which grabbed the attention of SSD readers of StorageSearch.com

44th quarterly edition

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com
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.

Underlying the need for the original series was the need for some of product and technology compass at a time when it was obvious to me as the longest serving SSD market analyst that there would be disruptive change. (New product types which didn't exist before - remember this was before the first PCIe SSDs were sampled, new technologies - this was before flash had even become the dominant enterprise SSD technology, and new companies - this was before most of the biggest SSD companies by revenue today had even realized they needed to enter the market and well before they had had launched their first SSDs.)

Is there a similar level of uncertainty in the SSD market today?

Some market segments have become more predictable even if they are changing their roles. And new roles have been created by the predicted differentation of value slots defined by latency and R/W demands. But raining on all the neat past product roadmaps for SATA, SAS, PCIe and DIMM based SSDs has been the drip drip of new memory technologies and architectures which will change from the server level to cheapest storage in the cloud the way that new systems will be designed.

So I guess that the answer is - yes.

There's a lot of disruptive change still coming to the SSD market. And even if it's a safe prediction that cloud scale actors (Google, Amazon, Baidu) will continue to be at the forefront of pushing the demand for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness performance - that doesn't tell us enough about who's going to supply them. And when the memoryfication industry almost inveitably creates new markets of memory defined software then all it takes is a single new startup and one surgical killer app (the likes of word processing, email, web browsing and social media in past decades- and then you'll have entirely new industries and new names among the leading tech companies which supply them.

the Top SSD Companies - Q1 2018

based on StorageSearch.com reader interest in this period)
1 NGD Systems - same as before
2 Pure Storage - a former #1
3 Toshiba - now owned by...
4 Seagate - you don't need to spin your own flash
5 Micron - why did anyone think memory was unsexy?
6 Foremay - "Immortal" SSDs
7 Western Digital - #1 serial acquirer of SSD companies
8 Violin - what a comeback
9 Diablo Technologies - no longer with us
10 Intel - still looking for post processor roadmaps
11 Nimbus - SAS SSDs for petabyte trays
12 BiTMICRO - world's first enterprise flash SSD company
13 Symbolic IO (now Formulus Black) - using memory to recode computing
14 Tegile - pioneer of utility pricing for AFAs and hybrids
15 Kaminario - has exited the hardware market
16 Excelero - 1st time in these listings
17 Samsung - declared in 2005 - "SSDs are a srategiuc market"
18 Primary Data - rumors of demise
19 Viking - enterprise SSDs need industiral reliability
20 Rambus - integrating intelligence into the memory bus

hey - where's my company?

Sorry - this list is getting shorter. Although not as short as when the series started. And the simple reason is we don't need such long lists any more.

related reading

Can you trust SSD market data?

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

Decloaking hidden and missing market opportunities for enterprise flash

SSD ad - click for more info

If you could go back in time and take with you - in the custom DeLorean pickup - a factory full of modern memory chips and SSDs (along with backwards compatible adapters) what real impact would that have? Now - how about if you could come back to 2018 from the future? This thought experiment and analysis explains why we're seeing daringly different new memory accelerators which don't even look like memories.
are we ready for infinitely faster RAM? (and what would it be worth)

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