Yasuo Naruke, executive officer, corporate executive vice president of Toshiba (photo taken at a press conference in the Yokkaichi Operations Sept 9, 2014)
Yasuo Naruke, executive officer, corporate executive vice president of Toshiba (photo taken at a press conference in the Yokkaichi Operations Sept 9, 2014)
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Toshiba Corp organized a meeting to explain its semiconductor/storage business at its headquarters in Tokyo Sept 29, 2014.

Yasuo Naruke, executive officer, corporate executive vice president of Toshiba, and president of Semiconductor & Storage Products Company, took the podium and explained strategies for its NAND flash memories, storage devices (SSDs/HDDs), discrete and logic semiconductors, etc.

At the meeting, Naruke announced Toshiba's plan to strengthen its enterprise SSD business targeted mainly at data centers. He said that the market for enterprise SSDs has been rapidly divided into two segments in the past year. One is for low-speed, large-capacity SSDs used only for storing data. And the other is for high-speed SSDs that store a large amount of data like cache memory and process it all at once.

Replacement of high-speed HDDs by SSDs

The cost per bit of high-speed SSDs has been lowered, and it is now almost as low as that of high-speed HDDs (2.5 inch, 15,000rpm), which have already started to be replaced with high-speed SSDs, Naruke said. According to Toshiba's data, the cost per bit of high-speed SSDs will become lower than that of 15,000rpm high-speed HDDs in 2016 and that of 2.5-inch 10,000rpm HDDs in 2021. So, the company considers that the replacement of enterprise HDDs by SSDs will accelerate in or after 2015.

Toshiba expects that the cost per bit of SSDs will become lower than that of low-speed (about 7,000rpm), large-capacity near-line HDDs (3.5 inch) in about 2025. If the market for HDDs has been eroded by SSDs to that extent, "We will have a question such as 'How many NAND manufacturing plants should we build?' It is important to be able to win in such a situation (with strategies for both SSDs and HDDs)," Naruke said.

In the market for clients especially for personal computers, Toshiba plans to improve its cost competitiveness by using TLC (3 bits per cell) NAND for its SSDs.

"While the market for personal computers is sluggish, makers are planning to use SSDs (in place of HDDs) in order to survive," said Naruke, indicating his expectation for the market for client SSDs.