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White Paper: NAND Flash: Can It Meet The Growing Storage Capacity Demands Of The Laptop PC Market?

Assuming all of that additional NAND is used for solid state drives, that $10B investment would produce enough flash memory to serve just 4% of the 95-exabyte laptop storage market projected for 2011. Spending $10B to buy 4% of notebook storage market share, or $2B in revenue, is not viable.

To serve the entire laptop PC storage market in 2010, a $170B investment in NAND flash memory fabs would have been required. In 2011, a $250B fab investment would be needed to meet projected hard disk drive capacity demand for all laptops. But $10B is just for the cost of the fab. It doesn't include the NAND, operations, fab depreciation and other significant costs.

Worldwide installed fab capacity is expected to grow from 11.5 exabytes in 2010 to 21 exabytes in 2011, a staggering 82%. But remember, just 9%, or about 2 exabytes, of that NAND will go to solid state drives. Even at that impressive 80+% growth rate, with the vast majority of the NAND going to consumer devices, the yawning gulf between NAND flash memory production capacity for solid state drives and demand for laptop storage will continue to widen.

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