Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

A convergence of factors that include shortages of spinning hard disk drives due to floods in Thailand, profound media-quality advancements and a sea change in the personal computer business is causing solid-state NAND flash drives to shoot up in demand for device manufacturers.

As a result of all this market activity, worldwide solid-state storage industry revenue reached a record $5 billion in 2011–a 105 percent increase from the previous record of $2.4 billion in 2010, according to a report issued Jan. 11 by industry researcher International Data Corp.

That’s not all. IDC expects the NAND flash SSD market to continue to expand in 2012–in fact, all the way through 2015.

"2011 was a record year for the worldwide SSD market, with revenue more than doubling year over year due to strong SSD shipment growth in the enterprise and client segments," IDC Research Director Jeff Janukowicz said.

"The increasing use of flash in enterprise solutions, explosive growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing is creating a perfect storm for increased SSD shipments and revenue over our forecast."

Record rainstorms and flooding in Thailand–a region that assembles about 70 percent of the world’s HDDs–caused a flooding disaster that hit the world IT supply chain harder than the March 2011 Japanese tsunami. As a result, there are now massive shortages of spinning-disk drives in the first quarter of 2012, opening the door for more SSD demand.

Other relevant research highlights, according to IDC’s Janukowicz, include:

  • Worldwide SSD shipments are expected to increase at a 51.5 percent rate from 2010 to 2015.
  • Pricing remains a key metric for SSD adoption in both the client and enterprise markets. IDC expects client SSD prices to fall below $1 per gigabyte in the second half of 2012, which will boost adoption in the PC market.
  • Key factors are impacting the PC market, including fast growth in sales of media tablets and ultrabooks to the upcoming introduction of Windows 8 and increased use of caching solutions, such as dual drives (systems containing both an SSD and an HDD).
  • The adoption of solid state storage as a complementary solution to HDD storage for enterprise applications is also driving SSD market growth.