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  (Source: (AP Photo/HO/World Cyber Games/Marcus R. Donner))

World Cyber Games 2004, San Francisco

World Cyber Games 2005, Singapore
Hopes to boost OEM sales by targeting top gamers

Samsung is a large company with a good reputation, but it faces a tough time marketing its Solid State Drives to the enthusiast market. While almost half of the NAND flash in SSDs sold globally is produced by Samsung, it also sells a complete SSD package including a NAND flash controller, DRAM cache, and firmware.

Strangely, Samsung chose not to sell its SSDs through the channel, but instead markets these SSDs as an upgrade option by OEMs such as Dell and Lenovo. So far, these have been mainly business laptops and workstations targeting business executives.
Samsung's PM800 series of SSDs has been offered as well to companies such as Corsair and OCZ through rebranding deals. Corsair's P256 and OCZ's Summit series of drives have been a moderate success, but have been surpassed in sales by Intel's X25-M series and OCZ's Vertex series which offer faster random write speeds.

While Samsung is relying on its whitebox partners to deliver economies of scale to the general public, it wants to start specifically targeting gamers. Besides the corporate market, these have traditionally been the early adopters most likely to pay a premium for performance in the latest GPUs, CPUs, and HDDs such as Western Digital's Raptor series.

“In addition to processing power, advanced graphic cards and high-resolution monitors, gamers want a fast storage drive for reduced loading times and faster game performance,” said Jim Elliott, Vice President of Memory Marketing for Samsung Semiconductor Inc.
“Our 256GB SSD provides much better overall performance than conventional HDDs, as well as longer battery life for the notebook gamer. Clearly, all PC gamers will benefit from the blistering speeds and dazzling photorealism enabled by the Samsung 256GB SSD.”

Samsung sees big money ahead as SSDs continue to move into the mainstream, which also coincides with the mainstreaming of PCs designed for gamers.
“The PC gaming market continues to evolve into a more mainstream segment, and should reach $30.7 billion by the end of 2012,” stated Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research.

”PC gaming enthusiasts are at the forefront for demanding the latest high-powered hardware available, making the PC gaming industry an important innovation driver for adopting cutting-edge technology, like high-performance solid state drives. Using an SSD will give the gamer the extra edge that he or she is seeking.”

Samsung is prepared to move aggressively by sponsoring major gaming events. It will start by offering SSD-enabled game stations at this years World Cyber Games (WCG). The company is encouraging participants to try out the SSD game stations at the U.S. National Finals, which will start September 25 in New York City. 

The company has been a traditional worldwide partner of the WCG, which originated in South Korea. The WCG drew approximately 1.6 million participants from 78 countries during 2008.

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Why 256GB
By SAnderson on 8/13/2009 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't they keep the drive sizes smaller to keep prices down so people will actually buy these. No one is going to use these drives for storage so why make them 256GB. I'd much rather buy a 64/128GB drive for 1/4 or 1/2 the price.

Sure sure one can charge even more of a premium for a larger drive but whats the point if a lot more people buy your smaller drives. Net profit will be more.

RE: Why 256GB
By MozeeToby on 8/13/2009 1:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Profit margins. A lot of the cost goes into the controller and software, adding another X GB of storage is a rather small incremental cost but allows them to put a much bigger price tag on it. You might think that a 64 Gb drive would be 1/4th the price, but I'd bet it would be closer to 1/2 or even 2/3, at least until the developement costs go down.

RE: Why 256GB
By SAnderson on 8/13/2009 2:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
You have no margin if no one is buying your product if it costs too much. Check NAND prices. The cost of NAND alone today is well over half the MSRP price let alone what the price of the NAND weeks ago when they bought it.

I'm just saying the price range they are trying to fill is too high to get that many people into the market.

RE: Why 256GB
By PandaBear on 8/14/2009 12:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with SAnderson on this. The cost of a controller is nearly nothing compare to the amount of NAND (about $2/GB at the moment).

My understanding is they are relying on wear leveling to make the card last long enough, and having a heavily written region of 2GB out of a 64GB drive will not last long enough, but a heavily written region of 2GB out of a 256GB drive will.

Another possibility is they relies on interleaving multiple planes/dies/chips to achieve the amount of performance, but they are making the die as small as they can so that they cannot meet the same performance (aka level of interleaving) with any smaller capacity.

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