Phison Warns Chia Cryptocurrency Boom Will Soon Drive SSD Prices Higher
Phison chairman KS Pua cites the red-hot Chinese Chia cryptocurrency as why consumers could see a 10 percent increase in SSD prices as we head into the summer months. As Chia heavily relies on large amounts of fast, temporary storage for its “proof of space and time” model, NAND flash inventory is tight right now.
Chia is so popular that SSD vendors like TeamGroup now cater to the cryptocurrency audience with the T-Create Expert SSD series, which offers fast read/write speeds while backed by an unheard-of 12-year limited warranty.
Phison, which makes SSD controllers for some of today’s fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs (among other things), witnessed record profits for Q1 2021. The company posted $460 million in revenue for the quarter and nearly $61 million in profit, making for a gross margin of 29.5 percent. The uptick in revenue/profits is due to an overall boost in the global PC market due to COVID-19 demand. Phison also reaches the console market, as its SSD controllers reside inside the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series X.
According to Pua, the continued global chip crunch means that the supply of SSD controllers will be constrained throughout 2022 and perhaps even into 2023. Just as graphics card supplies have been impacted [in part] due to Ethereum miners, it looks as though the SSD market has now found its counterpart with Chia. Unfortunately, just as the global chip shortage is expected to linger on for a year or more, there’s no end in sight for the current cryptocurrency craze.