Seagate to start shifting SSDs
Not a Flash in the pan
The CEO of hard disk drive (HDD) maker Seagate Technology has declared the firm's intention to enter the Flash memory market. Bill Watkins said in an interview with CNET that Seagate will begin shifting solid-state drives (SSD) based on Flash memory chip technology from next year.
It's a marked move away from the world's leading storage vendor's heavy reliance on making and selling magnetic HDDs, the type favoured by the PC, server, and laptop manufacturing industry for many years.
Although Flash data capacity is lower than magnetic HDDs as well as carrying a higher per gigabyte cost overhead some claim the advantages of SSDs include less power consumption and faster data retrieval.
Driven by consumer demand for MP3s, mobile phones, and laptops, SSD prices have begun to fall and vendors have also started to boost capacity, in turn making the market for Flash memory more desirable to the likes of Seagate.
The firm already makes hybrid notebook drives that come loaded with Flash memory which is used to store system files allowing the likes of Windows Vista to boot faster.
Watkins claimed that Flash-based notebooks on the market today are "10 years behind".
He said: "We are going to have a solid state drive, probably for enterprise first. We think we can make these drives better."
But the vertically-integrated firm, which once owned a stake in SanDisk, does not currently manufacture the chips and said it will be looking for a NAND Flash vendor to partner with in order to bring its brand of SSDs to market. ®
I am shortly going to be distributing SSD drives in the UK and our manufacturer state a 10 year lifecycle. Check out the speed difference too at http://www.futurestorage.co.uk/index.asp?selpage=SSD.asp
We also are distributing Dual Plus Drives (Solid State ExpressCard/USB 2 technolody) which are ReadyBoost compatible.
A quote from dvnation on SSD's read write cycles.
"Q: I hear people in forums cry about the number of read/write cycles. How long will a modern SSD last?
A: First-generation SSDs had an expectation of 1,000,000 write cycles. With technologies such as wear leveling, and the newest NANDs, that has increased to 5,000,000 write cycles. Manufacturer suggest a 10 year life expectancy. 3.5" hard drives come with a 3 to 5 year warranty. SSDs are so reliable that they have been sent to Mars on Mars Rovers. You can't do that with something that won't last. We have been selling PQI SSDs since the middle of 2006 with no returns for any reason. On the other hand we have purhased numerous 2.5" laptop mechanical hard disks that failed within 2 to 3 weeks! This WON'T happen with solid state disks! SSDs should outlast the useful life of your system."
Cost Ratio, SDD vs HDD.
"As the price goes down"...
Hear that a lot. But for TODAY's prices at NewEgg:
Laptop drives (2.5")
SamSung 64GB SDD: $1299.00 (~ $20.30/gig)
Toshiba, WD, etc... 80GB HDD: around $60.00 (~ 0.75/gig). A 27:1 ratio.
For desktop (3.5"), a 500G goes for about $100 (~ 0.20/gig). A 100:1 ratio.
Until the cost ratio reaches 10:1 or less (which it did for the 1.0" and 1.8" platform a la iPod), we then may dare the HDD vs SDD decision. The 1TB video iPod will be here eventually (perhaps in the form of a phone?), what would it have inside?
Both SDD and HDD technologies are dependent on geometry shrinks for density growth. What's on the horizon for SDD? 32nm? HDD 250G/platter is reaching 2.5", and soon will reach 1.8" then 1.0" (SDD territory)