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Samsung to drop 1.8in HDDs, focus on SSD?

Will lead to thin'n'light laptop shortages, moles warn

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Samsung has canned the development of 1.8in hard disks in favour of a focus on solid-state drives, it has been claimed.

The allegation was made by Taiwanese notebook-maker moles who say the move will mean there are fewer 1.8in drives available for thin'n'light laptops, currently being keenly promoted by the likes of Intel as the next big thing in notebooks.

Skinny laptops tend to use 1.8in drives for their size, trading capacity and speed for slim, 5mm-high casings that can be squeezed into kit like Apple's MacBook Air.

Samsung's decision - if true - means that Toshiba will be left as the world's prime producer of 1.8in HDDs, the sources said. Certainly, Hitachi no longer lists 1.8in hard drives on its website, and nor do Fujitsu, Seagate or Western Digital.

Samsung lists 16 1.8in Spinpoint N drives, presumably all still available to laptop manufacturers. The moles said they expect shortages to bite in the next quarter as Samsung's stocks run down.

That said, even if Samsung is phasing out such drives in favour of SSDs, that doesn't guarantee it'll stop manufacturing them, especially if thin'n'light laptops become as popular as many in the industry hope.

This week the company announced new Sata mini-card SSDs for netbooks. Offering 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage, the new line have optional full-disk encryption. ®

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