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Where is Seagate?

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Diskcon USA is where the hard disk drive industry goes to discuss technology, areal density and innovation. There are lots of juicy sessions but nothing much from Seagate.

It's being held at the Santa Clara Hotel on September 9th and 10th and session one is concerned with HDD component manufacturing and metrology. There are speakers from Xyratex, Veeco, Intevac and others. Session two is HDD assembly and test and, once again, Xyratex is heavily represented along with others including Hitachi GST.

Session three is a market analyst session with IDC, Coughlin and Associates, Gartner, and TrendFocus. Session four is the one which will attract massive interest, being entitled future technologies for HDDs. This is the one where shingle writing, heat-assisted magnetic recording, bit-patterned media and discrete track media will be discussed. The speakers are from Hitachi GST, Molecular Imprints, IBM, Toshiba, Western Digital and DataSlide.

Two surprises there to those of us taking "HDD" technologies literally. Neither IBM nor DataSlide produce HDDs. Data Slide technology revolves around a hard rectangular drive which doesn't spin but has a vibrating surface to drive recording cell boundaries past an array of read heads. Are we going to hear more about its progress from research technology to a realisable product technology?

IBM has a tendency to have interesting storage technologies come out of places like Almaden. Remember Racetrack memory and Millipede? What rabbit is it going to pull out of its hat this time?

The Western Digital session could well be interesting too as thoughts on bit-patterning and heat-assisting are few and far between in the public pronouncements from WD, Maybe it will talk about shingle writing as well?

Oh, and Seagate? It's not presenting. It's not on the sponsor list either whereas rival Western Digital is the top, being platinum sponsor. Seagate is a closed door it appears as far as Diskcon is concerned, which means that heat-assisted magnetic recording may not be discussed much at all, unless Hitachi GST, WD or Toshiba open their kimonos in that direction, and neither would hybrid drives containing platters and a flash cache. That would be a pity. ®

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