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Seagate, one of the world's largest maker of hard disk drives, said that solid-state drives (SSDs) will be survived by hybrid drives that feature both flash memory and traditional magnetic media. Moreover, according to Seagate, only a fraction of expensive computers feature SSDs.

"I would say though that from what we know of the offering for example Apple, the percentage of their units that they sell with SSDs versus HDDs is a tiny fraction. I think it’s under 3%, certainly under 5%. [...] I think as Seagate introduced hybrid drive last quarter, you get basically the features and function of SSD at more like disc drive cost and capacity," said Steven Luczo, chief executive officer of Seagate, during a conference call with financial analysts.

It is obvious that SSDs are more expensive and less capacious compared to hard disk drives (HDDs), but it is also clear that solid-state drives are more reliable and offer higher performance than traditional hard drives. Seagate offers so-called hybrid drives that feature both traditional rotating media as well as flash memory. The company believes that such drives combine the cost of HDDs with performance of SSDs.

Seagate Momentus XT 2.5” hybrid hard drive feature 250GB, 320GB or 500GB capacities, 4GB of flash memory, 32MB DRAM cache as well as 7200rpm spindle speed. Seagate declares 4.17ms average latency, 11ms random read seek time, 13ms random write speed time and 300MB/s I/O data transfer rate. The Momentus XT drive features Adaptive Memory – a new technology from Seagate that learns and optimizes the drive’s performance to each user by moving frequently used information into the flash memory for faster access.

The manufacturer does admit that solid-state drives (SSDs) still have a lot of benefits for enterprise personal computers. But considering their cost per gigabyte, clients are likely to prefer traditional hard drives with increased performance to SSDs.

Tags: Seagate, SSD, HDD, NAND


Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 10/24/10 03:51:33 PM
Latest comment: 10/26/10 04:23:40 AM
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Clearly SSDs are much faster than HDDs however they are more expensive at the moment. Once the prices go down HDDs are doomed so long as SSDs can provide the same capacity.

To say HDDs will outlive SSDs is just plain stupid unless they know something we dont about HDDs getting much better performance which I dont see given its mechanical nature.
0 0 [Posted by: iLLz  | Date: 10/24/10 03:51:33 PM]
- collapse thread

So Seagate is safe for the next 10years if not longer given the speed at which HDD capacity increases and the price of said capacity decreases compared to SSD
0 0 [Posted by: sollord  | Date: 10/24/10 09:46:21 PM]
Looking at the Seagate Momentus XT you realise that the actual future of storage is a hard disk with mechanical platters. It must come with enough flash memory onboard and software support so that you never feel the access time penalty of mechanical platters. Once that happens the need for expensive SSD will vanish.
0 0 [Posted by: dragosmp  | Date: 10/25/10 10:22:49 AM]
HDD is on the same price trend as SSD, so will remain cheaper for some time. What will change is that for more and more applications, SSDs at a given price will be large enough, so HDDs will gradually be squeezed out of those markets. Now tablets, soon notebooks, later desktops, leaving only those markets that require huge capacity at low cost.

So both HDD and SSD will continue to coexist for some time, with SSDs gradually taking more and more market share.
0 0 [Posted by: martinw  | Date: 10/25/10 12:57:49 PM]

If this is really Seagate's thinking, then the question becomes: Will Seagate survide the coming SSD onslaught?

Most system have only one HD drive. The day when this drive becomes a standard SSD, market for regular HDD's will have shrunk considerably.
0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 10/25/10 05:33:50 AM]

In other words:

"We can't compete with Indilinx/Intel/Sandforce in creating SSD controllers."
0 0 [Posted by: DavidC1  | Date: 10/25/10 12:53:01 PM]

Hi All - This is Rich Harris from Seagate. If you'd like more information about this particular topic, we've put together a full blog post here:

0 0 [Posted by: Seagate Technology  | Date: 10/25/10 01:10:46 PM]

So, what Seagate is trying to say is: "We're ok and you can spend your money on us as a company as we're for sale again" If Seagate believe SSD's will die off .. they won't be killed by Seagate's current Hybrid implementation. So, the SSD "killer" is still MIA .
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 10/25/10 11:14:48 PM]

If we put aside Seagate's marketing jibberish it might be that their appraisal theory poof somewhat right.

Current SSD not just that dont provide low cost, they came with ugly fragmenting feature also. So when they "wrote a firmware" that will cope that on better level than TRIM (ntm that TRIM is only supported on newest drives) we'll saw a increas in HDDs degradation. Well at least we saw that in last two years as big HDDs "became optimized" for specific markets and desktop/workstation users used to be ass spanked by devious HDDs manufacturers. If they released decent firmwares we'd probably saw proper IOPS raise (nowhere near Flash storage, but a raise) instead IOPS stagnating on 150 in best cases scenario, for last five years, and drives "occasionally" chokes on parallel write read, a function that they cope with ease just 5yrs ago.

Anyhow on that Hybrid drives. Do you know that we had HDDs with Flash onboard some 10yrs go just they didnt call them hybrid cause probably Flash in those chips weren't bigger than 64MB or even smaller. So concept is not new althou 64MB in those time could only be enough for Slackware distro if it was ever used in hybrid manner.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 10/26/10 04:23:40 AM]


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