Seagate Claims Solid-State Drive Makers May Infringe Seagate’s Patents

Seagate Says It Has “Secret Weapon” Against SSDs – Patents

by Anton Shilov
03/25/2008 | 03:50 PM

Even though solid-state drives (SSDs) are not even close as popular storage solution compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), chief executive of Seagate, the world’s largest maker of hard disk drives, said in an interview that if SSDs start to pose threat to HDDs, the company will sue makers of flash-based drives.

 

“Seagate and Western Digital, two of the major hard drive makers, have patents that deal with many of the ways a storage device communicates with a computer,” said William Watkins, chief executive of Seagate, in an interview with Fortune.

The head of the storage technology giant is reportedly convinced that SSD makers like Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics are violating Seagate’s patents. Therefore, sooner or later, Seagate will sue those companies, particularly if it looks like SSDs could become a real threat to Seagate’s HDD business.

Typically it is believed that solid-state drives offer higher performance, lower power consumption and higher reliability compared to traditional HDDs. However, their main disadvantage now is their price, which is, sometimes, ten times higher compared to HDDs that offer similar capacity.

Earlier this month a spokesperson for Western Digital said in an interview with X-bit labs that WD did not think that hybrid hard drives (HHDs) or solid-state drives pose a lot of interest for the company. Even though Western Digital is a close partner of SanDisk, a leading flash memory-based devices maker, the company had no immediate plans regarding HHDs and SSDs. Still, considering its partnership with SanDisk, Western Digital is always ready to roll-out products featuring flash memory.