Hybrid Drives Will Outlive Solid-State Drives - Seagate

Seagate: SSDs Has Negligible Market Share and Dark Prospects

by Anton Shilov
10/24/2010 | 01:19 PM

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.