Seagate

Seagate Invests in DensBits

Seagate and DensBits Strategic AgreementSeagate today announced an investment and technology agreement with DensBits, an Israeli SSD controller company mentioned by The SSD Guy in another post.

According to the press release Seagate will use DensBits’ technology for “consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (“TLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (“MLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD.”

A pattern is starting to emerge.  We understand that Seagate’s current Pulsar SSDs use chips from Link_A_Media (the subject of another recent post) which has only recently Continue reading

Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut

Tom's Hardware Best of Computex 2012 Award for Corsair Neutron Series SSDsIt’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume.  To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort.  It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.

The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th.  Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed.  Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!

But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two Continue reading

Toshiba Reveals Hybrid HDD Research

Hybrid HDD - An HDD with a NAND Flash CacheNikkei Electronics published an article on May 22 detailing a May 17 briefing by Toshiba president Norio Sasaki. Mr. Sasaki told of the company’s plans to introduce a hybrid HDD (HHDD) in September of this year that is aimed at the Ultrabook market. The article notes that Toshiba is the only company that produces both NAND flash and HDDs, now that Samsung sold its HDD business to Seagate.

The article also says that Toshiba: “aims to become one of the top three companies in the HDD market in terms of market share.” The SSD Guy is forced to wonder at this comment, since there are only three HDD manufacturers in existence today: Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate.

The Seagate Momentus XT, the only Continue reading

Western Digital CEO: Hybrid Drives “Strategic”

Hybrid HDD - An HDD with a NAND Flash CacheDuring Western Digital’s April 26 earnings call (as transcribed by Seeking Alpha) CEO John Coyne disclosed that Western Digital has ongoing development efforts in hybrid HDDs: “In addition, we are continuing investments in strategic growth areas such as SSD, hybrid drives and the digital home.”

It’s encouraging to see a second entrant into this market.

After a false start that was synchronized with the ill-fated launch of Microsoft’s Vista operating system, hybrid HDDs have been a technology that is rarely ever mentioned.  So far the hybrid HDD has been the sole domain of Seagate Technology with Continue reading

The SSD Pricing Maven

Andy Higgenbotham of Price G2When I have a question about SSD retail pricing I know exactly who to consult.  Andy Higgenbotham (pictured here) and his Price G2 service track HDD and SSD retail pricing and publish data to a very high degree of resolution.

Price G2 data has been used in another post in the blog: When Will SSD Prices Drop Below HDD Prices?

This company publishes weekly reports of pricing from all major HDD and SSD manufacturers (Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Samsung, Intel, Micron, and the like) with information on market trends like this for the week of April 23:

Flat to increasing pricing continues throughout 2012. Only on the 512GB have we seen sustained price drops from Q1 and through Q2. The 512GB capacity currently sells for $1.05/GB in week 17.

Amid recent rumors of steep SSD price declines this service has served to disprove any notion that the SSD market is undergoing fundamental change.  The SSD Guy highly recommends Price G2 for anyone whose business relies on timely and thorough HDD and SSD price tracking.

Avnet’s SSD Virtual Summit

Avnet's SSD Virtual SummitOn April 3 & 4 Avnet Embedded will host an on-line conference called the SSD Virtual Summit.  This free on-demand seminar will feature a keynote by Yours Truly, The SSD Guy, and presentations by leading SSD makers and related firms including Adaptech, Crucial, Dell, HGST, Intel, Kingston, LSI, Micron, OCZ, Rorke Data, Seagate, SMART Storage, STEC, and Toshiba.

Come join in to learn the latest information on SSDs.

Micron: SSD Over-Inventory at OEMs & Channel

Excess Inventory of SSDsDuring Micron Technology‘s quarterly earnings call an interesting tidbit was revealed: PC OEMs and Micron’s sales channel partners are carrying SSD inventory from panic buys they made in response to Thailand’s floods.

It seems that Micron’s OEMs and channel partners expected the HDD shortage that resulted from the floods to create new market opportunities for SSDs.  This is not an uncommon notion, and it was first discussed by The SSD Guy in a blog post early last November with another post added in January.  It seems that the messages of these posts didn’t reach those OEMs.

Micron mentioned this because Continue reading

OCZ: Three Solid State Storage Products in Three Weeks

OCZ's PCIe Z-DriveSSD maker OCZ has been on something of a tear recently, introducing three new solid state storage products in three weeks:

  • Two weeks ago the company introduced the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD, designed for the data center, in single-card capacities ranging from 300GB-16TB.  This product can transfer data at multiple gigabytes per second rates to deliver over a million IOPS.
  • Last week saw the introduction of the OCZ-SANRAD VXL enterprise storage accelerator, after OCZ’s January acquisition of SANRAD.  This product is flash cache acceleration software for VMware ESX and Citrix Xen virtualized environments that allows Continue reading

Hitachi’s New 2nd Generation SAS SSDs

Hitachi UltraStar SSD400S.BToday Hitachi announced the company’s second generation Ultrastar SSD400S.B family, which Hitachi claims to be the industry’s first 25nm SLC enterprise-class SSD family.

This comes only two days after Intel announced a 25nm MLC SSDIntel‘s highest-performance SSD to date.

The new Hitachi SSDs support a SAS 6Gb/s dual port interface. SLC NAND flash was chosen for its high write performance and endurance.

Maximum sequential read speeds of 536MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 520MB/s with 57K random read IOPS and 25K random write IOPS help to give ultra-fast access to data.

Continue reading

How Will Thai Floods Impact the SSD Market?

Map of ThailandIn early November The SSD Guy published a post that argued that Thailand’s floods would not make much difference to the SSD market.

Since that post not only has the argument gone less in favor of SSD adoption (thanks to a high level of HDD finished inventory, some changes in shipping practices, and a heroic effort from Thailand’s HDD makers and the Thai people to overcome this disaster) but the promotional efforts in favor of SSD adoption have become stronger.

Objective Analysis has spoken since the floods with a number of companies who either produce HDDs or HDD sub-assemblies, or consume HDDs, and this is what we have found: