The Ultrabooks Are Coming, They Are Arming Up With Cache SSDs

June 15, 2012

The proliferation of thin ultrabook notebooks will keep cache solid state drives as the storage market leader, IHS reports.

Cache solid state drives (SSD) will remain the mainstream storage solution for Ultrabooks and other super-slim notebooks, according to IT research firm IHS’ iSuppli Storage Market Brief report, although the study noted Hybrid hard disk drives (HDD), which contains a built-in layer of NAND flash memory, may offer the advantage of consolidated storage in the Ultrabook format, which is becoming increasingly popular as more advanced models from major vendors hit the marketplace.

Shipments of cache SSDs, which cache SSDs are employed as a separate memory component alongside a hard disk drive (not together in one housing unit), are projected by IHS to rise to 23.9 million units this year, up by a whopping 2,660 percent from just 864,000 units in 2011. The research indicates the market has nowhere to go but up, with shipments jumping to 67.7 million units next year and crossing the 100 million-unit mark in 2015. By 2016, IHS is projecting shipments of cache SSDs will hit 163 million.

Meanwhile, shipments of hybrid HDDs are expected to double this year to 2 million, and will reach 25 million units by 2016. The report projected a third form of flash storage—dedicated SSDs that contain no cache component—would reach 18 million shipments this year in consumer applications, a figure that will ramp up gradually to 69 million units in 2016, as ultra-thin notebooks continue to gain market share.

Hybrid HDDs consist of a traditional hard disk drive and an integrated NAND flash layer within one self-contained form factor, like storage specialist Seagate Technology’s Momentus XT hybrid product, up to 8 gigabytes (GB) of single-level-cell NAND and 750GB of memory on two 2.5-inch platters. Seagate is not alone in this market, with major rivals like Western Digital and Toshiba also planning hybrid HHDs containing 8GB or more of NAND cache.

It’s fairly simple to replace the hard disk-drive in your laptop with a SSD caching SSD. Makes it lots faster for near everything. Just get one with the biggest SSD cache.


WD teases with Thunderbolt drive demo

January 17, 2012

Without any ado or even a hint, Western Digital showcased at CES 2012 its first Thunderbolt-based external hard drive, called the My Book Thunderbolt Duo. This is a drive that looks exactly like the My Book Studio II with one main difference: on the back it comes with two Thunderbolt ports and no other connection types.

The four demo drives are daisy-chained together to offer very fast performance.The four demo drives are daisy-chained together to offer very fast performance.

There’s not much information about the drive, but one thing is clear: this is a dual-bay drive, meaning that it hosts two internal hard drives. These hard drives are more than likely set up in a RAID configuration.

In the sneak peek, there were four drives daisy-chained together and the demo machine showed a top performance of around 515MBps for writing and 770MBps for reading, which is as good as it gets when it comes to storage performance.

WD says that it will formally announce the My Book Thunderbolt duo at the next MacWorld Expo, which is slated to take place later this month. I guess we’ll have to wait till then to learn more about the new drive and its pricing.


Seagate Awarded $525 million in Arbitration with Western Digital

November 22, 2011

Western Digital announced today in a press release that the arbitrator for a Seagate vs. Western Digital complaint sided with Seagate and ordered an award of $525 million paid to Seagate. The arbitration was initiated when Seagate alleged misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets by Western Digital once a Seagate employee defected to Western Digital.

CEO John Coyne intends on challenging this award, stating that WD believes “the company acted properly at all times” and adding that the ruling “does not affect our ability to conduct our operations, to complete the recovery and recommencement of our Thailand operations”.

Along with most other hard drive manufacturers such as Toshiba, Hitachi, and of course Seagate, Western Digital is suffering losses after major flooding recently struck Thailand operations. DigiTimes reported that Seagate anticipates a 10-18% reduction in hard drive output as a result of the flooding, with other manufacturers surely similarly affected, resulting in a hard drive shortage for the coming months.

Source: Press Release


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