Flash memory vs. magnetic storage

Forbes  May 30  Comment 
Memory is a core technology for the creation of future consumer and enterprise systems. Although current DRAM technology is limited in scaling, in the short term more 3D (and conventional) flash memory in computer memory buses and on the chip, can...
Forbes  May 27  Comment 
While flash memory products continue to find more applications in accelerating data center and enterprise applications, reliable HDD and HDD/SSD hybrid systems are enabling combinations of high performance from flash with lower cost HDD storage....
Forbes  May 8  Comment 
In developing storage technology to support Platform 3 applications with mobile devices EMC is showing the importance of developing the next generation of products that will replace those that served it well in the past. It is always better to...
InfoStor  Mar 27  Comment 
In a busy week for solid-state storage providers, the companies debut their latest high-capacity flash innovations.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 26  Comment 
Two warnings in two months indicate flash memory maker SanDisk’s problems won’t be solved with a quick fix.
Jutia Group  Mar 26  Comment 
[Business Wire] - Micron Technology, Inc. , and Intel Corporation today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world’s highest-density flash memory. Flash is the stor Read more on this. Micron Technology, Inc. (MU),...
TheStreet.com  Mar 11  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The shares of flash memory product maker SanDisk are jumping after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction List in a note to investors earlier today. WHAT'S NEW: The growth in the supply of NAND, a prevalent...
Forbes  Mar 3  Comment 
Some of these companies are looking at mixed storage technology environments but it is clear that all of these applications are moving flash memory closer to being a primary storage repository to take advantage of its higher performance. The...
Forbes  Feb 1  Comment 
It may be that we will see several tiers of flash memory used in future active archives. We could easily see higher performance flash memory used as a tier in a HDD or magnetic tape based active archive. One thing that is sure, as the amount of...
Forbes  Jan 30  Comment 
Although flash memory is making inroads on high performance HDD shipments, the recovery in the laptop market and growing needs for massive storage libraries in the cloud and for many emerging enterprise applications will drive HDD shipment and...


The mass production of flash memory to power USB drives and Apple's iPod and iPhone has made this once-costly technology a good deal less expensive. This price drop has fueled speculation that flash memory, with advantages in speed and power consumption, could displace traditional magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs) in computers. Flash memory is also known as solid-state drive technology.

But will magnetic storage go extinct? Despite some predictions that within three or four years HDD will be a thing of the past, there remain doubts. It's still expensive today to replace laptop HDDs with flash--the difference could be as much as US $300 more per laptop--and HDD's demise has been predicted several times before, prematurely. One alternative route is that of coexistence--manufacturers have begun introducing hybrid drives that incorporate both flash and magnetic storage.
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Flash's future: can these minute memory devices take down the HDD industry?

Who wins if flash memory replaces Hard Drives?

  • Sandisk is the industry leader in flash memory technology, providing flash drives for Apple's iPods and a variety of other consumer electronics.
  • Samsung also manufactures flash drives.

Who wins through HDD/magnetic storage?

  • Seagate is the independent mainstay of HDD technology, its products appearing in an unparalleled across-the-board array--everything from Xboxs to rival PS3s to most laptops on the market.
  • Western Digital is Seagate's only meaningful competition (beyond large "captive" companies like Toshiba and Hitachi, whose sales are many times larger than the independents').
  • Nidec Corporation (Nihon Densan Kabushiki Kaisha) (NJ) is a HDD spindle motor manufacturer with a near monopoly, over 70% market share. Important supplier to Seagate and Western Digital but, because of dominance of their particular niche, see less pricing pressure.
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