Flash memory vs. magnetic storage

RECENT NEWS
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...
TheStreet.com  Jan 13  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of flash memory maker SanDisk got punished Monday, losing almost 14% of their value after the company warned that its fourth-quarter revenue would reach just $1.73 billion, almost 4% below its prior forecast of...
Wall Street Journal  Jan 12  Comment 
A shortfall in retail sales hurts, but SanDisk has other outlets for its flash memory technology. This includes a rapidly growing enterprise storage business.
TheStreet.com  Jan 12  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some things should come as no surprise to investors anymore -- like declining oil prices, said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.  But Monday's worse-than-expected earnings...
Forbes  Dec 22  Comment 
With future declines in the price of HDD storage ($/TB) largely dependent upon increases in the HDD areal density, it is extremely important for the industry to deliver on its plan for 30% CAGR for HDD areal density by 2017. Although there are...
Forbes  Nov 27  Comment 
Higher capacity SSDs could have an important role in the development of a special class of cold (perhaps even archive) storage where data is never or very seldom re-written (WORM storage). The higher performance of the flash memory and a closer...
Forbes  Nov 27  Comment 
It is clear that metadata access is a key to many business applications and flash memory allows speedy access to metadata and thus the data that it refers to. Optimizing metadata is indeed the key to future digital storage solutions.




 
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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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