Flash memory vs. magnetic storage

RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  Apr 23  Comment 
A big shift in flash memory production will drive further gains for Lam Research and Applied Materials.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 19  Comment 
Intel Corp. is starting to ship the first products based on technology called 3D XPoint that it says bridge the gap between speedy conventional memory and flash memory used for longer-term storage.
Forbes  Mar 12  Comment 
Modern hyperscale data centers are handling huge quantities of content requiring a hierarchy of open software managed storage technology ranging from flash memory to hard disk drives as well as optical disc or magnetic tape libraries.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 7  Comment 
The acquisition of Nimble Storage takes advantage of the market’s dim view of flash memory.
Forbes  Feb 8  Comment 
NAND flash memory is growing in popularity in data centers as well as consumer products. The eager bidding for a piece of Toshiba’s NAND flash business reflects the desire for many players to strengthen their position in this market.
Japan Today  Jan 27  Comment 
Toshiba Corp says it will split its lucrative flash memory business to make up for losses from its troubled U.S. nuclear business, and is looking for a third-party capital injection. The company said its board approved the plan Friday to sell...
Forbes  Oct 11  Comment 
There are many developments going on to use emerging non-volatile higher performance solid-state memories such as 3D XPoint, RRAM, MRAM and other technologies as part of a memory hierarchy that will bit between flash memory and on-board system...
Benzinga  Oct 6  Comment 
BTIG said in a research note on Thursday it thinks the logic that proliferation of flash memory will spell the death of hard disk drive is flawed, although it concedes that HDDs are structurally challenged. Focus On Data Growth Analyst Edward...
Channel News Asia  Sep 26  Comment 
Located at North Coast Drive, the Fab 10 facility was expanded at a cost of around US$4 billion dollars (S$5.4 billion), which will be spread over a number of years. 
Forbes  Sep 16  Comment 
Micron Technology is a manufacturer and marketer of semiconductor devices, primarily dynamic random access memory for PCs and mobile devices, NAND Flash and NOR Flash memory. NAND Flash Memory and Core DRAM Memory constitute around 49% and 48% of...




 
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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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