Flash memory vs. magnetic storage

RECENT NEWS
Forbes  Apr 5  Comment 
The cloud is driving demand for digital storage and flash memory is playing a significant role in providing faster performance for the cloud. This is leading to a number of new products, and investments, to support the increased use of flash...
Cloud Computing  Mar 31  Comment 
Nimbus Data Systems, Inc., the leading innovator in next-generation flash memory infrastructure, today announced that its Gemini all-flash arrays received the top-ranking in the 2014-15 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s...
DailyFinance  Mar 25  Comment 
NEWARK, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/25/14 -- SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a leading independent designer, manufacturer and supplier of value added subsystems including memory modules, flash memory cards and other solid state storage...
Wall Street Journal  Mar 14  Comment 
Toshiba said it filed suit against SK Hynix, alleging that the South Korean chip maker illegally obtained the Japanese company's technology for NAND flash memory.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 13  Comment 
SanDisk Corp. said it filed a civil lawsuit against SK Hynix Inc. and its U.S. unit, accusing the South Korea-based chip maker of the misappropriation of trade secrets related to NAND flash memory.
Cloud Computing  Mar 4  Comment 
Nimbus Data Systems, Inc., the leading innovator in next-generation flash memory infrastructure, today announced that Thomas Isakovich, CEO and Founder, will present at the 9th Annual Pacific Crest Emerging Technology Summit...
Cloud Computing  Feb 12  Comment 
Violin Memory®, Inc. (NYSE:VMEM), a leader in persistent memory-based storage solutions, today announced it has been chosen by GAMEVIL, Korea’s leading mobile game publisher, to help deliver premium publishing...
Forbes  Feb 4  Comment 
Flash memory has successfully penetrated many consumer and enterprise applications, enabling rugged high-performance products.  The data rates of flash memory have led to advances in the speeds of storage communication interfaces and also to the...
SeekingAlpha  Jan 29  Comment 
By Robert Castellano: Monumental changes are taking place in the competitive storage industry, and changes are underway that could spell the end of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) industry as we know it. Solid State Devices made from NAND flash memory...
Forbes  Jan 23  Comment 
Flash memory has become ubiquitous as could be seen at the 2014 CES and the Storage Visions Conference.  At the CES mobile smartphones, tablets, watches and a bewildering variety of small mobile cameras using flash memory were everywhere. ...




 
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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.
Flash's future: can these minute memory devices take down the HDD industry?
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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