Flash memory vs. magnetic storage

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.
Motley Fool  Oct 17  Comment 
SanDisk reported a 7% revenue bump year-over-year, but the cyclical nature of the flash memory business could push profit down in the near future.
Forbes  Oct 14  Comment 
These technologies show that magnetic storage technologies such as magnetic tape and HDDs still have a ways to go before they reach their limits. At the same time magnetic technology could be the path to achieving non-volatile memory technologies...
Cloud Computing  Sep 18  Comment 
With the rapid advancement of processor technologies, disk access has been identified as the next performance bottleneck in many cloud computing applications. In recent years, storage appliances based on flash memory technologies have been deemed...
Forbes  Aug 17  Comment 
Solid-state storage introductions by both new and established manufacturers were highlights at the 2014 Flash Memory Summit. These include emerging non-volatile memory products, higher levels of data persistence, higher endurance technology for...
Forbes  Aug 13  Comment 
This research supports to use of HDDs for bulk digital storage where HDDs continue to provide advantages over technologies such as flash memory. This focus on higher capacities with lower $/GB end-user prices will help keep HDDs competitive...
Cloud Computing  Aug 12  Comment 
Violin Memory®, Inc., (NYSE:VMEM), a leading provider of all-flash storage arrays and appliances delivering application solutions for the enterprise, today announced that the company was awarded Best of Show for Most...
Cloud Computing  Aug 5  Comment 
MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the top-ranked distribution for Apache™ Hadoop®, today announced it will be presenting at several key industry events during the month of August. Company executives will be speaking about big data and Hadoop...
DailyFinance  Aug 5  Comment 
Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it will showcase its latest NAND flash and storage products at Flash Memory Summit, the world’s largest flash memory conference, which will be held from August 5...


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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