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Storage news - 2007, January week 1

flash SSD capacity - the iceberg syndrome
adaptive flash care management IP (including DSP) for SSDs
How will the hard drive market fare... in a solid state storage world?
Megabyte's selection of storage news
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Seagate Launches FreeAgent Data Movers

Editor:- January 7, 2007 - Seagate today launched its "FreeAgent data movers" which are hard disks bundled with software and web storage services to simplify the movement and synchonization of data between a consumer's various storage devices.

"Seagate is moving beyond 'just storage,'" said Jim Druckrey, general manager, Seagate Branded Solutions. "With our FreeAgent data movers, we're connecting with consumers on an emotional level by giving them the lifestyle tools to help them move, work and play with their content virtually anytime, anywhere." ...Seagate profile, online backup and storage

First Terabyte Hard Drive

CES, LAS VEGAS - January 5, 2007 - Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced the industry's first terabyte hard drive.

Delivering superior performance and reliability, as well as capacity, Hitachi's 1TB hard drive will begin shipping to retail customers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of $399, or 40 cents per gigabyte.

32GB SSD Adds About $600 to Cost of a Notebook

MILPITAS, CA - January 4, 2007 - SanDisk today introduced a 32GB 1.8-inch solid state drive as a drop-in replacement for the standard mechanical hard disk drive.

The SanDisk SSD announced today achieves a sustained read rate of 62MB/S and a random read rate of 7,000 IOPS for a 512-byte transfer - more than 100 times faster than most hard disk drives. Taking advantage of this performance, a laptop PC equipped with SanDisk SSD can boot Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise in as little as 35 seconds. It also can achieve an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 55 seconds for a 1.2GHz laptop PC with a hard disk drive.

Previously, large capacity flash-based drives had been used primarily by the military, aerospace and telecom industries, which demanded high performance and reliability under challenging environmental conditions. But now the declining cost of flash memory has made SSD a viable and economically attractive alternative to existing technologies in a wider variety of applications, including mobile PCs aimed at enterprise and consumer users. SanDisk says that inclusion of its 32GB SSD in a notebook PC could increase the end-user price by around $600 in the first half of 2007.

Editor's comments:-
ideally you'd want 2 of these SSDs in a business notebook - so you can entirely replace the hard drives. Where to find the space to fit 2 SSDs? - that's easy. Get rid of the internal DVD drive. I've only used the DVD drive on my work notebook once in the past 3 years because nearly all software can be purchased online. If you're ripping CDs for your iPod then an external drive or a bigger luggable notebook are better options than a slow running workhorse. See also:- consumer SSDs, notebook SSDs

iSuppli Predicts Gargantuan DRAM Revenue for 2007

El Segundo, Calif - January 4, 2007 - iSuppli predicts that the DRAM market will reach a milestone in 2007 as it achieves the second-highest annual revenue level in its history, at $36.95 billion.

However, growth will decelerate significantly compared to 2006, due to price erosion rearing its ugly head. While iSuppli foresees less shifting of production from DRAM to flash in 2007, allocation of manufacturing between the two memory types will be the major swing factor determining the health of the memory market in 2007.

"DRAM revenue in 2007 will be exceeded only by the year 1995, when it reached a record $40.8 billion" said Nam Hyung Kim, principal analyst with iSuppli Corp. "On the other hand, revenue will rise by only 11% for the year, far off the pace from the whopping 33% expansion in 2006." storage market analysts

Hybrid Storage Alliance Aims to Speed Up Notebooks

Storage Visions 2007 Conference - January 4, 2007 - Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate and Toshiba have formed the Hybrid Storage Alliance.

The goals of the industry group are to illustrate how flash memory/hard drive hybrid technology can extend the capabilities of today's notebook computers and to accelerate market adoption of the technology.

IDC predicts hybrid hard disk drives will constitute 35% of all hard disk drives shipped with portable PCs by 2010.

Hybrid hard drive technology is the industry's answer to growing demand for notebook PCs that deliver the speed and durability of desktop PCs. Hybrid technology, which can be deployed in other mobile devices and computing systems, combines the unmatched capacity and cost-effectiveness of hard drives with the responsiveness, power-efficiency and durability of flash memory. ...Hybrid Storage Alliance, Storage Events, Storage Industry Trade Associations

Editor's comments:-
I've written before on why I think these hybrid disks aimed at supporting Vista won't be more than a flash in the pan. For example if you have a 4GB flash partition (the maximum currently supported) Microsoft is saying you need a similar amount of RAM to go with it. And in the fragmented disk environment of a typical notebook PC this isn't going to be big enough to make an enduring performance difference compared to the better alternative of replacing the hybrid disk with a solid state disk which accelerates everything and doesn't need the additional RAM.

Seagate Offers Data Recovery Via Channel

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - January 3, 2007 - Seagate today announced it has extended its Seagate Recovery Services programs to a network of 14,000 channel partners in North America.

The new programs will enable channel partners to share revenue at various tiers when Seagate Recovery Services are used. Seagate Recovery Services will provide collateral and support as well as offer the flexibility to allow partners to continue to work directly with their own customers or through referral. Data Recovery

Hitachi Ships 80G 1.8" Hard Drive

SAN JOSE , Calif - January 3, 2007 - Hitachi is today announcing availability of a new 1.8-inch 80GB hard drive for handheld devices.

The Travelstar C3K80 provides a 30% increase in storage capacity, a 20% decrease in power consumption and improved shock protection for applications such as video-based MP3 players, digital camcorders, portable media players and handheld global positioning devices. The low-power consumption of the Travelstar is due mainly to a reduction of the disk spin-speed from 4,200 RPM to 3,600 RPM, which is one of the key changes to Hitachi's latest generation of 1.8-inch hard drives. , Hard disk drives

Editor's comments:-
the huge potential market for storage devices in consumer products means that oems will use every trick they can to create a product that's competitive in strategic application slots - and as this new product from Hitachi shows - that includes not being too proud to slide down the speed curve. That's a strategy which led to the founding of Cornice in 2004, and nearly $200 million of VC funds since then.

Samsung's New Flash Means Faster Solid State Disks

Seoul, Korea - January 3, 2007 - Samsung announced it is now sampling its 16Gb NAND flash memory with customers - the first using 50 nanometer process technology.

These samples have a 4KB page size which doubles the read speed, and increases write performance 150% compared to conventional 2KB paging systems. Early market introduction of 16Gb and higher density NAND flash memories is expected to accelerate the adoption of non-volatile memory applications such as flash-based solid state disks.

Incipient Reduces SAN Storage Complexity

Waltham, Mass - January 2, 2007 - Incipient. today announced that its Network Storage Platform software suite, achieved general availability on December 21, 2006.

The iNSP suite is the industry's first storage virtualization solution that is embedded on industry standard director-class intelligent Fibre channel switches. For the first time, users will be able to migrate data within a SAN using switch-based storage virtualization software without disruption to applications.

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