Fujitsu downplays solid state drives

By on July 9, 2008, 1:58 PM
While many major hard drive manufacturers have developed or are already selling solid state disk drives or hybrid drives, there are those who believe that the medium is not ready for prime time. Such is the case with Seagate, which has been known for downplaying the importance of SSDs in today’s consumer market – all while suing makers of flash memory over patent infringement in a bid to prevent them from overtaking traditional storage.

Well, it now looks like Seagate has found an ally in its opposition to SSDs, with Fujitsu recently stating it does not plan to launch any solid-state disk-drive products over the next two years because the value proposition of the technology is not compelling enough.

In a recent interview by ComputerWorld with Fujitsu’s vice president of business development, Joel Hagberg, he said the capabilities of SSDs have been greatly overstated. While he nonetheless predicts that SSDs will go mainstream eventually, he says they still need a year or two to prove their reliability and lifetime claims. In the interim, he says, flash-based storage is only good in some "narrow niche" applications where the focus is on random reads (rather than sequential) such as in cell phones, and MP3 players. Check out the complete interview here.

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seanp789 said:
Many companies have invested into both flash and SSD and even just this year there have been huge leaps forward.. OCZ's (aka Samsung's) latest drives the "core series" are a major leap in the price/performance of SSD. $3.75 GB (for comparision a 1TB HDD is around $0.20/GB, and a 300GB, 10,000rpm Raptor is $1/GB. Random Access speeds are unrivaled and sequential speed are slower but comparable to the best traditional HDDs.$3.75/GB is still too much for most users. SSD will likely need to get closer to the $1/GB barrier to see widespread adoption as their real world performance benefits do not justify the cost for a typical consumer. I think the server market will adopt SSD quickly since IO is often the weakest link for most systems. Flash is fighting the clock for a better cost per GB against another technology that could replace flash entirely.
Julio said:
Good, insightful comment. No doubt that traditional HDD technology is dead, so it's just a matter of 'when' there is something affordable enough to replace it.In the meantime the tale is that certain big players in the industry are reluctant of SSD adoption, in fact downplaying it blatantly. There is some obvious corporate interest in play, but for hard drives, the pressure and need for something better is such that resistance is futile.
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