Seagate predicts SSD storage won’t succeed in the PC market

Posted 28 January 2011 04:00 CEST by Randomus

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are increasing in speed and functionality, but still have been a hard sell to consumers. An underlying issue involving component supplies could prove to be the biggest hurdle, not the higher retail price SSDs currently garner.

Despite offering smaller sizes, less moving parts, and significantly better power consumption, the higher price tags continue to frustrate consumers. It’s possible to find a great selection of 500GB HDDs for $75 or less, with a 500GB SSD blowing out of that price range at $2,000+.

Some custom drives include ultra shock proof and custom enclosures that are able to withstand different temperatures and environments.

It’s true that SSD prices are dropping, but there are other problems that are often overlooked. Specifically, storage maker Seagate noted that a shrinking amount of NAND flash will prevent wider tech adoption in the consumer market. Researchers believe the demand for storage in 2011 will increase up to 95 exabytes (95 billion gigabytes) from 69 exabytes in 2010.

Only 11 exabytes of NAND memory was manufactured in 2010, with a focus on providing supplies for MP3 players, smartphones, and other consumer products.

SSDs have picked up sales in the enterprise storage sector, but consumers are still holding off on the pricey technology. Even if consumers sales remain slow in 2011 and the next couple of years, Seagate, Intel, Samsung, Micron, and other companies working in the enterprise storage market should see strong success.

If Seagate’s idea behind NAND flash shortages pans out as more flash-based products are released, then SSD manufacturers will have to fight for whatever supplies they can get their hands on. SSD is expected to continue to grow in 2011 and over the next few years, but pricing, supply shortages, and other problems might significantly hamper it’s success in the consumer PC market.

You can read Seagate’s full report here (PDF).



RTV71
MyCE Member
Posted on: 28 Jan 11 03:50
If cloud-based storage expands (depending on bandwidth caps) then the smaller capacity SSD drives are not at much of a disadvantage..
0 Agree

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 28 Jan 11 12:04
If cloud based storage expands, mechanical HDD's will not be fast enough for cloud servers

If lucrative cloud service providers increase, super fast, super reliable SSD will be in ultra high demand for several years, leaving consumers in the lurch for SSD's
0 Agree

rla
Banned
Posted on: 28 Jan 11 17:38
Seems odd that suppliers are not gearing up for this technology, particularly when the adoption off SSD represents a major source of income and a giant leap in relative reliability. Give the consumer a fast, high capacity SSD drive, at a competitive price, that will last 7 years or more and I'm all ears. Such a device would redefine what portable devices are and certainly would yeild a whole new world of micro sized portable devices as SSD capacity increases and size decreases. Unfortunately this scenario would likely not appeal to the major players in the Hard Drive business for a myriad of reasons - all being money.

Until the price and capacity of SSDs become appealing to the masses there wont be enough product moving to keep it alive. Obviously Seagate has an investment in a product that could become legacy technology near overnight should the SSD take off. For a company that supplies millions of cheap HDDs to the consumer the cost of a complete change in manufacturing processes could hurt. No wonder they wish to predict the demise of the SSD technology.

One thing for sure, if product developers are serious about making SSD a viable alternative they have got to make leaps in terms of capacity and price. Until component suppliers see the SSD as a moving product in the consumer marketplace the SSD is in danger of falling off the cliff. That would be a pity.
0 Agree

tmc8080
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 01 Feb 11 00:14
What seagate doesn't "get" is that SDHC SDXC flash will be as robust as SSD sata drives soon and sdxc will have capacity upto 2tb's... Even 256gb SDXC flash cards could serve as the o/s primary drive giving a hard drive a run for it's money. That's not to say that hard drives are dead... on the contrary.. the multi terrabyte capcity at dirt cheap prices will be important for storage hungry media & files. HD video files along run into the gigabytes each.

Where this matters most is the slim pc, netbook and handheld markets.. hard drive might be squeezed out there first. Seagate can't deny that won't happen in the next 5 years.
0 Agree

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 01 Feb 11 00:21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmc8080
Where this matters most is the slim pc, netbook and handheld markets.. hard drive might be squeezed out there first. Seagate can't deny that won't happen in the next 5 years.
http://www.olpcnews.com/laptops/xo-1...power_now.html
For "developing" nations" ....
I'm not sure how everyone else feels about the the rest of the world, but developing nations seem to have a significantly larger population, and hence market, than western nations, and cheap flash, with low power requirements, and larger capacities will drive the flash market muh quicker than the HDD marekt ... not to mention the demand for faster storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston - [url
http://www.kingston.com/flash/sdxc.asp][/url]
Features/benefits

* Capacities** — 64GB†
* Dimensions — 0.94" x 1.26" x 0.08" (24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm)
* Weight — 0.09 oz. (2.5 g)
* Class Rating — Class 10: 10 MB/sec. minimum data transfer rate
* Performance — 233X = up to 35MB/sec. write
It's close to standard 5400rpm 2.5" laptop HDD's now

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...hput,1114.html
0 Agree

coolcolors
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 03 Feb 11 18:38
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTV71
If cloud-based storage expands (depending on bandwidth caps) then the smaller capacity SSD drives are not at much of a disadvantage..
This only works if you have internet connection wifi or wired. So don't dismiss or write off the good and trusty old HDD that will be here long to come. And not all people will have SSD or can afford them. Also capacity will always be a crucial factor on what people decides to buy as well as apps and files get bigger and need more storage. HDD still reigns over SSD in capacity and prices as well. Cloud is Server based so that is nothing new it still resides on a Server not really Cloud. That word is so over used and not really telling people what it does. Cloud can never guarantee privacy protection as someone else is watching your precious data for you not just you. And as anything when the net is down or no connections or slow/limited connections your presentation won't do a world of good. So I don't base my just with cloud. That is where the HDD still plays a big role.
0 Agree

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 03 Feb 11 22:30
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolors
This only works if you have internet connection wifi or wired. So don't dismiss or write off the good and trusty old HDD that will be here long to come. And not all people will have SSD or can afford them.
If vested interests have their way and "The Cloud" takes off ... every person in the world will end up with a slim terminal with internet access and you will "rent" your storage, processing time and download data from the Cloud Provider.

With the movement towards digital music services and streaming movie services, there will be no need for permanent storage for the end-user.

Your cloud storage provider will store all your personal documents, passwords, personal details, emails, photo's and etc.
We already know that Google is trawling Gmail messages for commercial opportunities, and Facebook is datamining your personal information for commercial opportunities. Amazon trawls all your purchases to tailor commercials to your previous purchases .....

After forking over all your money to your cloud provider, movies seller, music seller, book seller ... the end user will own .... NOTHING ... total bumfluff.
It's worse than buying stupid ringtones that can only be used on a specific phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolors
Also capacity will always be a crucial factor on what people decides to buy as well as apps and files get bigger and need more storage.
How many applications are in the world .. maybe 10,000 commonly used? 100,000?

Cloud vendor mirrors operating system & all software packages for 10,000,000 users, and provides access to all packages, restricted by what the user pays for. Need AUTOCAD access? That's $500/yr, need MS Office - that's $50/yr, need a defragmenter ... what the hell do you want that for anyway ... need *insert other special program here* - that's $XXX/year.

After they've mirror your OS, and all common programs, they just need to allocate a small amount of storage, maybe 100MB, to each user. All large content is "streamed" remember?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolors
HDD still reigns over SSD in capacity and prices as well.
Required capacity will drop per user - everything is streamed. Your OS & apps is just an account threaded from a server, practically identical to the other 7billion people on the planet. HDD's will NOT be able to keep up with the HUGE instantaneous demands of 100,000 users, let alone the 7billion users in the world - HDD's will die - SSD will reign supreme.
In 20 years, an entire generation won't know what a computer is, let alone what a HDD is.
All computers will be some small and require such low processing capability that they'll be embedded in something else, a fridge, a TV .. your fingers/arms/ears/eyes/brain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcolors
Cloud is Server based so that is nothing new it still resides on a Server not really Cloud. That word is so over used and not really telling people what it does. Cloud can never guarantee privacy protection as someone else is watching your precious data for you not just you. And as anything when the net is down or no connections or slow/limited connections your presentation won't do a world of good. So I don't base my just with cloud. That is where the HDD still plays a big role.
"The Cloud" is the death of internet indepedance.

At the same time, it greatly reduces the demand on resources, power, knowledge of basic computer administration.

I don't know about you, but I've got a quad core i7 with a AMD4670, chewing through 200W of power, idling while I'm typing this - replace this beast with a cloud service and an xterm with a basic arm/atom CPU and a basic framebuffer chip, maybe 30W .. and it'd be suitable for the vast majority of people over 35 .. the non-game players & the non-content producers.

On a side note ... AMD and intel had better ramp up their engineering teams for low power, low cost processors, because that's going to be the future Bulk purchases, and concentrate on MIMD server processors.
0 Agree

coolcolors
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 03 Feb 11 23:41
Cloud is still a fallacy it is purely Server based there nothing Cloud about it. Still people think internet will be there but what is your cloud worth when there is power outage at their side or server corruption?? Basically nothing..and with your datas spread all over the world whom reads and see your data you have no control over that. Sure they would say they backup your data then that leads to the question of data mining you by 3rd party that they sell your data to and you won't know who they are. Cloud is Server based we need to get that in our head there is no Cloud. Cloud is the white fluffy stuff we see in the sky when we look up. If cloud was so as they say I should boot up my computer at home and without internet access get cloud access and have to pay nothing. Now that would be true Cloud computing...
0 Agree

coolcolors
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 03 Feb 11 23:43
Quote:
Originally Posted by debro
I don't know about you, but I've got a quad core i7 with a AMD4670, chewing through 200W of power, idling while I'm typing this - replace this beast with a cloud service and an xterm with a basic arm/atom CPU and a basic framebuffer chip, maybe 30W .. and it'd be suitable for the vast majority of people over 35 .. the non-game players & the non-content
That is called a laptop...Gamer laptop or everyday laptop...those exist already...
0 Agree

weedougie
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 03 Feb 11 23:51
debro, a very good argument, however what about home video, still pictures, music and a myriad of other "home storage" requirements.
I believe you are also overlooking the security aspect, do you want to put your personal details, letters to the bank, medical concerns and other personal data out there where you have no control over the security or any one data mining for profit.
Renting is always much more expensive than ownership in the long term in my experience.
It ain't gonna happen.
You are basically talking about removing the HDD storage from our machines to the farms, why?
I don't get why you think that these computers will have low power processors. How on earth are you going to process HD/HQ video streams. We already have a low power system it is called television both terrestrial and satellite.
If the day comes that the "cloud" is the only option open to me that will be the day I junk the computer, hand write all my communications and go back to film instead of digital cameras.

We do not know what the future will bring and what new developments will make this discussion obsolete.
0 Agree

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 04 Feb 11 03:23
Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
debro, a very good argument, however what about home video, still pictures, music and a myriad of other "home storage" requirements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by debro
Your cloud storage provider will store all your personal documents, passwords, personal details, emails, photo's and etc.
Once again, the terminal will just provide an interface to everything. Specialised equipment for audio will become a dumb recording instrument, and data will stream (via the xterm & ISP) to the program running on the cloud server, which stores it.
Home video's may be the exception, due to the huge size, but even then, if they aren't pack rats, the end user will pull the video off a camcorder, process it & write it to disc, or optical cube, or SD card, or whatever portable storage we have in 20 years. They might even resort to *burning* the physical media via an online writable media service, and have the resultant product mailed to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
I believe you are also overlooking the security aspect, do you want to put your personal details, letters to the bank, medical concerns and other personal data out there where you have no control over the security or any one data mining for profit.
I'm pretty sure I covered it here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by debro
We already know that Google is trawling Gmail messages for commercial opportunities, and Facebook is datamining your personal information for commercial opportunities. Amazon trawls all your purchases to tailor commercials to your previous purchases .....
I left it open for everyone else to consider how far they'd go if they had ALL of your resumes, medical info, personal letters, tax return submissions, financial reports/status's .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
Renting is always much more expensive than ownership in the long term in my experience.
I agree, and so do the vested interests - can you say "pure profit"? It's easy money for any IT company, especially as the server farm will likely be in a third world country, with just a forward facing management office in the first world. They will subsidise the cloud to spur adoption ... once it's out there, and the majority of the population uses it, the per-unit cost of manufacturing standalone hardware will rise exponentially, and the expense of having a standalone machine, for an end user, will push them towards the cloud unless they have a tax deductible reason to continue using standlone hardware/software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
It ain't gonna happen.
What odds are you offering ... 2030:1 against?


Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
You are basically talking about removing the HDD storage from our machines to the farms, why?
Because that's what "The Cloud" is ..... A giant server farm with cpu/ram/storage resources shared between hundreds/thousand/millions/billions or users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
I don't get why you think that these computers will have low power processors. How on earth are you going to process HD/HQ video streams.
I suspect you've noticed the move towards web enabled TV's, web enabled fridges, web enabled .. watches ... all low power, low processing capable devices. The answer is ... the average consumer will not process HD/HQ video streams - devices will spit out a heavily compressed HD/HQ video stream, and upload it to the server farm. All processing will be done by the server farm. It's a matter of getting your data TO the server farm which is the current problem, othersise "The Cloud" would likely have been implemented a long time ago.

As far as consuming HD/HQ content streams, the video stream will be rendered by the server farm, and sent to your xterm with a basic framebuffer, which then displays it

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
We already have a low power system it is called television both terrestrial and satellite.
I'm not entirely sure whether you mean energywise, or processing wise?

At any rate, engineers are already working on the IEEE 802.15.6 standard "wireless body area networks" intended for low speed medical communications. How long before this is adapted for your hands to be talking to your eyes, ears & throat and then onto the rest of the world? I don't think your hands need a particularly powerful processor for anything ... nor your ears .. throat .... eventually humans will become a giant processor ... much like the PS3 "Cell" processor ... lots of tiny processor only good for one thing, but the entire set gets you kickass PC.
The AUSSIEBORG will rise again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
If the day comes that the "cloud" is the only option open to me that will be the day I junk the computer, hand write all my communications and go back to film instead of digital cameras.
I'm sure you meant it at the time, but I'm sure you realised that was an empty threat as you were hitting the "post" button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
We do not know what the future will bring and what new developments will make this discussion obsolete.
Faster broadband + Faster Wifi? The Oz government is, controversially, rolling out a huge fibre optic network capable of 100Mb, and likely 1000Gb/s by the time they *actually* roll it out in the next 10 years. We've only scratched the surface of the speed capabilities of light, and optical fibre is at 10Gb/s now. The rest of the world will be following suit, no doubt - if Australia can do it, any country can. South Korea is already in high bandwidth heaven, and much of Japan also.
0 Agree

weedougie
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 04 Feb 11 08:43
Still not buying it and by the way that was no empty threat.
0 Agree

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 05 Feb 11 00:48
Quote:
Originally Posted by weedougie
Still not buying it and by the way that was no empty threat.
Given that corporations want control, and want all your data (for data mining), and the massive funding for lobbying behind them, it is coming .. perhaps not immediately.

Perhaps the best bet for opting out would be this .
0 Agree

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