|To: Moonray who wrote (7682)||8/12/2010 7:20:58 PM|
|From: Sam||Respond to of 7818|
|Seagate and Samsung team up on solid state drives|
Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:30am EDT
* Seagate and Samsung will jointly develop SSD controllers
* To work together on enterprise-class SSD devices
* Enterprise SSD market seen growing to 6 million units
By Alex Dobuzinskis
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Seagate Technology (STX.O) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) have agreed to jointly develop a key component of solid state drives, to tackle a small but growing segment of the storage industry.
Seagate, the No. 1 hard-drive manufacturer by revenue, and Samsung, Asia's largest electronics company by sales, agreed to develop controller technologies for SSDs.
The two companies said on Thursday they hoped to play off each others' technological strengths via a partnership aimed at tackling the corporate market for so-called SSDs, considered faster and more rugged -- but far costlier -- than traditional drives.
Such devices are increasingly common in notebooks and tablet computers such as Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad, but make up only a fraction of enterprise-class storage, an area with higher profit margins.
"They are sending a signal to their major (original equipment manufacturers) to be prepared" for a new class of enterprise-quality SSD devices, said John Monroe, research vice president of data center systems with Gartner.
Controllers are key to how SSDs perform, managing banks of flash memory in such a way that the devices do not deteriorate over time -- a common problem with the drives.
Seagate already sells SSDs for enterprise customers under its Pulsar line, released in December 2009.
Whatever comes out of the partnership with Samsung will be an improvement on that line, said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of sales, marketing and product line management.
"It's probably a 2012 product, not tomorrow," Mosley said. "There may be possibilities earlier than that, depending on how the (intellectual property) develops."
Seagate and Samsung would not say how much they are investing in their partnership.
Total shipments of enterprise-grade SSD devices are expected to surpass 700,000 units this year, compared to more than 50 million shipments of hard disk drives for that market, Monroe said.
But shipments of enterprise-grade SSD devices are expected to grow to 6 million units by 2013 or 2014, he said.
Until now, Seagate has partnered with privately owned SandForce Inc on controller technology for its SSDs. Mosley said it is still to be determined if Seagate will continue to work with SandForce in the future.
For its SSD line, Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) partnered with chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) to develop controllers.
Seagate's archrival, Western Digital Corp (WDC.N), the No. 2 hard drive manufacturer by revenue, has not introduced any SSD devices for the enterprise segment nor disclosed any deal with other companies to develop controller technology. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Gary Hill)