For the first time, Seagate will offer a solid state hybrid drive for the desktop.
Less than a week after saying it would no longer produce 7200 RPM hard drives for notebooks, Seagate today announced the launch of its third generation hybrid drive family, now called SSHD (solid state hybrid drive). There are three new models in all, including one for laptop PCs (Seagate Laptop), a 7mm high drive for Ultrabooks and ultrathins (Laptop Thin), and for the first time, a variant designed for desktops.
A number of factors will lead to declining hard drive shipments this year, IHS iSuppli says.
Facing stiff competition from tablets, smartphones, and solid state drives (SSDs), mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) shipments are expected to fall 12 percent this year, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. HDD revenue will drop at about the same clip, declining 11.8 percent to $32.7 billion in 2013, down from $37.1 billion in 2012, and remaining flat in 2014.
Current HDD prices in line with pre-recession levels
The hard drive industry was hit particularly hard by the 2011 floods in Thailand, which is the second biggest producer of hard drives behind China. The devastating deluge was accompanied by a sharp increase in hard drive prices, with the average selling price for HDDs shooting up 28 percent to reach $66 in Q4 2011 (Q2 FY2012). Although a return to pre-flood prices does not seem likely in the immediate future, things aren’t nearly as bad as they were an year ago.
A new hard drive for DVRs promises quiet operation and high reliability.
Seagate on Thursday announced its new Video 2.5 HDD, a 2.5-inch hard drive (as its name implies) designed specifically for around-the-clock video applications, such as digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs), and surveillance applications. Building a reliable drive was Seagate's primary focus, and the company claims its new HDD has an annual failure rate of just 0.55.
Western Digital and Seagate command over 90 percent of the traditional hard drive market, so when one of these companies pipes up with concerns, everyone stops and takes note. According to Seagate, first-quarter revenues are likely to be 5 to 7 percent lower than its previous forecast of $4 billion, and it makes us wonder if it’s the start of a new trend.
The mechanical hard drive sector has been consolidating rapidly to help combat the rise of SSD’s, and as of today we officially have one less player. Seagate has succeeded in acquiring a controlling share of LaCie stocks, although they may end up paying slightly more than the €4.05 per share that they initially disclosed. Assuming Seagate manages to accumulate a 95 percent share in the company, the price could jump to €4.17, but this will also net them full control over their French rival.
Here's an interesting tidbit for those Maximum PC readers who were wondering why the two biggest players in mechanical hard drives have yet to seriously jump into the SSD waters: OCZ's shares are currently spiking after insider rumors claimed that Seagate and Micron are considering buying out the company.
Seagate's getting into the SSD business, and it's doing so by converting coal into diamonds. Yesterday, Seagate inked a deal with DensBits, which has an SSD controller that it says can dramatically improve the speed and longevity of NAND flash memory -- basically making fairly low-quality SSDs into average-quality SSDs. Seagate bought an undisclosed stake in DensBits and together, they hope to bring "low-cost, high-performance" SSDs to both consumers and corporate buyers.
Solid state drives don’t just “sort of” speed up your boot drive, the difference is literally night and day. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with a machine equipped with one will tell you it’s hard to go back to using a mechanical drive, but that doesn’t have Seagate worried. Forbes had an opportunity to sit down with CEO Steve Luczo this week, and he makes a pretty compelling argument as to why the mechanical hard drive industry has nothing to fear from SSD to makers, at least for now.
Seagate has become the first hard drive maker to achieve a storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, the company said Monday. It managed this feat using a next-generation recording technology called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR). The company foresees 3.5-inch hard drives based on this technology reaching “extraordinary” storage capacities over the next decade. Hit the jump for more.