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Seagate CEO William D. Watkins  (Source: Seagate)
Seagate's Bill Watkins doesn't see the appeal of SSDs for mobile applications

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are the holy grail of computer storage. The drives promise fast, sustained data transfer speeds, low access times, lower weight and less heat output (for mobile applications). The main downside to the technology is the extremely high price of entry.

The high prices of today's mainstream 64GB SSDs hasn't stopped companies like Dell, Apple and Lenovo from offering the drives on their laptops. Dell has offered SSDs since April 2007 and Apple's MacBook Air can be equipped with a $999 64GB SSD option. Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 and the upcoming Dell Latitude E4200 are SSD-only machines.

With SSD prices expected to drop 40% to 50% per year, the interest in the drives for other computing platforms is sure to increase.

Seagate, a company firmly entrenched in traditional hard disk drive (HDD) storage, unsurprisingly is not impressed with SSDs. "Realistically, I just don’t see the flash notebook sell," said Seagate CEO Bill Watkins. "We just don’t see the proposition."

It's understandable that Watkins would want to protect his company's investment in mobile HDDs, but it shouldn't be too difficult to appreciate the advantages on mobile platforms.

Watkins is known for making somewhat outlandish statements. In late 2006, he stated that, "Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

Watkins, however, has a response for SSD manufacturers should sales take off:  lawsuits. According to Fortune, Watkins is convinced that SSD manufacturers are infringing upon Seagate and Western Digital patents dealing with how storage devices communicate within a computer -- it's just a matter when the lawsuits will pop up, Gibson style.

With Intel throwing its massive weight behind SSDs, the future does indeed look bright for the storage medium. With SSDs finding their way into low-cost machines like the ASUS Eee PC on up to high-priced offerings from Apple, consumers hopefully will have more affordable SSD choices as the technology matures.

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By FITCamaro on 3/24/2008 2:57:26 PM , Rating: 4
At least he's honest. And I agree with him right now. They're too expensive for not enough gain.

RE: Well
By Runiteshark on 3/24/2008 3:03:07 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly, I like this guy. He is a no nonsense no bullshit kind of guy.

And he is even honest.

Wish we had more CEOs like that.

RE: Well
By Gul Westfale on 3/24/2008 3:15:53 PM , Rating: 4
true but a forward-looking person would tell you tha in a few years SSD manufacturing costs will have decreased to the point where traditional hard drives would become obsolete. the same happened with CPUs, CMOS/CCD sensors, flash RAM, and pretty much any other silicon-transistor based tech- manufacturing improves, prices drop.

so i think he is really just pretending not to like SSDs because his company doesn't offer them, or he wants to send a message to SSD manufacturers- share your tech with us and we won't sue you.

RE: Well
By Master Kenobi on 3/24/2008 3:24:24 PM , Rating: 4
Flash based SSD's aren't the future due to inherent problems in Flash. I expect another type of SSD to hit the market to replace it.

RE: Well
By marsbound2024 on 3/24/2008 3:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah see below comment, posted a link:

Your very own DailyTech articles. :)

RE: Well
By winterspan on 3/24/2008 7:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh really? Is that why they've been standard fair in commercial and military data storage applications for years?
If you are talking about the write wear-down problem, you need to do more research because it has recently become much less of an issue than in the past, at least according to manufacturers public statements. I believe your very own Dailytech had an article including a statement from one of the primary flash manufacturers that their SLC drives would last some 10-15 years with regular use.

As I see it, the bottom line is that fast, reliable, and soon to be more affordable flash technology is already here and ready for the market. No matter whether one of the many experimental storage technologies overtakes flash in 5 years or so, I do expect by Q1-Q2 2009, that most upper-mainstream laptops will feature an SSD drive at least as an BTO option, and probably as a standard feature.

RE: Well
By Master Kenobi on 3/25/2008 8:59:11 AM , Rating: 3
Flash is not Fast. Write speed is terrible even on the most high end flash chips. I will stick with hard disks until SSD's based on different tech come out that can give me good write speeds.

RE: Well
By glennpratt on 3/25/2008 9:50:44 AM , Rating: 2
There are SSD's out today that are slightly faster than Raptors in write performance and trounce them in read performance. Then their is the whole seek time thing.

They are pricey, but they aren't much more then the 15k Seagate's in our arrays, and I would kill to have read performance graph like that (our servers, like most, read much more then write).

RE: Well
By TomZ on 3/24/2008 3:30:07 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed that flash prices will fall, but for the forseeable future, magnetic storage will continue to cost just a fraction of flash storage, according to industry forecasts.

Remember - both HDD and flash costs are falling - it's not like flash is the only storage medium that is getting cheaper. That makes both technologies continue to be viable based on their respective strengths - HDDs will continue to dominate in terms of storage capacity/density and lower cost/GB, whereas flash will dominate in speed and power savings. There is plenty of room in the storage market for both.

RE: Well
By ineedaname on 3/25/2008 4:55:01 AM , Rating: 3
I agree that both magnetic storage and flash prices are dropping but you left out one thing. Which one's dropping faster. If you're talking about scalability Flash can scale much higher than magnetic disk storage. Magnetic storage is slowly hitting its limits while companies like Bitmicro have already made 1TB SSD's. So that really leads us to the question of how long will it take b4 SSD's eventually eclipse magnetic storage.

RE: Well
By drebo on 3/24/2008 3:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Platter-based hard drives will never go away. The storage density is far, far out of reach of solid-state storage. Not only that, but I believe they'll always be cheaper from a GB/$ standpoint, which is what's most important in a lot of applications.

Aside from that, with 1.8" drives, we already have a drive that's tiny, power efficient, and virtually silent. Granted, they're not that fast...but on an iPod or an EeePC, the performance bottlenecks are NOT at the storage medium.

I'm with Seagate...I don't see the need for SSDs right now.

RE: Well
By lagomorpha on 3/24/2008 7:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm typing this on an Eee and can tell you that the low transfer rate of the internal SSD is a performance bottleneck. Also, the 2nd Eee is supposed to only consume 7 watts of power which means the power consumption of a 1.8" drive (as much as 1.4 watts) is going to have a significant effect on battery life. Solid state is currently the way to go for devices this small, the 1.8" hard drives were a stop-gap measure that won't survive much longer.

As mass storage devices conventional hard drives can't be beat but someone is going to need to find some application for all the extra space to convince consumers to purchase drives larger than 1TB. IMO Seagate should encourage the production of high definition porn. It is the only way they will be able to sell large amounts of 1TB+ drives.

RE: Well
By winterspan on 3/24/2008 7:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
he storage density is far, far out of reach of solid-state storage.

You are right about cost/GB, at least for a few years, but your comment about storage density is TOTALLY false. Here are some recent announcements:

BitMicro 3.5" SSD - 1600GB /1.6TB

BitMicro 2.5" SSD - 832GB

MTron 1.8" SSD - 128GB

Also, just wait until the next generation is available.
Intel and Micron have an alliance for next-gen flash production at 45nm(IIRC) and Samsung is already talking about 30nm flash chips. At this transistor size, they can squeeze 64 GIGABITS / 8 GIGABYTES into ONE chip or in other words enough density for a 512GB 1.8" drive thats thinner than the double platter 160GB 1.8" HDD availabe today. I can only imagine what you could fit on a 2.5" and 3.5" drives.

Your comment about 1.8" HDDs is a joke. Yeah, of course the 1.8" drive wouldn't be a bottleneck streaming MP3s at 192kbps from an iPod, but they are completely unacceptable for laptop applications. In fact, Thats why you see them being the first to be replaced by SSDs. compared to a good 1.8" flash SSD, they are clunky, fail all the time, slow as molasses, and use 5x the energy.

RE: Well
By drebo on 3/24/2008 9:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
None of those devices are available.

Announcements for XX TB, blazing fast solid-state drives have been coming out for years, yet none exist.

I'd prefer to place my money on a proven technology, rather than one that is the subject of popular myth.

RE: Well
By winterspan on 3/25/2008 12:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Announcements for XX TB, blazing fast solid-state drives have been coming out for years, yet none exist.

[they are] the subject of popular myth

If you don't know what the hell you are talking about, then you should spend some time researching the topic, otherwise you end up looking like a fool.

SSDs currently available (retail or OEM):

MTron 2.5" SATA SSD
access time .01 msec
sequential read: 100MB/s
sequential write: 80MB/s

SuperTalent 2.5" SATA II Elite SSD
access time .01 msec
sequential read: 100MB/s
sequential write: 80MB/s

Samsung 2.5" SATA II SSD
sequential read: 100MB/s
sequential write: 80MB/s

OCZ technology 2.5" SATA II SSD
access time .01 msec
sequential read: 120MB/s
sequential write: 100MB/s

Adtron SATA 2.5" SSD
access time .01 msec
sequential read: 78MB/sec
sequential write: 47MB/sec

RE: Well
By kelmon on 3/25/2008 5:33:53 AM , Rating: 2
It's entirely possible that HDD will eventually disappear entirely but that day is many years away. However, it's pretty likely that HDD will disappear from your computer much sooner as its role changes to that currently occupied by tape storage. Tape is still used a heck of a lot because it's so cheap relative to HDD but even that is changing as HDD becomes cheaper. For example, our image archival system is maintained by an EMC Centera system that uses HDD rather than tape because the costs of such a system decreased sufficiently that the project could afford it. I can quite easily see HDD replacing tape for archival purposes and SDD (or similar) replacing HDD on your desktop/laptop in the next few years.

RE: Well
By FingerMeElmo87 on 3/24/2008 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
true but a forward-looking person would tell you tha in a few years SSD manufacturing costs will have decreased to the point where traditional hard drives would become obsolete.

i dont think that that day will come for a long long time. sure, 32GB SSD's may come down to the $100 within the next few years but traditional HDD's are sky rocketing when it comes to storage capacity. even their transfer rates are respectible. $100's for 64GB's in a 4 years or 2TB's worth of traditional HDD's?

RE: Well
By Brian23 on 3/24/2008 5:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
While it's true that HDs are a lot bigger than flash drives, this isn't a big strike against flash. In the future, everyone will have their home server with it's 8TB of hard drive space and wifi. All the laptops will only need 64GB of space because all the multimedia is stored in a central location. I mean seriously, why do you need to copy your multimedia collection to every computer you own? Just put it on one and stream it to all the others.

RE: Well
By jRaskell on 3/24/2008 5:28:39 PM , Rating: 3
The reason I have a laptop is because it's portable. When I'm at home, I use my desktop PC with it's 22" display and raw processing power. When I'm on the road, I use my laptop. So when I'm using my laptop, a hypothetical home server won't be of much use.

RE: Well
By TomZ on 3/24/2008 5:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for everyone, but 64GB is not enough for me for a laptop. My OS, a small set of apps, and a small set of working data files pass 64GB. Not to mention the files that I use from my LAN/servers that I like to have locally cached when I don't have a connection to my LAN.

For me, 250GB is about right for a laptop, at least for now. I could see needing more in the future. My laptop has a second internal HDD slot, and I've been thinking of putting another 250GB or 320GB drive in it.

RE: Well
By Brandon Hill on 3/24/2008 5:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
As I've stated before in previous threads, 12GB is more than enough for me for mobile duties :)

I have an Eee PC 4G with a 4GB SSD running Windows XP. Total formatted capacity is 3.72GB. 1.5GB is being taken up by Windows XP and supporting apps. 2.22GB is free space. I don't run a with a pagefile and I don't need one with 2GB of RAM in XP.

I also have an 8GB SDHC card installed in the Eee PC. It's 7.65GB formatted with 5.87GB free (that's including all of My Documents which are synced with my desktop using SyncToy).

I have every app that I could possibly want at my disposal installed to the SDHC card running PortableApps. I currently have OpenOffice, VirtualDub, Thunderbird, NVU,, Pigin, and Sumatra PDF Portable installed to the SDHC card.

That's it. That's all I need. Why I would need 120GB of storage to do that remains a mystery to me.

I have 22GB of MP3 music. That resides on my desktop, is backed up to a 300GB external storage drive, and is also on my 32GB iPod touch. I see no need to mirror those files to my Eee PC b/c I always have my iPod touch with me anyway.

In fact, my dual core desktop has a 200GB HDD -- I'm only using 70GB including the aforementioned 22GB in MP3 files with Windows Vista Home Premium.

I'd even take a gander that the majority of mobile consumers would do fine with a 64GB SSD despite all the bitching that goes on about storage space.

RE: Well
By afkrotch on 3/25/2008 5:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike you, some of us actually use our portables to be just that. Portable.

My laptop is my media computer while I'm on the move. I use a 100 gig internal and 250 gig external. Sure, if all I wanted to do was surf the web and run word, 64 gig would be more than enough.

I was looking at an Eee PC for short 1-2 day trips and keep my 12.1" laptop for those 20-30 day trips. At home I have my desktop with about 300 gigs of space and my file server with 5 TB of space. Also have an 80 gig Zune.

RE: Well
By teldar on 3/25/2008 8:42:36 AM , Rating: 2
I know that I would love a 8 or probably 16 BG SSD for my home computers. I don't care if I can put everything on the system drive as that's what they make storage drives for. Just give me something lightning fast to put my OS on and I would be happy.


RE: Well
By Oregonian2 on 3/24/2008 5:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, all those things drop in price over time.

I once bought a pair of 40MB (yes 'M') drives for $300 each and thought I was making the steal of the century.

IOW - Hard disk drive prices drop too. And still continue to do so. So it's not a matter of whether flash will drop in price but whether it can drop in price faster than hard drives sufficient to catch up before becoming obsolete.

At the low end, flash has the advantage due to lower overhead. Also for applications where weight or ruggedness counts (although flash still needs to be proven that wear leveling works adequately).

Time will tell, but flash's win isn't a given even in the long term. Nor is that of the hard disk, there's those other currently esoteric technologies still brewing and awaiting their turn, and they may blast ahead of both.

RE: Well
By fic2 on 3/24/2008 6:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
My first 1G SCSI drive was $1000 and I thought that was a steal since it was part of a group purchase.

RE: Well
By teldar on 3/25/2008 8:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know so much about traditional hard drives becoming obsolete. I think the data density, longevity, and general cheapness will keep them around for quite some time. Look at how long tape drives lasted.
I don't believe corporate America is going to change overnight even if something technologically superior comes along. I think hard drives will be with us for quite a while yet.

RE: Well
By winterspan on 3/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By Master Kenobi on 3/25/2008 9:09:39 AM , Rating: 2
threatens frivolous lawsuits

Not frivolous when they own the patents on I/O technologies in the storage market. They could bury SSD or drive up costs in licensing if they wanted to.

RE: Well
By glennpratt on 3/25/2008 9:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
If it was an airtight case, they'd be suing now, or perhaps they should be required to by law - your nor I nor how good their case is.

Companies shouldn't be able to spin FUD from their patent portfolio like this.

RE: Well
By afkrotch on 3/25/2008 9:30:45 AM , Rating: 2
How about the disadvantages.

Higher vulnerability to certain types of effects, including abrupt power loss (especially DRAM based SSDs), magnetic fields and electric/static charges compared to normal HDDs (which store the data inside a Faraday cage).



Limited Write Cycle (not really an issue, but is still a disadvangate, nontheless)

Slow random write speeds

Also replace the standard HDD market? You serious? I can see the potential for the portable market, your enterprise sector? No way SSD would ever make it there. Even the 1.6 TB SSD is a worthless endeavor. With multiple users reading/writing the drives, that 1 mil read/writes would be an issue.

DT readers respect this??
By Obsoleet on 3/24/2008 3:31:31 PM , Rating: 4
He said he will SUE to stop SSDs. Instead of going with the future he's going to sue to stop it using their patents. Is this in the best interest of the consumer?
He's also lying, saying he doesn't see the benefits? The benefits like ~12 sec bootup times, no more defragging?

This place is so pro-corporation that I think most DT readers have lost all perspective. Sitting around worshipping some company and CEO who is trying to stifle real innovation for his own profit and you cheer it on.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By TomZ on 3/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: DT readers respect this??
By glennpratt on 3/24/2008 5:04:43 PM , Rating: 5
No TomZ, he doesn't have anything backwards. He said this is bad for the consumer, which seems true to many. If Seagate's CEO has decided SSD's aren't what they're interested in, then they should be working to get what patents they have on the market to be licensed, not throwing around threats in the media. Honestly, they shouldn't be allowed to hold their cards on this, file suit or shut up.

IP protection has failed to do its' job when a corporation will lash out with patents threats to defend an older, entrenched technology. That IS stifling innovation.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By TomZ on 3/24/2008 5:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
IP protection is bad for consumers? You have it backwards, just like the OP. Without IP protection, there would be little or no R&D investment creating innovation for consumers.

I see your point, that a company acting as a patent troll could stiffle innovation, but I don't see where that is happening here.

I also see it that the SSD companies may have to develop some of their own approaches, instead of using the "old tech" (to use your terminology). Again, it seems like that creates more innovation, not less.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By glennpratt on 3/24/2008 5:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
IP protection is bad for consumers?


RE: DT readers respect this??
By Oregonian2 on 3/24/2008 5:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
Tossing IP concepts out is good for the consumer in the short term. They'll get something nice and cheap. Later there will be little to be had -- but that won't be due to getting rid of IP rights, it'll be said to be due to the greedy companies who don't want to invest in developing new products.

Of course.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By glennpratt on 3/24/2008 8:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
Most of us who are unhappy with the US patent system don't want to end IP protection, we just want to make sure that IP protection doesn't stifle innovation.

I'll make the wild assumption that those arguing against me are free market types. Thats great, me too! Now remember that patents are a limited monopoly granted by the government mostly to corporations. This is not a very free market activity, so when we do it, we better make damn sure it's right and not abused.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By Oregonian2 on 3/26/2008 1:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Except that you don't know if they're developing SSD technology themselves awaiting the point in time to launch them. Strategically, they wouldn't be talking about such things until the time was ripe as not to down their own sales for people to await their new product "someday" as well as to give a marketing push to the competitors. They shouldn't want others to use their previously developed technology to put down their current and future products. I also don't see that they'd necessarily refuse licensing.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By glennpratt on 3/26/2008 4:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
We don't know all the details, but that's the problem. I'd call it FUD. Their patent claims should be made now. If they are aware of it, then they should be required to act on it, as is the case with trademarks.

Legal threats like this, I feel, discourage innovation and benefit the company with the bigger legal team. We should discourage these kinds of threats because they rely on the power the USPTO and the government hold in these cases. Just look at the mess RAMBUS made by trying to sit on their patents.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By Oregonian2 on 3/27/2008 8:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with RAMBUS was that they got their technology put into the standards w/o disclosing that they had related patents -- and then later attacking those using the standards and catching them by surprise.

I don't think Seagate is doing that. Nor, AFAIK, was any specific company threatened by them. As you say, it's just anti-Seagate FUD.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By glennpratt on 3/27/2008 10:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Seagate is doing that.

You don't know, all we have are guesses, and that's only because of Seagate's CEO making serious claims without backing them up with facts. I feel that is wrong.
Nor, AFAIK, was any specific company threatened by them.

No, just any SSD maker that isn't part of it's patent deals. Not unlike RAMBUS vs most DDR makers.
As you say, it's just anti-Seagate FUD

WHAT!? Their is no anti-Seagate FUD - I have no earthly idea where you could get that. Do you have any idea what FUD means? No one, myself included, is trying to spread fear, uncertainty or doubt about Seagate's products. Seagate's CEO is making claims about about several other companies products, in an emerging market where those claims can scare consumers and especially OEM's away from these produces without presenting any evidence.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By Obsoleet on 3/24/2008 6:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem here is that your idealism isn't matching up with reality. Anyone can see that this guy is against SSD, a step forward, you admit that correct? You're not going to make excuses for that as well are you? He's blatantly stating they'll sue to stop it from arriving en masse.

I understand there are flaws with the system, but it's you who needs to admit this and in this case it isn't working.
Your circle jerking homage to what this clown is saying is nonproductive and simply wrong.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By winterspan on 3/24/2008 7:24:09 PM , Rating: 4
He never said such a thing. Quit putting words in his mouth and READ THE DAMN POST!
What the poster did say was that Seagate's ridiculous chest pounding and blatant legal threats toward SSD manufacturers is bad for consumers if it impedes the progress of SSD technology and it's march towards true affordability.

I see your point, that a company acting as a patent troll could stiffle innovation, but I don't see where that is happening here.

How in the hell do you know they have anything close to a legitimate patent infringement claim? what do you see happening here? All I can find is an arrogant suit attempting to protect his bread and butter HDD market by threats of legal action, instead of innovation and fair competition. THAT is definitely bad for consumers.

RE: DT readers respect this??
By Vinnybcfc on 3/25/2008 5:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why arent other hard drive manufacturers being threatened with being sued?

If they are licensing the patents then why cant the SSD manufacturers have access to the same arrangements?

There is probably more to this than the article mentions

By pugster on 3/24/2008 3:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
Right now both windows and even linux fails to take advantage of using SSD and disk storage, thus hybrid storage. The Microsoft camp can tweak Vista to put the important OS and swap file in the SSD and the rest in disk based storage (ie tiered storage.) Until then, the Seagate's CEO will keep on laughing.

By kondor999 on 3/24/2008 4:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
I bet one day soon we'll see motherboards with integrated SSD "drives" that will hold the OS.

Personally, I like my OS and my Porn to reside on different physical devices. I'm just weird like that...

By Oregonian2 on 3/24/2008 5:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure that obscenities and the OS are even theoretically separable like that? :-)

By ats on 3/24/2008 6:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
The last thing you want to put on a flash based SSD is the swap file.

Flash should ONLY be used for primary read data. Most of the consumer level flash SSDs do not have robust enough error detection/correction or write leveling for use in write intensive situations. If you are being bogged down by the swap file, get more memory.

So nearsighted
By sonoran on 3/24/2008 3:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
This guy gets my vote for world's most myopic CEO. I agree with him that *today* the value proposition isn't there. But flash follows Moore's law - every process generation you can double capacity or halve the cost (or some tradeoff between the two). SSD's are coming - and trying to stop that with a bunch of lawsuits would be about the most anti-consumer action imaginable. He'd be much smarter to start making his own SSD's and license any patented technology he has.

RE: So nearsighted
By TomZ on 3/24/2008 3:54:46 PM , Rating: 1
What you forgot, however, is that HDD density and cost are also still improving - it's not standing still either.

RE: So nearsighted
By Oregonian2 on 3/24/2008 5:53:37 PM , Rating: 1
I usually get point ding'ed when I say things like that. :-)

RE: So nearsighted
By fic2 on 3/24/2008 6:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Currently you can buy 32G of flash memory in card form from newegg for about $120 (either 2x16G or 4x8G). A flash drive should only cost about $150-175. Once the newness factor wears off in a couple of years these things will be cheap. The price of flash isn't already at the level where people would buy SSDs if there wasn't such a premium on the enclosure and controller.

taken out of context
By Marrkks on 3/25/2008 12:00:32 AM , Rating: 2
he never said he does not see solidstate drive in note books in the future. just not right now. Wakins view is from a cost per GB, warranty(cheap plug), reliability(limited read /writes) perspective. He in fact says seagate will most likly be in the SSD buisness.

quote from about a 3mins into interview.

RE: taken out of context
By giantpandaman2 on 3/25/2008 12:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the post. Yeah, the article is pretty misleading compared to what was actually said in the interview. Strongly suggest that people watch the interview if they want real information on Seagate's position.

RE: taken out of context
By Brandon Hill on 3/25/2008 1:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
The interview you cite is from September 2007. The interview cited in this DT article is from March 2008 with Fortune.

The SSD downside....
By kilkennycat on 3/25/2008 1:49:33 AM , Rating: 4
SSDs come with the promise of exceptionaly fast reads and writes, which is their ultimate downfall as a device for long term (non throw-away) use in a PC. A runaway program, or a deliberately-designed malicious program (SSD-killer) running in background can selectively burn away the storage integrity (with excess write-cycles) in focussed areas of a SSD extremely quickly using the very capability that makes them attractive - their speed. And a failing SSD will classically have the worst type of failure and the most difficult to diagnose.. flaky bits due to charge-carrier leakage that may only begin to show up after a few days or weeks of latency.

RE: The SSD downside....
By roadrun777 on 3/25/2008 5:51:00 AM , Rating: 2
That is not really a downside.
You have this problem in *ANY* storage medium available today.
It's by design. If the devices didn't decay, then why would you need to buy more?
If an engineer comes to a comity board and says "I can either make this last 100 years or make it die after a few years of usage. Which do you want me to produce?"
I am sure you can understand the comity's point of view on the issue. Profit motivates more than excellence in engineering and manufacturing.

Just to let you know, a run-away program (or virus) can take advantage of any flaw. It's fairly easy to overwrite the special "normally hidden" low level areas of a hard disk, not to mention flashing a firmware chip with garbage.
I happen to think this is a flaw of *ALL* technology. So your argument doesn't really apply just to SSD's.
Your title should say "The Technology downside...."

OMG, a new interface again...
By greylica on 3/24/2008 3:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
We are happy now with serial ATA interfaces, and plus the possibility to use ordinary SATA devices on SAS.
If the lawsuits pop, is there a possibility of connectors change again ?

By Master Kenobi on 3/24/2008 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
The connector wouldn't be the half of it. I'm betting they have a patent on the way the I/O stream is processed and sent, which would still kick you in the pants regardless of the physical connector.

In other words:
By daftrok on 3/24/2008 4:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
"Wait until they're cheap, then we'll support it."

RE: In other words:
By Belard on 3/25/2008 1:13:46 AM , Rating: 2
SSDs type drives (no matter what kind of memory is on the inside) will be the future, the price per GB will always go down and capacity go up. Just like current USB flash drives.
$75 = 64mb : 4 years ago
$75 = 128mb : 3 years ago
$50 = 256mb : 2 years ago
$100= 1GB : 2 years ago
$50 = 1GB : 1 year ago (CD-RW disc usage dissappears)
$25 = 1GB : 9 months ago
$25 = 4GB : today
$10 = 1GB : today

Thats on thing I notice... I still use a DVD to carry some data files (patchs, Open Office, installers, Opera, AVG Antivirus, firewalls, etc) but not as much as I used too, but mostly on non NEW PCs to make sure theres no virus infections.

Todays cheap Flash Drives or Portable 2.5GB drives have made CD/DVDs not worth the hassle - depending on the job.

I'm reading this on my Tablet PC...
By SectionEight on 3/24/2008 9:18:26 PM , Rating: 2 Tablet PC which advised me not to use it while walking or moving because the platter hard drive might be damaged. Would be nice to use it while walking since I am in a field that heavily depends on physical movement to get things done. An SSD would allow that, at lower power usage too. I am planning on buying an SSD this summer regardless of cost. Guess I shouldn't bother looking for a Seagate one.

By webada on 3/26/2008 2:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
don't be surprised if seagate decided to gobble up a SSD maker... they certainly are big enough to do so, so why not wait and eye the market and technology. Then, sue them for patent and break a deal on accquiring.

seagate CEO is smart.

By roadrun777 on 3/24/2008 9:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Any technology that helps bring digital storage into this century is absolutely welcomed by everyone. The only people arguing against any change, of course, is people who have something to loose by that change. Going so far as to threaten lawsuits and underhanded business tactics (whats new?) to slow the adoption of new technology down to a crawl. Look at the phone company. Innovation or forced stagnation, take your pick.
They are still selling us the same old technology that has barely changed in several generations. My grandfather was using this technology, and it is relatively the same. You can say why improve something that is perfect, but only a moron would say that, because there are so many obvious drawbacks to using high speed mechanical magnetic data storage (short life span, mechanical failure, heat, power usage, noise, prone to vibration/movement damage)
I expected the hard drive companies to make a hard drive that has NO SPINNING PLATTERS almost 50 years ago, but they didn't. They just keep churning out the same old burger and fries, only a tiny bit better than the last batch.
If the hard drive industry is to survive they need to figure out how to store data without the need for moving parts, such as a corona mesh layered over the substrate. With the right processor you could create a device that could store data on a magnetic medium without the need for any moving parts. So why haven't we enjoyed this benefit?
Here are some keyword reasons for you: Greed, Stagnation, and Profit. They generally go hand in hand.

By roadrun777 on 3/24/2008 9:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
It reminds me of something from my past.
My mom used to always ask anyone within listening distance, why it is that for four generations of family, they have been releasing *new* and *improved* soap for household use, yet it works exactly like it did 100 years ago, and from a common sense point of view, it hasn't been *new* and *improved* since its inception. It just costs more for each generation.

It seems that this applies to so many of our products that we use and buy. A company will claim that God has descended from heaven and made magical alterations, just for you, to some companies product. When in reality it's just business as usual (disinformation and product re-branding). Most companies will never *improve* any product unless they are forced to by competition.
I personally hate this storage medium, and I wish it had died an early death. There are so many ways to store data it can make your head spin, but profit margins, once again, stand in the way of real innovation.

By marsbound2024 on 3/24/2008 3:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wait till he sees SSDs powered by these:

What did you expect him to say?
By webada on 3/26/2008 1:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
He is the CEO of a publiclly traded company, commenting on a competitive technology that his company has no research nor investments (of those that we know of) into SSD.

Honest, no BS? maybe not. a CEO that knows how to protect his company stock prices? yes.

SSD for laptop makes sense. Look at iphone, its a minicomputer in itself. magentic spinning disc will be the thing of the past for mobile computing in no time.

dont listen to tony danza
By tastyratz on 3/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: dont listen to tony danza
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/24/2008 4:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking he look a little bit like John Ritter.

RE: dont listen to tony danza
By frobizzle on 3/25/2008 9:40:40 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking he look a little bit like John Ritter

LOL! I thought I was the only one that felt he looked like Ritter!

By roadrun777 on 3/25/2008 6:02:30 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm, that is like saying we shouldn't support rockets because Hitler's regime pioneered them.

If Intel decided to support "wipe your ass day" would you stop wiping your ass in protest? hehe, talk about a brown streak.

By webada on 3/26/2008 2:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
PCI bus technology was invented by Intel. are you not using it on your computer?

don't hate

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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