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Seagate says it will target enterprise customers with its first SSD

Seagate doesn’t currently have any drives in the SSD market. Seagate currently is one of the largest makers of traditional hard drives and while it foresees a time when the solid state drive (SSD) is a better value than traditional HDDs; that time is not now.

Seagate announced that next year it will double its highest capacity traditional HDD to 2TB and will introduce its first SSD. CEO Bill Watkins says Seagate will first target enterprise customers with its SSDs where the benefits of lower power consumption and faster data access will be most welcome. The enterprise environment will also be willing to pay the premium SSDs will still demand whereas the majority of the consumer market is not willing to pay the premium at this time says Seagate.

PC World quotes Watkins saying, “SSDs are not price-competitive yet.” The cost per gigabyte for SSDs isn’t expected to come down for several years. Watkins believes that SSDs will become a focus for Seagate when the cost per gigabyte of SSD storage is around $0.10.

Currently, the cost per gigabyte for the average SSD is about $3.58 per gigabyte according to Krishna Chander, an analyst at iSuppli. There are problems with SSDs to be tackled over the next few years other than price. The typical SSD still has a storage capacity too low for most users and the SSD lifespan is short compared to a traditional HDD.

The answer to the problem of durability may lie in using the SSD for data reading and fast access to commonly used files and having less frequently used stuff moved off to a HDD for more permanent storage according to some. Despite the fact that Seagate doesn’t currently sell SSDs, it does own several patents that cover technology currently used in many SSDs on the market.

In April 2008 Seagate announced it was going to begin filing patent infringement suits against SSD makers who were using its patented technology in their products with the first suit filed against STEC.





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