Seagate enters solid-state drive market

Technology.am (Dec. 08, 2009) — Seagate is making a delayed although potentially market-changing entry into the solid-state drives marketplace. Solid-state drives are usually quicker than hard-disk drives, predominantly at retrieving data, and have won restricted approval in the laptop market. Seagate, though, is targeting the more profitable and potentially larger server market and will contend with likes of Intel, Micron Technology, Samsung, and STEC.

seagate-logoSeagate’s first round in the market is the latest Pulsar drive, which is planned for blade computers and general server applications and offers up to 200 gigabytes of capacity based on the industry-standard Serial ATA interface.

Though pricier than hard-disk drives, the key dollar metric for solid-state drives in the server market is IOPS, or input/output operations per second. The more IOPS a large bank, such as, gets from a server equipped with solid-state drives, the more lucrative the technology can be compared with hard-disk drives.

“SSDs offer better dollars per IOP as compared to conventional hard drives,” said Rich Vignes, a senior product line manager at Seagate.

Pulsar drives attain a peak performance of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS, Seagate says, many times the performance of even the fastest hard disk drives. Seagate began shipping Pulsar units to select clientele in September.

“With the entrance of the world’s largest [hard-disk drive] producer, this further validates the practicality of SSDs in the computing setting,” said Gregory Wong, president of Forward Insights, which tracks the solid-state drive market.

Gartner estimates that unit development in the server solid-state drive market will double and sales are anticipated to reach $1 billion for 2010, according to data provided by Seagate.

Seagate did not reveal pricing information. Companies that use its solid-state drives will provide pricing for end products.

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