Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Icy News: Rebirth of 1.8-Inch HDD (or not)

"A report from TrendFocus
He is an article, The Rebirth of 1.8-Inch HDD (or not), written by TrendFocus, Inc., a team of analysts following deeply since many years all the aspects of the worldwide storage industy:

The topics of ultrabooks and how the HDD industry will fend off the latest threat to demand (weak PC market, tablets, SSDs, etc.) were at the forefront of our latest swing through Japan this week.

Of course, Japanese companies lamented the disappointing demand trends in 2H11, but on the heels of several quarters of rather tepid orders and a weak global economy this comes as little surprise to anyone. Much of the talk centered on the potential of the ultrabook platform and whether HDDs could adequately compete for this 'new' market segment.

So, a few thoughts:
Ultrabook potential difficult to gauge and its reach unclear: Although some believe that "together with Windows 8, ultrabook is the future of the PC markets ..." it is clear the ultrabook opportunity is unclear. Simple questions on target markets, price points, storage capacities, and so on are not yet answered definitively. And despite Intel's seemingly whopping promotional budget, the 2009 failure of the CULV platform weighs heavily on the outlook.

Storage? Some of the ultrabook design platforms can accommodate HDDs (7mm 2.5") but early information suggests a tendency toward SSDs. However, didn't the 'netbook' start off this way only to fall back into the HDD realm? The Macbook Air is the obvious benchmark for the ultrabook, but does anyone really believe that >$1,000 PCs can be a large market (other than for Apple)? And is the world ready for >$1,000 PCs with small storage capacity or can HDDs once again enable innovation in the PC world and keep prices in the mainstream? We suspect that HDDs will play a significant role in ultrabooks.

5mm 2.5" HDDs: The notion of the thinnest-ever 2.5" HDD was popular in Japan, but eyebrow-raising design challenges prevented any consensus of opinion on the topic - except that it is likely to take 18-24 months to get this proposed format into mass production. BUT THE HDD INDUSTRY ALREADY HAS A 5mm Z-HEIGHT DEVICE - it's a 1.8" HDD. Could the perceived need for even thinner HDDs spell resurgence in 1.8" HDDs? Announced about 20 years ago, the 1.8" form factor has seemingly died many times only to be revived by specialized applications. Will the HDD industry's search for sustained relevance cause widespread reengagement in 1.8" or will it be a passing dalliance?" - via storagenewsletter.com

With technology getting smaller and smaller the components need to shrink as well. One of the major parts of any computer or tablet is the storage memory. Do you think that the thinner smaller 1.8 inch hard drive will be the more popular choice in smaller computers? Or do you think that consumers would rather pay the extra money for the faster yet smaller capacity SSD? Let us know if you would rather have cheaper and more capacity or expensive and faster. 

No comments:

Post a Comment