Seagate plans to launch a series of solid state drives (SSDs) in 2008 in a range of capacities and form factors.
SSDs are based on Flash memory, rather than spinning magnetic platters with a moving head.
Although currently a lot more costly to manufacture and not as capacious, SSDs are significantly faster, more reliable, lighter and less power-hungry than their mechanical counterparts.
Ian O'Leary, corporate communications director for Seagate in EMEA, told vnunet.com: "Seagate plans to introduce its own SSDs some time in 2008 to augment what is already the broadest product line in the storage industry.
"Seagate has already introduced hybrid hard drives, which combine Flash memory on a hard drive for 'best of both' advantages, and we believe that a large part of the storage market will adopt this technology."
The company's hybrid drives store the most frequently accessed data on the Flash memory part of the drive, such as the operating system and application files, thereby offering a balance between speed, capacity and price.
Seagate believes that, as drive capacities and market adoption increase, prices will fall in much the same way as with traditional hard drives.
Analysts are expecting the market to take off in the coming years, driven mainly by use in mission-critical server systems and ultra-mobile devices.
In-Stat has estimated that, although SSDs will penetrate no more than six per cent of the PC market by 2011, shipments will jump from nearly zero in 2006 to 24 million in 2011.
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