WD Wants to Save Rotating Magnetic Storage

Despite investing heavily into the solid-state drive market, Western Digital looks to be rooting for the old-fashioned mechanical drive technology for some time to come. The company said on Tuesday that it has founded the Storage Products Association (SPA) with other hard drive companies to spread the word that rotating magnetic storage technologies still offer value, and along with SSHDs, play a critical role in everyone's digitally-mastered lives.

The company said that the new SPA group also includes HGST, Seagate and Toshiba, and is making its debut at the Flash Memory Summit, beginning Tuesday at the Santa Clara Convention Center. SPA member companies will also participate in a panel titled Solid State Hybrid Drives Help Meet Today's Storage Requirements to discuss the role of HDDs and SSHDs. The panel will be moderated by IDC Research's vice president for hard disk drives, John Rydning.

Western Digital said that the new SPA group will provide education to its customers, partners, members and users of HDDs and SSHDs. SPA will also participate in industry and user events -- such as the one listed above -- and will publish materials about end users' storage needs and effective usage of a mix of storage technologies.

"Driven by continued, rapid expansion of digital content production, demand for storage is expected to grow in the mid-30s percent range annually through 2020," said Tim Leyden, WD president. "While, in that timeframe, a mix of technologies will be deployed to appropriately serve customers, about 75 percent of the capacity is still expected to be rotating magnetic storage devices."

Leyden added that every smartphone, tablet and personal computer user today depends on the "value and reliability" of HDDs or SSHDs to secure their data, whether the storage solution resides in their device or in the cloud. "SPA will help consumers and businesses appreciate the value of their growing content storage needs and the remarkable rotating magnetic technologies that save and protect that content," he said.

According to a demographic provided by the group, the price per gigabyte has plummeted on average nearly 25 percent every quarter over the last decade. In 1986, the price per GB was a meaty $71,000 USD. Less than a decade later, that price plunged below $1,000 USD. Now the price is around 10 cents per GB. Even more, an areal density is expected to be 1560 gigabits by 2016 compared to the 780 Gb max areal density in 2012.

"Unlike property prices, virtual space is becoming cheaper," the group said. "In 2003, one square foot of a Manhattan apartment could buy slightly less than 470 GB of hard drive storage. The same amount of space today is more than enough to stockpile all of your life memories worth almost 11 TB of data storage."

For more information about WD's new cheerleading squad for hard drives and hybrid drives, head here. Pom-poms aren't required.

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  • somebodyspecial
    How much cheaper? How about pre-flood pricing at least? I bought many 1TB seagates for $55 and all had longer warranty. They've now shortened it greatly and charge us more thus tripling their profits.

    Check profits pre-flood and you'll see WD and Seagate made 1/3 or 1/4 of what they are now respectively. So, I'm thinking we're being overcharged and they have plenty of room to lower prices & should give back our warranty length!

    IE Seagate made 511mil in 2011 pre flood. After 2.86B in 2012, then 1.84B now as pricing is finally coming down a bit.
    http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/financial-statements?symbol=US%3aSTX
    They have been making a KILLING for the last 2 yrs. The flood seems to be the best thing that ever happened to both companies. The flood was over-hyped BS. It didn't affect either company much when price gouging us to death during the problems. They made out like bandits claiming it lasted for a long time but it was over quickly and they were producing more than ever before. When your profits soar from 511mil to 2.86bil in the year after the flood, you aren't hurting due to the flood correct? That's over 5x the profit. At these numbers I'd be hoping for more fake floods yearly if I was them (they probably pray for another!).
    16
  • LaughALot
    Bring out your dead.
    Here's one.
    That'll be nine pence.
    I'm not dead.
    What?
    Nothing, here's your nine pence.
    I'm not dead.
    Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Yes he is.
    No I'm not.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • CrArC
    I'd be happy to support their business with many hard drive purchases if they'd just lower the friggin' price. I need several TB more storage but can't afford it, even if it is massively cheaper than years ago.
    0
  • LaughALot
    Bring out your dead.
    Here's one.
    That'll be nine pence.
    I'm not dead.
    What?
    Nothing, here's your nine pence.
    I'm not dead.
    Ere, he says he's not dead.
    Yes he is.
    No I'm not.
    11
  • g00fysmiley
    as ssd prices keep coming down hdd are going to have to get exrtremely cheap per gig to remain viable in the next decade... but for now most systems use a hdd for media storage and a ssd for programs, i see this remaining to be the trend for the for the next 4-5 years but with the efficiency of ssd's and as costs go down mechanical drives will have very limited market in the next 10-15. that is assuming that current ssd prices continue to plummet and i can get a 1 TB ssd in the $100 range in 5 years which i think is likely
    0