Seagate Continues Bet on Hybrid HDDs With Flash Cache

The company indicated that it will be following this path in the foreseeable time as a strategy to leverage fast flash memory in mass storage media while maintaining the low cost level of hard drive technology.

Seagate said that its XT drives have been shipping to Alienware, Asus, Dell, Sony and Toshiba. The 7200 RPM models integrate 4 GB of flash memory and are available with capacities of up to 500 GB. They promise up to 50 percent faster boot ups than traditional 5400 RPM drives.

Seagate stated that high-performance SSDs are still not an alternative for hard drives in mainstream mass storage as "they cost as much as 10 times more than hard disk drives of the same capacity, with the price of a 250 GB SSD outstripping even the cost of many laptop PCs." According to the manufacturer, consumers are not willing to pay or simply cannot afford the higher price of the SSD. Of course, Seagate has a significant interest in the hard drive keeping its price/capacity advantage over flash as the hard drive and the technology enabling it is the company's bread and butter.

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  • jacobdrj
    All true comments by Seagate. However, they have to include a 'teeny weeeny' bit more than 4GB of Solid State Flash memory for this to make sense.

    But in 24 GB worth of Flash Cache with a controller that is fast and that can distinguish data files from the OS and regularly used applications. The flash should act as nothing more than a CACHE, and during idle, all information on the flash needs to be 'backed up' on the mechanical HDD, so that even if the flash component fails, the HDD should still run.
  • pocketdrummer
    At least one company realized that SSDs are far too expensive and have far too little storage capacity.

    We need ~500GB SSDs with a cost per gig that isn't leaps and bounds above HDDs. Considering I'm already filling 1 TB of my 2 TBs mostly with programs and games, even 500GB is too small.

    If they get the cost down, they'll sell more units. If they sell more units, they'll have more money to invest in R&D to make them larger and faster and increase MTBF.
  • spookyman
    You see a lot Seagate drives used in servers.