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.