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Future Seagate SSDs Will Use ''Memory Modem''

Seagate said on Monday that it has teamed up with DensBits Technologies to develop low-cost, high-performance SSDs for the consumer and enterprise markets. Seagate also said it made an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits.

Under the new agreement, DensBits’ Memory Modem controller technology will be integrated with Seagate’s various storage technologies to power a wide range of consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (TLC) 1X-nm Flash-based consumer-grade SSDs, and 2 bits/cell (MLC) 1X-nm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSDs.

Based in Israel, DensBits' Memory Modem technology enables reliable data transfers to cheaper NAND flash storage chips. Features include error-correction and data management at the controller layer for smooth and quick data transfers. The error-correction aspect includes Error Correction Code (ECC) that's also used in various DRAM modules and microprocessors.

"This is yet another testament to our technology leadership, and we strongly believe that the coupling between DensBits’ unique Memory Modemcontroller technology and Seagate’s exceptional storage capabilities across the board could truly disrupt the industry," said Ilan Hen, DensBits’ Chairman and CEO.

Although the prices of SSDs are dropping rapidly, the average price per gigabyte is still considerably higher than platter-based HDDs. Seagate's move to use the Memory Modem controller with cheaper NAND flash storage chips should help make SSDs look more appealing to the general consumer, and push competitors into doing the same. This will be important as SSDs become standard key components in mobile devices like tablets and Ultrabooks.

"For the last 30 years, Seagate has delivered technology and product innovation to become the global leader in storage solutions, from high-end enterprise drives to solid-state hybrid drives," added Rocky Pimentel, Seagate chief sales and marketing officer. "Seagate is excited to be working with the talented DensBits team and believes we have a significant opportunity with our new strategic relationship to extend our leadership into the SSD market."

The deal also shows that Seagate, like its competitors, is ramping up its investment in SSD technology. This company's latest investment follows the purchase of Samsung's hard drive business last year which cost the company a hefty $1.4 billion USD.