Tuesday 28 February 2012

HDD Sees Light in Hybrid Ultrabook

Hard disc drive (HDD) has a hard time competing with solid state drive (SSD) as a computer storage device, especially with the increasing popularity of tablets such as ipad and galaxy tab over notebook. Everyone is expecting the HDD industry to suffer permanently.

SSD, which is quiet, lighter, faster and has higher performance than HDD, has a major problem: expensive. SSD is priced more than 10x more expensive than HDD per GB. However, with the emergence of Ultrabook by Intel, HDD is expected to breath again.

Ultrabook will put traditional notebook into history. It is much lighter, thinner, faster with longer battery life. It has some crucial advantage over tablet in which in tablet there is no real keyboard and sometimes cannot perform this and cannot support that.

      Ultrabook: strongly pushed by Intel

Ultrabook which starts to hit the market in 2011, initially use mostly 128GB SSD. However, to increase the storage capacity to 500GB-1TB without increasing its cost much, a hybrid storage solution is introduced. In this hybrid of external cache SSD+HDD, a small capacity of cache SSD is incorporated with a large capacity of HDD to increase the overall storage capacity without affecting the speedy SSD performance much. Another technology called hybrid HDD is another different thing under development by Seagate in which the cache SSD is incorporated internally into a HDD.

Some analysts predict that ultrabook with hybrid storage will explode into the market in year 2012. Thus, hybrid storage and HDD demand will get a major boost as well. 

        Figures for HDD in Ultrabook ONLY

      Ultrabook share in notebook

     Notebook share in overall mobile PC

Personally I don't fancy things like ipad, galaxy tab, iphone etc. I don't even own any of those gadgets. I don't think ultrabook will be as popular as the ipad. However, ultrabook will certainly make more people to reconsider the forgotten "notebook". If the forecast of ultrabook demand is right, then HDD industry will surely make its comeback strongly, starting from year 2012.

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