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Fujitsu downplays solid-state hard drives

updated 11:40 am EDT, Wed July 9, 2008

Fujitsu Downplays SSDs

Fujitsu has no near-term plans to create solid-state hard drives (SSDs) of its own as the technology still isn't as fast it should be compared to hard drives, the company's business development VP Joel Hagberg says. He acknowledges that many notebook manufacturers are opting for the flash-based medium but argues that its performance advantage isn't as broad as other storage makers would claim. Many SSDs are very fast at random access for reading data but quickly falls apart when writing data or reading large amounts of data in a row, he says.

"We've talked to a lot of major end users as well as a lot of major manufacturers of notebooks," Hagberg explains. "And the statement is that while these drives promise a lot, they don't deliver a lot outside of benchmarks in real world performance."

He also cautions that the claimed extra battery life of SSDs is also exaggerated. As most rotating hard drives often park and enter a low-power mode in low activity, the actual gain by using solid-state technology is never more than about five percent, according to Fujitsu estimates. Reliability is also an issue, as some flash drives are often limited to roughly 10,000 writes per storage cell before the area becomes unwriteable, leaving drives near the end of their lifespans without the ability to record data.

Hagberg nonetheless predicts that SSDs will be part of the mainstream but that it may take a long time for this to happen; in the interim, flash is seen by the executive as ideal only for iPods and other portable devices where raw speed and long lifetimes aren't certain.

Fujitsu's stance reflects a similar pattern among companies that have staked their storage businesses on conventional hard drives. Seagate will ship SSDs next year but is attempting to limit expectations and has sued SSD makers in a bid to prevent them from overtaking traditional storage.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +1

    what?

    Obviously they never heard of Mtron or other fast SSD drives that are almost on par with desktop server speed drives, and definitely a few times the speed of regular 2.5" harddisk drives (albit very expensive).

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    -1

    what?

    Obviously they never heard of Mtron or other fast SSD drives that are almost on par with desktop server speed drives, and definitely a few times the speed of regular 2.5" disk drives (although these high end SSD are very expensive).

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +1

    darn it

    Damnit Macnn, fix the ret*rded posting system please.

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +1

    Have heard the same

    Fujitsu brings up great points here. I have seen similar reports before. CURRENTLY, SSD are not appreciably faster on real day to day usage (just search the net). I also believe that Fujitsu manufactures SSD's (or chips used therein), so they have no reason to express caution unless they really feel that the technology is over hyped...NOW.

    Again, in the near future, this could be great.

    My concern is always the number of writes. I use my compact flash cards (I know the tech is different), and have had many die after 2-3 years of frequent usage.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +1

    re: dynsight

    High end 2.5" LAPTOP SSD drives are as fast as most 3.5" DESKTOP dives.

    Would a 2.5" Mtron at 120MB/s read and 100MB/s write be faster than a 2.5" laptop drive going at 75MB/s read and 75MB/s write?

  1. zaghahzag

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2006

    +2

    this guy is a moron

    Seriously, he's probably just an MT suit.

    The potential for SSDs is tremendous, as you can potentially build mini-raids out of multiple chips to jack up the throughput. You can't ever do that with a disk based storage (at least not in one enclosure).

    I really wonder what this guy is smoking. Lighter, lower power, as fast or faster. The only drawback is that they are lower capacity and that is increasing every month.

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