Spin Vs. Flash

Fujitsu has just announced that it is putting is 1.8″ disc drives on hold because device makers seem to be more interested in flash drive for storage.

This is an interesting development and I wonder what the price/storage curves looks like now for disc drives and flash drives.

Back in the mid-90s, I tracked those price/storage curves for a couple of years and it looked like RAM was going to become cheaper than disc drives as a storage medium by around 2000 I recall. Two things prevented that, the price of RAM rose and IBM came through with new disc drive technology which allowed much higher storage density.

I wonder if we are going to see the same thing here with disc drive storage densities, or whether this is the start of something significant.

Already some manufacturers are eschewing disc drives in favor of flash drives for smaller devices like large capacity portable music players and laptops (by the end of this year.)

This is a good thing as flash drives are just as fast and are less prone to mechanical damage, so I can see this is good for portable devices of all kinds. But will this also apply to desktop machines and drive arrays? Will I be able to buy a terabyte flash based SATA storage device in 2010?


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