As the world moves away from physical storage, HDD makers are selling less and less and according to Japanese motor manufacturer Nidec, HDD shipments will only continue to drop this year and more so in 2020 and beyond.
Nidec has been supplying spindle motors for HDDs for a very, very long time and now the company is predicting HDD sales will drop as much as 50% this year, and more so in 2020. Nidec adds that their spindle motors are found inside of around 85% of products on the market, so their predictions hold some merit and talk about growth in other areas like home appliances, automotive, and 5G technologies.
Nidec's own data shows that HDD sales dropped from 650 million to 375 million between 2010 and 2018, a big drop of 43% but sales will continue to drop this year with revised shipment forecasts for 2018 down to 309 million. 2020 is even worse according to Nidec's shipment forecasts, with just 290 million HDDs expected to be shipped.
We spoke with a Samsung representative this morning about the rumored 2TB 970 PRO. Two online stores - one in Germany and the other in China - listed the 970 PRO in a 2TB capacity. Another site even has a datasheet with the model number but all have been taken down.
"[I] wanted to share that Samsung has not released a 2TB version of the [PRO] drive and there are currently no plans" says Samsung. That doesn't mean we will never see a 2TB 970 PRO. Samsung did release a 2TB 960 PRO, 970 EVO and announced a 2TB 970 EVO Plus that has yet to ship.
This isn't the first time a PRO model with 2-bit per cell flash was teased in some form but never made it to market. In January, 2017 the Samsung 850 PRO 4TB won a CES Best of Show award prior to the CES show floor even opening. The drive never made it to the show and never shipped in the channel.
Well, it looks like Samsung is done with the entire Blu-ray market in the US with the company spokesperson confirming the news with both Forbes and CNET.
Samsung is stopping production on its 1080p and 4K Blu-ray players, with a Samsung spokesperson telling CNET: "Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market". We could expect new models to be introduced in the future in other markets, but for the most part Samsung is absolutely done with the Blu-ray player market in the US, and I'm sure eventually, globally.
It's a bad turn of events for both the physical Blu-ray market and Samsung, as the South Korean electronics giant was the first to market with a Blu-ray player in 2016. It shouldn't be surprising that Samsung is shifting away from making Blu-ray players as the physical media market has been dying for years now, and according to research company Nielsen, this has been a downwards trend for a while now.
Samsung has just announced its new 1TB storage chip, coming in with a tiny flagship embedded universal flash storage (or eUFS) that boasts twice the amount of storage than the previous flagship 512GB eUFS chip.
The new 1TB chip has the same UFS 2.1 staandard that will offer even higher transfer speeds than the previous 256GB and 512GB chips, with up to 1GB/sec reads and 260MB/sec writes. There's also 58,000 IOPS in random read speeds while 50,000 IOPS for 50,000 random writes that is up from 42K and 40K IOPS, respectively, from the 512GB eUFS 2.1 chips. The smaller 256GB chip has reads of up to 850MB/sec and writes of up to 260MB/sec, the larger 512GB chip reads at up to 860MB/sec and slightly slower 255MB/sec writes.
The new 1TB chip is the same thickness as the 256GB and 512GB chips, so we should see super-thin new smartphones like Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 with 1TB storage models in the very near future. This isn't the bleeding edge though, as we have UFS 3.0 chips right around the corner that will promise close to twice the transfer rates, lower power consumption, but there has been no word on capacity just yet.
This afternoon Micron exercised its right to call in Intel's interest in the joint IMFT venture. Micron has more than hinted the company would go in this direction and stated clearly it was on the table in October.
Intel has up to one year to vacate its half of the joint venture that centers mainly on the Lehi, Utah HQ of IMFT. Which is where the two companies have co-developed several generations of memory technology. The two companies will spend the remaining time shipping 96-layer TLC memory and 3D XPoint. Both companies began developing next-generation flash products post IMFT, with each choosing to focus on separate technology paths to better suit focused markets.
Second generation 3D XPoint memory development will continue. The only fab manufacturing first generation 3D XPoint is the Lehi, Utah facility.
Intel is not phased from Micron's actions. The company has fabs already manufacturing NAND flash and is ample more capable of manufacturing 3D XPoint technology.
At CES 2019, Seagate announced the world's first SMB/SME SSD designed solely for use in a NAS. The new Ironwolf 110 features many of the features of the company's Ironwolf HDD product line, like advanced health monitoring, just with solid state media rather than rotating disks.
We've urged companies for years to build a NAS-optimized SSD with high endurance and increased monitoring features but Seagate is the first out of the gate with all of the right pieces together. The material released this week show the new drives feature Durawrite technology, a carryover from the SandForce/LSI IP acquisition.
Seagate tells us the new Ironwolf SSD fills two roles for system administrators. The drives can operate in a system as a high-speed cache or run as the primary storage media in an all-flash array.
The capacities range from 256GB (240GB with overprovisioning) to 4TB (3.84TB) with an average power consumption of just 8 watts. Seagate lists random write performance in steady-state with around 20,000 IOPS. Sequential performance reaches 560 MB/s reads and 535 MB/s writes.
CES 2019 - Phison lifted the veil on the company's next-generation high-performance NVMe SSD controller at CES. The upcoming PS5016-E16 controller is the first to take advantage of PCI Express 4.0 bandwidth that we hope will come to market around the March timeframe.
The E16 is the logical successor to Phison's PS5012-E12 currently shipping in products like the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro and Corsair Force MP510. The new controller doubles the interface bandwidth by using four lanes, but with faster 4th generation PCIe technology. The controller also ushers in 4th generation low-density parity check error correction from Phison.
Phison claims 4,000 MB/s sequential reads and 4,100 MB/s sequential write speeds. Phison's CES demo already shows speeds in excess of those advertised. We may see even higher performance with retail products and some minor specification changes. At the time of writing Phison states the E12 supports flash speeds of up to 800 MT/s but next generation memory from Toshiba sports a faster bus interface speed. The faster memory would lead to higher throughput performance and lower latencies.
CES 2019 - We've seen a 1TB SD card teased before by SanDisk a few years ago now, but Lexar has stepped up to the plate and unleashed a new 1TB SD card.
Lexar's Professional 633x family of SDHC and SDXC UHS-I cards are now available from 16GB through to 1TB, where until now it was 16GB to 512GB. The new 1TB version has claimed read speeds of 95MB/sec while write speeds are 70MB/sec. The card itself is rated at V30/U3 which is good for 30MB/sec of sustained write performance.
Right now the 1TB SD card will cost $499.99 but B&H has it on special for $399 right now, a savings of $100. Remember that two 512GB SD cards will cost less than $150, so you're paying a serious premium for 1TB of storage on a single SD card. For professionals where money isn't a problem I can see this being popular, but someone has to do it first - it's not like Lexar will sell tens of millions of units, and before it does we'll see 2TB and then 4TB SD cards become a reality.
CES 2019 - Toshiba announces its new MG08 series hard drives with a whopping 16TB of storage space.
Touted as the "industry's largest capacity 16 TB Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) HDD," the MG08 uses helium instead of air to pack in 9 ultra-thin disks for greater density and storage capacity. The 3.5-inch MG08 drive runs at 7,200 RPM and has a 2.5 million hour MTTF, 512MB cache, and comes in SATA 6 Gb/s or SAS 12 Gb/s interfaces.
Toshiba is aiming the MG08 at the enterprise sector's higher workloads and cloud-scale operations.
"Toshiba's new 16 TB MG08 Series delivers new levels of storage capacity and density while delivering improved power efficiency for our cloud-scale and storage solutions customers. Only high-density HDD technology can achieve our customers' critical TCO objectives at a cost of pennies per GB," says Shuji Takaoka, General Manager of Storage Products Sales & Marketing Division at Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation.
CES 2019 - SanDisk has just teased a new prototype flash drive at CES 2019, something the company is proudly touting is the world's highest capacity USB drive on the market with 4TB of storage.
The new 4TB flash drive has a USB-C connector for super-fast transfers, with no details on speeds, specs, or pricing. Right now a huge 2TB flash drive costs $1000 or more, we can only expect the 4TB drive to at least cost $2000, and could easily go for $2500 and beyond given its premium.
We'll update you with more details on the prototype SanDisk 4TB USB-C flash drive when they arrive.