Despite the proliferation of solid-state drives (SSDs) with vendors such as Samsung, OCZ, Plextor or RunCore regularly releasing new drives to the market, Seagate, a major storage vendor, has been, for the most part, missing from the party until now.
The company announced today that it and DensBits have entered a strategic agreement for development of SSDs for consumer and enterprise markets. DensBits is the Israeli-based developer of the world's first Memory Modem controller for SSDs. In SSDs, the controller is one of the most important parts as it determines the performance, life span and reliability of the drive.
Per the agreement, DensBits' Memory Modem controller technology will be used in a variety of Seagate consumer and enterprise storage applications, including 3 bits/cell, 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD and 2 bits/cell ("MLC") 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits. Currently on the market, most SSDs use controllers from SandForce.
This is the first major public announcement from Seagate in regard to SSDs. The company has been focusing on a different type of solid-state-based storage solution called hybrid drive, which is a combination of flash memory and traditional hard drives. The most successful hybrid drive, also the first of its kind that has been mass produced, is the Seagate Momentus XT.
It's unclear when new Seagate SSDs will be made available or how much they will cost.