Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Digital Multimedia Increasing Demand for Storage

The demand for more hard disc drive (HDD) storage from PC users, game enthusiasts, and video entertainment viewers is keeping the industry growing to the degree that In-Stat forecasts HDD unit shipments will increase to over 1 billion units by 2014.

The main drivers of growth have been the notebook PC market, TV set-top boxes, and external storage.

"As video has gone digital, demand for storage is found in consumer applications including set-top boxes (STBs), external drives, automotive applications, personal media players, camcorders, home servers, and video cameras," says Norm Bogen, VP, Digital Entertainment at In-Stat.

STBs have been a HDD application target since TiVo pioneered TV recordings and playback and Time Shifting. The 3.5" HDDs at 7200 rpm and with capacities starting from 500 GBs to 2 TBs are being offered in this DVR application market.

Among consumer applications, external HDDs are the second largest segment behind DVRs and will double in unit volume between 2010 and 2015.


In-Stat's latest market study found the following:

- The top 5 HDD vendors include Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. Western Digital has overtaken Seagate as the largest HDD manufacturer for the first half of 2010. Seagate retains its dominant position in enterprise HDDs.

- HDDs have maintained the stopping power against SSDs (Solid State Drives), providing storage at a tenth of the price on a cost/megabit basis.

- Drive capacities are growing at a rate of 40 percent per year.

- The industry is expected to cross the 1 Tb/sq. inch threshold in the 2012-2013 timeframe.

- The demand for 2.5" mobile or portable drives keeps growing at a faster pace and has outstripped the total addressable market for desktop drives.

- Cloud storage shifts some of the requirements for massive storage on a PC device to one in the Cloud with a company such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.