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Computing Storage Expands Digital Universe

By 2011, the hard disk drive (HDD) industry will more than quadruple the total HDD capacity shipped in 2006 to meet the growing storage requirements of an expanding digital universe, according to an IDC market study.

Worldwide HDD unit shipments will increase to 675 million units in 2011, while revenue will rise to approximately $37 billion.

"The expanding digital universe creates a tremendous opportunity for HDD storage used in PCs, enterprise systems, and personal storage devices," said John Rydning, research manager for IDC's hard disk drives program. "Despite challenges from competing storage technologies, volatile consumer electronic markets, and enigmatic changes ahead for the computing environment, the fundamental need for additional storage capacity worldwide will continue to generate solid HDD demand."

As low-cost HDD capabilities further migrate into consumer electronics devices I believe that digital media storage limitations will become less of a gating factor to new creative applications. Looking ahead to this growth, IDC believes that the HDD industry needs to remain vigilant to several emerging trends and realities including:

- Aggressive NAND-flash price reductions that will severely curtail the market opportunity for HDDs in handheld devices, and that will make possible increased penetration of solid state disk drives (SSDs) into traditional HDD markets.

- Growing adoption by enterprise storage customers of both small form factor HDDs to optimize performance and power, and high capacity desktop-class HDDs to optimize capacity and power.

- The risk of installing excess HDD manufacturing capacity that will only serve to exacerbate HDD price erosion, and inhibit industry revenue growth.

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