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NAND caching tech war, no winner yet

Posted: 25 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash? hard disk drive? HDDs? hybrid HDD? IDC?

As the launch of Microsoft's Windows Vista OS draws near, opposing PC hardware caching technologies, hybrid hard disk drives (H-HDDs) and alternative embedded NAND are competing to deliver the NAND caching solution to PC OEMs. However, neither the H-HDD nor embedded NAND technology can be declared as winner in the brewing technology battle as neither of the two solutions convincingly realizes the potential of NAND caching, according to IDC.

"Nonvolatile NAND PC caching technology is in a nascent stage, and effective implementation is proving to be technically challenging," said Shane Rau, program manager for PC Semiconductors, IDC.

In its paper Insight, Outlook for Adoption of Hybrid-HDD or NAND in PCs, IDC said that factors such as how NAND is adopted and who enables NAND caching technology will indicate how the shift in the long-term balance of power among PC technology suppliers plays out. IDC also cited that the emergence of NAND flash-based solid state disks could disrupt the brewing NAND caching technology battle.

"Memory and hard drive suppliers could gain influence provided they are able to leverage NAND as part of an overall platform approach which positions their respective device technologies in the center of the platform," added Rau.

Moreover, John Rydning, IDC research manager for HDDs said, "The HDD industry's unprecedented support and promotion of H-HDD technology should help to build momentum for its adoption. Nonetheless, hybrid disk drives face several challenging market and competitive dynamics."

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