Seagate signals growing interest in SSDs with stake in DensBits

Seagate will use DensBits' Memory Modem technology to build reliable SSDs

Seagate Technology, known mainly for its hard-disk drives, continued to build its solid-state storage portfolio by announcing Monday that it will take a stake in DensBits Technologies.

DensBits, located in Israel, has a controller technology called Memory Modem that enables reliable data transfers to NAND flash storage. Memory Modem includes error-correction and data management features at the controller layer to ensure smooth and quick data transfers. The error-correction features include Error Correction Code (ECC), which is also used in some DRAM modules and microprocessors to reduce data corruption.

Seagate and DensBits will develop technologies for reliable, low-cost and fast solid-state drives, the companies said in a joint statement. Seagate will use DensBits' technology in a range of products including consumer and enterprise SSDs.

Flash is the storage of choice on tablets, smartphones and thin and light laptops like the MacBook Air. SSDs tend to be more power-efficient but also more expensive than hard drives. DensBits said its Memory Modem technology can be used in flash storage in portable devices and data centers.

Seagate primarily offers hard drives today but also sells hybrid drives that combine spinning magnetic drives with SSDs. With faster data transfer speeds, the SSDs in the hybrid drives can boost the performance of key applications by acting as temporary storage to cut bottleneck issues associated with hard drives. Seagate offers the Momentus and Pulsar hybrid drives.

However, the hybrid drive market won't grow as fast as the SSD market, which is expected to skyrocket, according to IHS iSuppli.

Seagate did not comment on how much it invested or the size of its stake in DensBits.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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