News Posts matching "hard disc"

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2.5-Inch Hard Disk Drives to Start Seeing Adoption Next Year in Desktop PCs

New demand from all-in-one desktop PCs combined with requirements for new processors, lower power consumption and a thinner, smaller storage alternative to existing 3.5-inch hard disc drives (HDD) will help create a viable market for 2.5-inch HDDs beginning next year, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space market brief from information and analysis provider IHS.

Shipments of 2.5-inch HDDs to all-in-one PCs are forecast to reach approximately 1 million units in 2013, up from virtually zero this year. Shipments will then increase to 3 million units the following year and move up steadily until they hit some 7 million units in 2016. The HDD market for all-in-one PCs will continue to be dominated by 3.5-inch discs, with shipments by 2016 estimated at 31 million units, but growth will be much slower for the segment during the same period.

Possible Precedent: Accused Americans Can Be Forced To Decrypt Their Encrypted Data

The Fifth Amendment rules that nobody may be "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Or, in other words, one has a right to avoid self-incrimination. Therefore, it's highly significant that Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colorado woman accused of a being involved in a mortgage scam, to decrypt the hard disc drive of her Toshiba laptop no later than February 21. If not, she would face the consequences, including contempt of court. In a 10-page opinion, the judge wrote, "I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer."

HDD Vendors Want Long-Term Contracts with PC Makers

Well, it seems that the flooding in Thailand has done a lot more than destroy lives, wreck a few factories and cause HDD prices to shoot up. There appears to be a lot of opportunities for changing the terms of business too - to less favourable ones for customers of hard disc drives. First, we had the severe and unwelcome warranty reductions and now we have HDD manufacturers trying to lock branded PC makers into expensive long-term contracts, according to Digitimes. Some PC makers buy hard disk drives on a quarterly basis, at a fixed price, but now that prices have shot up and supplies restricted, HDD manufacturers are trying to coerce them into signing one year contracts at current high prices. However, it looks like it might not be such a good deal for PC makers, because the recovery in supply is continuing, with a full recovery potentially not so far away, which will of course make those prices plummet again. As it is, HDD shipments are projected to be around 140 million units in the first quarter of 2012, while the same quarter last year was 170-180 million units - so the fall isn't really that hugely less than before anyway and should become less severe as 2012 wears on.

One does get the impression that the HDD manufacturers are playing up the difficulty of restoring production volumes in order to give them a better bargaining hand. There's also the fact that recovering from the disaster is hugely expensive for them, so HDD makers will want to charge more to recoup those costs faster, motivating them to use tactics like these.

HDD Shortage To Go On And On And On

The recent Thailand floods appear to be taking a bigger toll than expected, with the effects of the shortages to be felt all the way into 2013, according to market research firm IDC. This isn't helped by the fact that the largest manufacturer of HDDs, Western Digital, was hit the hardest. As the situation is so volatile, companies such as HP, Dell & Lenovo are keeping watch on the market daily and are even sometimes having to accept drives of a lower spec if they are to ship some systems at all. As expected, the retail purchaser of hard disk drives comes bottom of the allocation list. IDCs John Rydning said in a statement: "I think the most painful period will occur now through February of next year. We expect the situation will improve, but it won't feel as if things are back to normal until 2013". There's more detail and analysis over at Network World.

HDD Parts Shortage Lessens: HDD Prices To Drop?

Nidec Corp, manufacturer of hard disc drive motors and other HDD components, has reported that after just six weeks since the Thailand floods hit, nine out of its ten factories are operational again, although not all are yet at full capacity. Supplies of HDDs should therefore slowly improve as the parts shortage eases, hopefully with the welcome consequence that the price should drift downwards. Nidec issued this statement about the situation:
We will continue our efforts to further improve the utilization of the factories whose operations have resumed and to bring the company’s other flood-stricken factories back into operation to the earliest extent possible. The exact amount of damage and the effect of the floods on the company’s performance are being assessed currently. We will continue to report on any actual or potential impact on the company’s business performance in a prompt manner.
There's more info in this Nidec update (PDF) and at xbit labs.

MW3 Console Players Have Crashtastic Time Of It

While the Modern Warfare 3 launch has got off pretty smoothly overall with few technical glitches and made Activision a shed-load of money, it seems that some XBOX 360 players are not so lucky. g4tv.com reports that there is a "A 14-page thread on Xbox.com points to multiple XBOX 360 gamers getting similar disc read errors from the game." The general symptoms seem to be that the console will either not read the disc at all, or starts, but then falls over flat on its face with an ungainly crash a little while later. While many posters have suggested solutions, there doesn't appear to be a definitive fix. Therefore, the best course of action for this problem is to return the disc to the retailer and ask for a replacement.

Finally, If you're a console gamer, then this of course serves you right for not being a PC gamer and enjoying the benefit of superior hardware. It should also be noted that the PC version comes as a download on the Steam online network. This eliminates any DVD read issues as there's no DVD (the installation disc in the retail version can be ignored) and also greatly improves loading times both at the start and during level changes, since it loads from the hard disc.

Thailand Floods: HDD Prices To Remain Extortionately High As Supplies Get Tighter

The recent dreadful flooding in Thailand has forced the closure of several hard drive factories. The immediate concerns of course, are for the health and wellbeing of the people living and working in the area. The wider concern is the severe restriction in hard drive manufacturing capacity. Already, prices have doubled or tripled, depending on the exact model affected. The biggest HD manufacturer, Western Digital, has been hit the hardest, as IDC predicts that up to 75% of its production will be shut down. This means, that the big corporate HDD customers, those like HP and Dell, who build computer systems in large volumes, will get whatever inventory is available to fully satisfy their needs. Whatever is left is then sold on to the retail channel, for ordinary consumers to buy. IDC believes that hard disk production will reach pre-flood levels by around March, but that HDD levels by then will be very low. The prices should go through the roof then, in the meantime. As expected, this will also increase the prices of complete systems, as such a price hike is too much to absorb fully.Source: Network World

R&D: TDK Uses Lasers To Double Hard Disc Capacity, Helping Save HDs From Extinction

Here’s a development that will bring joy to those that prefer to hear mechanical noises from their hard discs instead of the inky silence of the new solid state drives. The current perpendicular magnetic recording technology used in today’s hard discs are due to hit a brick wall within a couple of generations or so. This will finally give SSDs the chance to make mechanical drives obsolete once and for all when their capacities increase and the prices drop. To get around this, TDK intend to use lasers coupled with a high coercivity material to achieve this capacity improvement. The coercivity value of a material is a measure of how difficult it is to magnetize ie how strong the magnetizing field needs to be. A material with low coercivity, is easy to magnetize, but it can also lose its magnetic imprint (north and south domains) easily, especially with densely packed data and is easy to erase with stray magnetic fields and to some extent, physical shock. Conversely a material with a high coercivity value can be damned hard to magnetize, but will keep its magnetic imprint much more stably and crucially for data storage, can retain much smaller magnetic domains, giving rise to greatly increased storage capacity for all that ever increasing avalanche of crucial data, such as music files, dodgy videos and humungous video game installs.
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