Seagate to make flash-based hard drives

They are still quite expensive, and not large enough for our tastes, but Seagate is still jumping into the flash-based hard drive market.  Their first entry will most likely be in the enterprise market, according to CEO Bill Watkins.

"We are going to have a solid state drive, probably for enterprise first," Watkins said on Wednesday.

Seagate's decision is a significant turning point for the storage market. The flash versus magnetic debate has been the most high-profile issue in the storage world for the past two years.

Rather than trying to fight the trend, Seagate is going to cover all the bases by manufacturing flash drives. But it won't release the products immediately: the company is looking for a supplier of flash chips.

The supplier question is somewhat of a problem for Seagate.  The biggest supplier of flash memory is Samsung.  However, Samsung produces competing hard drives, which could create an issue if Seagate tried to purchase flash memory from them.  They'll have to look for a "friendlier" supplier.