Western Digital will close one of the factories specializing in hard-drive production
Introduced by IBM in 1956, the hard disk continues to provide the best ratio between the capacity and cost of acquisition of all existing storage solutions. But capping performance, caused by physical limitations of rotating discs and writing heads, has restricted its utility as an auxiliary storage solution, while the main role has been taken by Solid State (SSD) based NAND Flash drives.
But SSDs will soon have storage capacities that are large enough and at competitive prices to evaporate the last advantage that would justify the purchase of a HDD
Anticipating the decline in the number of buyers, Western Digital, one of the world's largest hard disk makers, will shut down the factory in Malaysia next year, retaining two of its three production facilities. Thus, Western Digital will focus more resources on the development of SSDs, already under the already known brands of hard drives (eg WD Green, WD Black)
Of course, that does not mean we will still find Western Digital hard drives on the market, but we can expect the innovations to this category of devices to shrink by capping storage capacity to the current level.
By comparison, solid state assemblies do not requires complicated and very expensive assembly lines, the refurbishment of a hard drives manufacturing SSDs is relatively easy to put into practice. Instead, the effort is transferred to the semiconductor factories where NAND Flash chips are produced.
Essential to any modern gadget, NAND chip-based storage solutions still have demand over production, the effect keeping prices high. Over time, this problem will be solved.