Microsoft has urged PC and laptop OEMs to stop using conventional hard drives as the primary media from which to boot Windows 11 operating system in 2023 and instead equip their systems with solid state drives.Tom's Hardware reached out to Microsoft for comment on the issue, but analysts at Trendfocus, citing PC makers, said they had nothing to say on the matter at this time.Curiously, the system requirements of Windows 11 itself does not specify the need for an SSD.Instead, Microsoft simply reports the need for a medium with 64 GB or more of free space to install and use the OS.However, the SSD is required to use DirectStorage fast boot technology as well as the Windows subsystem to run Android apps on this OS.Nevertheless, it is unclear whether Microsoft plans to officially change the system requirements for Windows 11 after 2023, and whether it is going to specify them to make SSDs mandatory.On the one hand, the transition to SSDs makes sense.Unlike conventional hard drives, these drives do not create noise and run much faster than conventional HDDs.However, despite the reduction in the price of SSDs in recent years, even the most affordable models of these media are now generally more expensive than HDD models with the same capacity.If we compare SSD and HDD with 1TB capacity, a gigabyte of memory in an HDD costs about $0.05, an SSD with SATA III interface costs $0.08, and an M.2 NVMe format drive costs $0.14.So a 1TB hard drive costs $45, a SATA III SSD costs $75, and an M.2 NVMe SSD costs $150.Image source: Tom's HardwareMany PC and laptop manufacturers already equip their systems with SSDs without any insistence from Microsoft.But there are exceptions.In emerging markets, where low- and mid-end offerings are ample, computers are often equipped with SSDs to cut costs.According to John Chen, vice president of Trendfocus, replacing a 1TB hard drive would require a system with an equivalent SSD of only 256GB.Switching to a 512GB SSD would make the entire system more expensive.Many customers who care about storage capacity will not accept this compromise.\"Microsoft originally intended to make the switch from HDDs to SSDs this year.At least that's what the OEMs are saying.However, in the end, this plan was pushed back to next year.Most likely in the second half of the year.OEMs are now trying to negotiate with the company about possible exceptions.For example, they are discussing the possibility of postponing the transition to SSD in the desktop segment or emerging markets until 2024.In general, things could still change,\" Chen commented.It is still unclear what measures Microsoft plans to take against those PC and laptop OEMs who refuse to follow its wishes.According to Trendfocus, the media type change will hit demand for hard drives next year anyway.
Western Digital's flash memory business may become independent
More than six years ago, U.S.hard drive maker Western Digital Corporation acquired the assets of solid-state memory maker SanDisk, which produced the respective chips in partnership with Toshiba, which later transferred the business to Kioxia.Now, under pressure from investors, WDC is considering how to structurally separate the solid-state memory business from its drives.Image source: Western Digital CorporationAccording to Bloomberg, citing company representatives, the author of the idea is Elliott Investment Management, which represents the interests of several institutional investors.The Board of Directors of Western Digital has considered the strategic alternatives for both of its key units, as a result of business for the production of solid state drives can be separated structurally, and its development will attract additional capital.Analysts have long convinced the WDC administration that the two businesses separately are worth much more than the capitalization of a single company.Representatives Elliott explained that Western Digital is ready to decide to completely separate the flash memory business, and investors may provide financial resources for the development of a future independent company, without specifying the scale of the proposed investment.By the end of 2023, investors expect the separation of the \"solid-state assets\" will allow Western Digital to raise the price of the main company's shares to $100 from the current $60.32.The company's shares have lost 7.5 percent since the beginning of this year, and the news of the impending restructuring boosted the price by one percent at most.Elliott owns a 6 percent stake in WDC and also intends to provide $1 billion for the restructuring, which will be used to develop its solid-state memory business.The new company's capitalization could reach $17 billion to $20 billion, according to investors.That's about as much as the entire Western Digital has now.Negotiations with Elliott are in full swing right now, and WDC management can't yet say exactly what the chosen strategic alternative will be.The parties are bound by a non-disclosure agreement regarding public discussions of the decisions made.
Japan's Showa Denko begins shipments of record density magnetic wafers to produce 26TB HDDs
Japan's Showa Denko, the largest independent manufacturer of magnetic wafers for hard drives, has begun shipping 3.5-inch hard drives with record capacity.The new aluminum platters deliver an industry record areal density of more than 1TB/inch2, allowing for capacities as high as 2.6TB.Western Digital now builds 26TB hard drives from these platters.image source: storageagereview.comTo manufacture the company's 3.5-inch 2.6TB magnetic platters, Showa Denko developed protective and magnetic coating technology using the smallest magnetic crystals.At the same time, to achieve record-breaking recording densities, the magnetic wafers are supported by two technologies: energy assisted perpendicular recording (ePMR) and tiled overlapping track recording (SMR).Without SMR technology, the plate capacity reaches 2.2 TB.SMR technology reduces the speed of access to the media, but the gain in capacity compensates for this drawback.Apparently, on the basis of 2.6Tbytes of platters Showa Denko created hard drives Ultrastar DC HC670 UltraSMR by Western Digital.Western Digital began distributing such drives a couple of weeks ago to select customers.The beginning of mass shipments of Showa Denko platters from Western Digital and likely Seagate gives hope for relatively soon mass production of 3.5-inch 26TB hard drives.Showa Denko has also developed 3.5-inch platters with higher capacity - 3TB.This is achieved by supporting MAS-MAMR technology.This is also a recording technology with \"energy\" support, but only more complex - with the integration of miniature microwave emitters into the magnetic heads.Apparently, this is the next step in increasing the capacity of 3.5-inch hard drives, which can be expected closer to the end of 2023 or later.
AMD to unveil Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards tonight
AMD will unveil Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards on the latest RDNA 3 architecture graphics processors tonight. The start of the presentation,...