Seagate Technology reportedly plans to add solid-state drives based on flash memory chips to its lineup of storage products.
"We have solid-state drives on every road map that we have," Bill Watkins, the company's CEO, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.
SSDs, as solid-state drives are also known, use flash memory instead of magnetic disks to store information. Flash is a type of non-volatile memory, which means the chips retain stored information when power is off. Other memory types, such as DRAM, lose data when the power goes off.
The Wall Street Journal report did not say when Seagate plans to start shipping SSDs or what capacity the upcoming products will over.
SSDs offer a couple advantages over disk-based drives: they're lighter, consume less power, and more rugged, making them ideal for laptops and mobile devices. They are also more expensive, but the price gap is narrowing as flash memory becomes increasingly cheaper.
Seagate already makes hybrid drives, which combine flash memory with magnetic disks. Its Momentus 5400 PSD hybrid drive stores the most commonly accessed data on flash memory instead of on disks, which improves read time and speeds up the process of booting a computer, the company said.
The drives are intended to be used in laptops and are available in capacities up to 160GB, according to Seagate's web site.