Seagate's Pulsar SSD Demand Rises - Analyst Blog

Ace hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer, Seagate Technology plc ( STX ) is reportedly joining forces with Super Micro Computer Inc. ( SMCI ). Financial details of the deal were kept confidential.

California-based Supermicro provides hybrid server solutions. The company's product portfolio includes rackmount, tower and blade server systems, high-end workstations, storage server systems, motherboards, chassis, and various server components.

Per the terms of the deal, Supermicro will offer Seagate's Pulsar family of solid state drives (SSDs). The entire list of Pulsar SSD offerings, along with the latest Pulsar.2 will be displayed on Supermicro's product website. This will not only expand the choice of offerings for Supermicro's customers, but will help in wide market acceptance of Seagate's Pulsar portfolio.

Apart from this, Seagate also announced that Nor-Tech, a provider of high performance computing solutions, has opted for its Pulsar SSDs. Nor-Tech will be using Pulsar in its Lustre Cluster metadata server. The company has also used Pulsar in its VoyStor Storage Server, which is currently powering the University of Minnesota in pursuing hydropower and wind energy research.

Seagate pulsar is an enterprise-class SSD, available in capacities starting from 50 GB (gigabyte) to 200 GB. The latest iteration can store up to 800 GB. The Pulsar facilitates automatic, quick input/output error detection and correction. It also protects data in case of sudden power outages.

Seagate is mainly known for HDDs. However, keeping up with the shifting trend toward SSDs from traditional HDDs, Seagate has already been dealing with SSD products for the past several years. But it has struggled a lot to gain significant traction. In April 2011, Seagate added Samsung Electronics Co.'s HDD business, which gave the company access to Samsung's NAND-type flash chips for its solid state drive products.

The SSDs are non-volatile (unlike HDDs) and shock resistant, offering high speed and consuming less power. Despite their high prices, these drives are preferred by many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). All major tablets that have been announced or shipped this year use flash chips in place of a spinning hard disk drive for storage. Smartphones also use NAND flash, as do many netbooks. Hence, with Pulsar, Seagate has ample opportunities in the growing SSD space.

Despite growth opportunities, a lackluster PC market and slowing demand for HDDs led to a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term "Hold" rating on Seagate shares.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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