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A new generation of thin hard disk drives (HDD) only 5mm and 7mm thick are expected to enjoy fast sales growth in coming years, as mobile computers including ultra-thin PCs and PC tablets drive up demand by a factor of more than 25 from 2012 to 2017.
The combined shipments of 5mm and 7mm HDDs used in mobile PCs will reach 133 million units by 2017, up from just five million last year, according to a Storage Space Brief from IHS.
Lighter in weight and thinner in breadth, the 5mm and 7mm models will form a new class of ultra-slim HDDs that are forecast to eventually displace the much thicker 9.5mm drives that currently rule the industry. Shipments of the thicker 9.5mm HDDs for mobile PCs will deteriorate to 79 million in 2017, down from 245 million units in 2012.
Both the 5.0mm and 7.0mm HDD products will see increasing adoption starting this year, along with another form of storage device known as the hybrid HDD, in which a NAND flash component or so-called cache solid-state drive (SSD) is joined with the hard drive within a single storage enclosure.
All three manufacturers of hard disk drives – Western Digital and Seagate Technology, as well as Toshiba of Japan – will have their own product offerings for the new and thinner HDDs.
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Source: Associated Press