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Seagate's SSDs to be powered by DensBit's Memory Modem controller

Seagates announces a strategic agreement for development of low-cost,high-performance solid-state drives for both consumer and enterprise markets.

Despite the proliferation of solid-state drives (SSDs) with vendors, such as Samsung, OCZ, Plextor, or RunCore, regularly releasing new drives to the market, Seagate, a major storage vendor, has been for the most part missing from the party until now.

The company announced today that it and DensBits have entered a strategic agreement for development of SSDs for consumer and enterprise markets. DensBits is an Israeli-based developer of the world's first Memory Modem controller for SSDs. In SSDs, the controller is one of the most important parts since it determines the performance, life span, and reliability of the drive.

Per the agreement, DensBits' Memory Modem controller technology will be used in a variety of Seagate consumer and enterprise storage applications, including 3 bits/cell, 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell ("MLC") 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits. Currently on the market, most SSDs use controllers from SandForce.

This is the first major public announcement from Seagate in regard to SSDs. The company has been focusing on a different type of solid-state-based storage solution called hybrid drive that's a combination of flash memory and traditional hard drives. The most successful hybrid drive, also the first of its kind that's mass produced, is the Seagate Momentus XT.

It's currently unclear when new Seagate SSDs will be available and how much they will cost.