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Is the Cloud Full? Sony to Mass-Produce Hard Disk Drives for AI

TL;DR

  • AI’s appetite for data fuels demand for “old-school” HDDs despite the cloud’s rise.
  • Cloud storage remains cost-effective for AI thanks to IaaS models, driving data centre expansion and HDD needs.
  • Big tech investment in data centres signals a continued role for HDDs alongside advancements in other storage technologies.

It appears that the demand for hard disk drives (HDDs) is picking up again after a significant decline recorded during the last two years. 

Sony Partners Seagate to Mass-Produce HDDs

Reuters reported Friday that Sony’s semiconductor unit is preparing to begin mass production of HDDs due to the increasing demand for AI. 

To facilitate the production, the company, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, entered a partnership with US firm Seagate Technology. They will begin mass production of lasers used in HDDs by May 2024, according to the report.

Sony will also invest about 5 billion yen ($33 million) into setting up new production lines for the drives. 

The Crucial Role of HDDs in Training Powerful AI

Data storage drives like HDDs are an indispensable part of AI development. While everything seems to be moving to the cloud, including data storage, HDDs remain essential for storing historical training data for AI models. 

The “cloud” is not a magical floating entity; it’s a network of massive server farms filled with physical storage devices. These devices also comprise HDDs, offering a balance of cost, capacity, and reliability for storing vast amounts of data.

Lately, there has been a rise in demand for cloud storage services, especially from AI companies, because they are much more affordable to use – usually as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). 

The demand from AI companies stems from the massive demand for training and storing results from complex AI algorithms. This explains why big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, etc., have been investing heavily in data centres, which also creates demand for HDDs and other storage options.

Earlier this year, Google announced it would invest up to $1 billion in a new data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, UK. Once completed, it said the investment would support its AI innovation and help ensure reliable digital services to its cloud service users.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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