Hard drives to be integrated into chips. Soon.

Jon Lanson, senior VP of Amkor technology, said that in the next few years hard drives will be integrated into chip packages.

He said that disk drives have got to a size where they can be put into almost any package. When that happens, and it’s a when rather than an if, it will bring huge benefits including reductions in power consumption.

This makes us really begin to think. If you can get a hard drive into a chip package, several microprocessor cores, and a heap of memory, the dream of a truly thin and light notebook will come true.

It appears, from what Lanson said, that it’s feasible to do this now. But will the hard drive manufacturers like Seagate fight their patch furiously. And the memory suppliers? And the dedicated CPU manufacturers.

Lanson replied to our question by saying the industry is driven by the consumer, and in particular by the mobile phone guys. He said it’s clearly a fight between the solid state guys and the mechanical hard drive guys. It’s pretty evident which party he thinks is going to win. Other exciting developments include embedding the die of a chip into the substrate itself, meaning things will be really thin indeed. And light. And cool.

Lanson said that firms are beginning to collaborate on packaging as dies continue to shrink.


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