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SubjectRe: Scheduled Transfer Protocol on Linux
Bjorn Wesen:
: On Sun, 13 Feb 2000, J.D. Bakker wrote:
: > My estimate is that adding a minimal StrongARM+100BT to a disk drive adds
: > $40-$50 maximum to the BOM cost at volumes >10k; less if you go for higher
: > quantities and stuff an SA-1 (or other fast core) and integrated 100[0]BT
: > into an ASIC.
: I don't doubt the feasability of the HW design at all at that price. The
: main problem is probably simply cold feet. Imagine you are a hot-shot HD
: manufacturer. You instinctively feel "this is cool stuff", and prepare the
: design and R&D. All is well. Until you come to think "can I even find 1
: million customers who understands how to use this thingy?",

[and other well reasoned analysis...]

The main reason that the drive guys are looking at stuff like this is
margin. Drive companies are more or less giving away their products,
the margins are very thin and the competition is very tough. What the
drive guys would _LOVE_ is a way to add enough value that they can
raise the cost. I suspect that when these drives come out, they'll
be a hell of a lot more than the $300 I hope for. They'll be around
$1000 or so. The company that comes out with them first will enjoy
a certain amount of success and then there will be competition and the
prices will get driven down.

Even so, the HD guys are hoping that adding this sort of feature adds
enough value that the entire industy can support higher margins. And I
personally think it will work. A disk drive is a pretty worthless thing
by itself. But a disk drive with Linux on it, plugged into a network,
spawns a whole new industry. You can imagine self backing up, mirroring,
etc., drives. All sorts of add on packages which cost a little more.
If the common man wants a web server that is backed up by Maxstor, they
can buy Apache/Pro from Maxstor for an extra $50. That's essentially
free money for Maxstor if they can get enough volume.

I'm not positive that all this will work, but I am positive that the
drive guys want it to work. They need some margins. I don't blame 'em
a bit, I remember when a 200MB drive cost $500. The drive guys seem to
be outpacing Moores law...

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