According to blog Bit-Tech.net, sources in the hard drive industry say that Western Digital (maker of the old world's fastest hard drive) "is working on a 20,000RPM Raptor hard drive to combat" Solid State Drives, since these are going to "be affordable in the next 12 or 18 months." The new Raptor will be a 2.5-inch drive inside a 3.5-inch custom box designed to make it "silent," since a 20,000RPM HD could probably make your ears bleed after a few minutes at fulll speed. But can a mechanical drive compete against solid state?
Even while the new 20,000RPM Raptor could be engineered to be ultra-fast and more or less silent at the same time, the challenges for a mechanical design are too many to ignore. Mainly, there's is the issue of power consumption: this rotation speed will require a lot of extra energy compared to normal drives, which is a bad spot in a market that is claiming for greener technology, and is moving away from the desktop into the mobile space, where power consumption is a make or break issue. The reliability of such a complex mechanical design would be another potential problem.
Everything to try to match Solid State Drives, which also will keep evolving, getting faster and even more efficient down the line. [Bit-Tech]