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Monday January 23, 2006 6:08 pm

Samsung Hybrid Hard Drive

Posted by John Goulden Categories: Microsoft, Peripherals

Hybrid hard drives are similar enough to the drives we all use today, but with the addition of NV (non-volatile) memory on board.  The memory acts similarly to the cache on the current crop of drives, but since it’s non-volatile, a system crash won’t cause you to lose everything that hasn’t been written to the disk.  Microsoft is encouraging manufacturers to release hybrid drives in preparation of it’s Vista operating system, which is due for release later this year.  The hybrid drives would increase performance and allow the system to boot faster (if configured to boot off the NV RAM).

However, the aforementioned type of hybrid isn’t what Microsoft and Samsung were showing off with the current prototype.  Instead of persuing performance gains alone, they’re also looking to save power in mobile applications.  The drive utilizes 1GB of Samsung’s OneNAND flash memory, and uses it to store any data destined to be written to the drive.  The drive doesn’t actually start spinning until the cache is completely full, and then does a quick dump to the disk.  By operating in this fashion, the drive only spins 30 to 45 seconds during a 30-minute window of time.  Since a hard drive normally consumes up to 15% of a laptop’s battery charge, the hybrid drive could significantly extend runtime as well as reduce overall noise.  The drive is expected to start shipping in quantity in late 2006.

Read More | CNet News

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