Posted by: drew | May 18, 2006

Hybrid Hard Drives

Very interesting.

BetaNews reports that harddrives which combine traditional platter/spindle HDs and flash memory to improve boot times and energy usage.

Either a 128MB or 256MB cache would act as the first step in storing data. The hard disk would only need to spin to save data when this cache is filled, roughly once every 10 to 20 minutes. The cache could also assist in allowing a PC to boot quicker.

Samsung says the first HHDs will ship next quarter. The company plans a more widespread rollout in January 2007 in conjunction with the launch of Windows Vista.



  1. So are all the power savings on the writing side? In other words, does this do nothing for the iPods (and other media playback devices) of the world? Because my video-capable iPod desperately needs more battery life…

  2. Well, I'm not sure that all savings are on the write side. It sounds like we're talking about HDs that use Flash as their cache, and a lot of cache at that. It's possible that a reading device could spin the data into the cache when needed, and then rest while music is read from the non-moving part Flash portion. That's as opposed to the HD parts constantly moving.

    That's my "armchair engineer" theory anyway.

  3. From what I’ve read and observed, the iPod pretty much does what you’re describing in software already. So this might help laptop computers, but not iPods.

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