Hard drive manufacturers embrace new storage tech

Optical and hard drives are getting a huge boost in capacity

By , Computerworld |  Storage, hard drive, Hitachi

In a reflection of the hard-fought battle among hard drive makers to get ahead of rivals, Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital this week talked up storage innovations, including a Hitachi drive that combines an optical platter with Micron's densest NAND flash memory and advanced hard drives from Western Digital and Seagate that hold up to 3TB of data.

Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) on Tuesday unveiled what it says is the world's highest density hybrid optical drive with onboard storage.

Hitachi combined its optical drive with Micron's 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory, creating a mass storage and removable media device for PCs, DVD players and Blu-ray consumer products. "By creating a truly hybrid storage and optical drive solution, the Hybrid Drive also provides approximately a 50% to 70% performance improvement when compared to a standalone [hard drives]," YK Park, chief marketing officer of HLDS, said in a statement.

In August, Micron and Intel announced the 25nm flash, in what is arguably the industry's most dense NAND flash memory. With that technology, Intel was able to double the maximum capacity of its X25-M consumer solid-state drives (SSDs) to 600GB.

In the hybrid drive, Micron's 25nm technology delivers 8GB of capacity in a single chip.

The initial portfolio of HLDS Hybrid Drives will be offered in a range of embedded flash memory capacities, including 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Higher NAND capacities of the Hybrid Drive will be available later on.

The hybrid drive is targeted at thin and light notebooks with space for just one drive, and is ideal for client applications, where a hard drive or SSD would be used for long-term storage. In that scenario, the Hybrid Drive would be used for caching and launching applications, boosting system performance and boot times.

HLDS said the Hybrid Drive would be available in May 2011. It did not release pricing.

Hitachi releases highest density internal drives

Another arm of Hitachi, its Global Storage Technologies (HGST) division, announced its new 375GB/platter, 5,400rpm and 7,200rpm, 2.5-inch hard drives -- the Travelstar 5K750 and Travelstar 7K750.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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