Apple announces hybrid drive technology in Macs

With 128GB of NAND flash, this hybrid solution is far ahead of the competition

By , Computerworld |  Storage, Apple, hybrid drives

Prior to the acquisition, Anobit had been focused on making flash storage products for data center use manufactured out of consumer-grade NAND flash memory.

Anobit's most valuable intellectual property - its secret sauce - is its firmware that it calls Memory Signal Processing (MSP), a type of error correction code. Like other ECC technology, Anobit's MSP gives it a means of addressing the reliability issues that arise as solid-state memory shrinks in size.

The smaller NAND flash gets, the more chance that electrons will pass through thin cell walls and create data errors.

Anobit has produced two generations of Genesis SSD technology.

The purchase of Anobit addresses several issues for Apple. It frees the company from dependency on flash component makers such as Samsung and Intel, which lead the market in NAND flash production. And, Anobit's ECC software allows Apple to use the least expensive NAND flash while still maintaining high performance and endurance levels.

If Apple is using Anobit SSD with Seagate HDD, it would not be a first.

Laptops that sport two drives, a high-capacity hard drive and a low-capacity solid state "cache" drive are already shipping and are expected in droves with the release of ultrabooks. But ultrabooks tend to have smaller "cache" SSDs with 20GB to 50GB of capacity, so Apple's 128GB SSD is enormous by comparison.

Also, cache SSDs come in several sizes. Most are 2.5-in. mini-SATA drives, just like a typical laptop hard drive.

The cache SSD works in the same way as Seagate's Momentus XT: The OS and most frequently used applications are loaded from the flash memory, while the files and other less frequently used data are stored on the hard disk drive. The result is a lower-cost laptop with similar performance to a laptop with just an SSD.

Intel, Micron and OCZ are putting out cache SSDs, while Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are beginning to build laptops and ultrabooks that use them. For example, a number of Lenovo's ThinkPad and ThinkPad Edge notebooks support cache SSDs.

The Asus Zenbook UX32VD ultrabook combines up to a 500GB hard drive with a 24GB SSD. In fact, according to Intel's specifications, a device must use either a cache SSD or a full-sized SSD to achieve the performance required to be called an ultrabook.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

Ask a Question