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Samsung Hybrid Hard Drives


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Samsung plans to demonstrate prototype flash-and-hard-disk hybrids next week at WinHEC, aiming to improve start/resume times and extend laptop battery life.

Samsung Electronics has found another use for all that flash memory it's manufacturing: packing it into hard drives. At next week's WinHEC 2006 conference, Samsung plans to demonstrate new Hybrid Hard Disk (HHD) storage devices, which combine a conventional magnetic platter storage with NAND flash memory.

The basic idea is that each hard disk has a cache of 128 of 256 MB of flash memory with the idea of improving startup and resume times for notebook computers and other portable electronic devices which require hard disk storage, while simultaneously extending battery life by reducing the amount of time hard disks spin up to access data. When the flash-base drive cache is filled, the system spins up its hard disk to flush data to magnetic storage: the result is a disk which spins up for a few seconds every 10 or 20 minutes, rather than a disk which spins more-or-less continually during active use. Furthermore, the speed of flash memory means users should not see delays or lags when material is written to cache or flushed to disk. Read more here.

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