WD has started sampling a 5mm-thin hard disk drive featuring hybrid technology. The new disc is slim enough for integration into ultrabooks while featuring instant-on and application performance close to today's client solid state drives (SSDs).
With device volumetric efficiency a key concern for system makers, WD began shipping 7 mm height hard drives for thin-profile notebooks earlier this year. Historically, standard notebook hard drives have been 9.5 mm. WD 5 mm hybrid hard drives will enable the market?s thinnest computers to offer 500 GB of capacity, utilizing almost 50% less volume compared to current 9.5 mm hard drives and at one tenth the cost of similar capacity SSDs.
WD's hybrid technology pairs MLC NAND flash storage for fast SSD-like data throughput and instant-on responsiveness with magnetic disks. WD's hybrid technology utilizes the concept of tiered storage. Data accessed most frequently is managed using speedy NAND flash to ensure fast response times, while data accessed less often resides on the magnetic disks. The tiered design of hybrid hard drives, compared to current dual-drive solutions, also provides a redundancy benefit for users. The magnetic disk backs up all files residing in the NAND, protecting the user from inevitable NAND wear and preserving it for the more hot data handling. WD claims that its hybrid technology works in conjunction with the PC operating system to deliver higher performance than current hybrid offerings while minimizing NAND wear to allow the use of less expensive MLC NAND.
Unlike dual-drive designs, WD?s hybrid technology provides single-unit design homogeneity that OEM system manufacturers have long sought from the storage industry.
WD's new hybrod drives will be found in notebooks coing from Acer and ASUS.
Western Digital will present the new Hybrid disks at its Investor Day on Sept. 13, 2012. The company also will demonstrate new technologies and products from its WD and HGST subsidiaries including 5 mm and 7 mm form factor drive designs, a new hard drive platform for extreme capacities and improved total cost of ownership for the enterprise market along with a 12 Gb/s SAS enterprise-class solid state drive.