Interesting news fro CD FREAKS front page.
Samsung begins shipping of hybrid hard disks
Despite substantial price cuts with flash memory quite regularly, the cost is still far too high to develop hard disks of similar capacity to traditional magnetic storage based hard disks. Windows Vista has aimed to offer an interim work around with its ReadyDrive software where it can make use of flash memory for faster boot up and resume from standby times, while making use of hard disk storage for less frequently accessed data.
To help make use of Vista's ReadyDrive software, according to this DigiTimes report, Samsung has developed and begun shipping its MH80 series of hybrid hard disks. These feature 80GB, 120GB of 160GB of magnetic storage capacity and 128 or 256MB of flash memory for ReadyDrive to make use of. Besides up to 50% quicker boot-up & resume, the NAND flash storage helps lower power consumption by 70% to 90% and improves read/write access performance. According to Samsung, the lower power consumption can improve the average laptop battery runtime by around 30 minutes.
As the significantly lower power consumption likely indicates that the hard disk keeps a buffer of frequently read data in its flash to keep the disk spun down most of the time, it will be interesting to see how long the disk takes to spin up each time the user accesses something not in its flash, particularly if they use multiple large software packages or if it would offer any benefit for those who watch a lot of video content from the hard disk. On the other hand, for businesses who regularly spend their time reading & writing e-mail, Word and Excel documents, this will where the benefit will mainly be seen.