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Samsung releases its first hybrid hard drives

While Fujitsu may have snagged the headlines on Monday for its 7200RPM 160GB SATA/300 2.5" hard disk drive (HDD), Samsung is looking to make a few headlines of its own with the availability of the world's first hybrid HDDs. Samsung new MH80 Series hybrid HDDs will be available in capacities of 80GB, 120GB and 160GB.

Samsung new MH80 HDDs will be fully compatible with Windows Vista and will offer OneNAND Flash onboard in capacities of 128MB or 256MB. The onboard flash allows for up to 50% faster OS boots, quicker resume times and increases in battery life of up to 30 minutes.

"As a leader in both hard drive and flash memory technologies, Samsung brings to market a unique hybrid hard drive that is sure to revolutionize the notebook computing experience," said Albert Kim, National Sales Manager, Storage Systems for Samsung Semiconductor. "The MH80 hybrid hard drive provides the ideal solution for two major issues that notebook PC users continually face: faster boot and resume performance and extended battery life."

Samsung claims that the MH80 Series offers five times the reliability of traditional HDDS while consuming 70-90% less power.

Hopefully, Samsung's claims will pan out in real world testing. Internal testing by Lenovo engineers has shown that hybrid HDDs aren't all they're cracked up to be.

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Unanswered questions
By brystmar on 3/7/2007 3:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
When and where can I buy one, and how much will each model set me back?

RE: Unanswered questions
By RogueSpear on 3/7/2007 6:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
I have some questions too.

Would it be possible for the drive manufacturer or some third party to create a 2000/XP device driver so that Vista wouldn't be required to take advantage of these drives?

RE: Unanswered questions
By Flunk on 3/8/2007 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
You won't need special hardware these drives will have the same SATA or IDE interface as a normal drive. All of the cacheing is done in hardware.

RE: Unanswered questions
By Flunk on 3/8/2007 4:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, my post above should have said this:

You won't need special software/drivers these drives. They will have the same SATA or IDE interface as a normal drive. All of the cacheing is done in hardware.

RE: Unanswered questions
By TomZ on 3/8/2007 4:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
That's not really true. While the hardware interface is the same, a new ATA command set has been added for ATA-8 that allows the OS to manage the NV cache.

Therefore, you would need software running in your OS that knows about that functionality - support for it would not be automatic. AFAIK, Vista is the only OS that supports it, although I would imagine support could be added in other OSs.

More details:

RE: Unanswered questions
By typo101 on 3/8/2007 8:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
Then how will Vista's ReadyDrive manage the SSD? Is it just going to appear as a separate partition? I would like that because then I could think of a couple uses for a little sata solid state partition in Linux.

RE: Unanswered questions
By TomZ on 3/8/2007 11:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Through new ATA commands - see my post above.

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