Samsung has announced that it will show the first commercial hybrid hard drive prototype that combines traditional magnetic platters and NAND flash memory at the WinHEC conference next week. The prototype drive will sport between 128 MB and 256 MB of high-speed OneNAND flash memory, which promises 108 MB/s read and 18 MB/s write speeds, as well as a 300 MB/s Serial ATA interface with support for Native Command Queuing. Samsung's prototype is based on Microsoft's Windows ReadyDrive, a technology that caches parts of the operating system along with commonly used applications to quicken startup time, increase performance, and lower power consumption.
According to Samsung, the new prototype cuts down boot times by up to 25 seconds and can increase battery life by a whopping 10%. To achieve these kinds of power savings, the drive spins up "only a few seconds" every 10 to 20 minutes to transfer data to or from the cache. Samsung plans to ship the first commercial hybrid hard drives in January 2007, coinciding with the expected launch of Windows Vista. Intel's Santa Rosa mobile platform is also due to harness hybrid hard drives when it ships in mid-2007. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.
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