Hybrid storage solutions come in many flavors, but Seagate is the only one making something that fits inside a standard hard drive form factor. Two generations of the Momentus XT have combined traditional mechanical platters with NAND flash memory. Earlier this year, Western Digital confirmed that it's developing a hybrid drive, too, but declined to provide further details. Now, Toshiba has thrown its hat into the ring.
According to Tech On, Toshiba CEO Norio Sasaki discussed plans for the company's hybrid drive at a briefing session last week. The drive will reportedly arrive in September and target ultrabooks, which means it will almost certainly be a 2.5-incher. I suspect the hybrid will use the slimmer 7-mm version of the 2.5" form factor, which typically allows for only a single mechanical platter.
Toshiba's 2.5" MQ01ABD notebook drive currently packs 500GB per platter, so the new hybrid should offer at least a half-terabyte of mechanical storage capacity. The latest Momentus XT is equipped with 8GB of NAND, an amount I'd expect Toshiba to match. The company does, after all, make its own flash memory. Toshbia also produces controller chips for SSDs, making it uniquely equipped to combine mechanical and solid-state storage.
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