Mobile optical hybrid combines Blu-ray reader, solid-state drive

PC enthusiasts are hip to rolling their own hybrid storage configurations, with an SSD handling the OS and applications and a secondary hard drive providing gobs of cheap mechanical storage. This hasn't been a viable option for laptop users stuck with a single hard drive bay, but Hitachi has a novel solution in the form of the HyDrive, a slim Blu-ray reader with a solid-state drive built in.

Scheduled to arrive in August, HyDrive models will be available with 32 or 64GB of solid-state storage. It's unclear what controller is being used to interface with the flash, but according to The Register, the HyDrive has maximum read and write speeds of 175 and 60MB/s, respectively. The drive's 4KB random-read throughput is pegged at 6MB/s.

On the optical side of things, the HyDrive can read Blu-ray discs at 4.8X and burn standard DVDs at 8X speeds. Asus is expected to use the HyDrive in its Eee Top all-in-one systems, and AMD claims to support the optical hybrid in its 8-series chipsets. There's also word that a second-generation HyDrive, possibly with a 6Gbps SATA interface and up to 256GB of flash, could find its way into the upcoming N61DA "performance notebook" from Asus.

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