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Toshiba Corp. on Monday announced that it will launch two 2.5" hybrid drives that promise to boost performance of storage sub-systems in notebook and desktop PCs. The new hybrid hard drives (HHDs) are equipped with 8GB of SLC NAND flash storage with automatic self-learning caching algorithm and provide 750GB or 1TB of storage.

The new drives - the 1TB (MQ01ABD100H) and the 750GB (MQ01ABD075H) - use magnetic hard disks to deliver high level capacity and 8GB single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory as a cache memory to support high speed data throughput. The drives support rotational speed of up to 5400rpm, use Serial ATA-600 interface and come equipped with 32MB of DRAM cache. The new HHDs come in industry-standard 2.5"/9.5mm form-factor.

In operation, data is allocated to one of the hybrid drive's three memory layers: DRAM buffer memory, NAND flash memory or the magnetic disk media. This process is enhanced by an algorithm that dynamically learns the user's data access pattern and stores data accordingly to the appropriate tier. High speed access is achieved by storing frequently accessed data in the NAND flash memory.

According to Toshiba, NAND flash cache improves read and write times by about three times compared to Toshiba's hard disk drives with equivalent capacities. In PCs, the new Hybrid Drive reduces application boot times by about 40%.

Toshiba's hybrid hard disk drive sample shipments started today. Toshiba did not reveal when the mass production of the products is expected to occur.

Tags: Toshiba, SSD, NAND, Flash, HDD

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