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The president of Western Digital Corp. said on Monday that the interest towards hybrid hard drives (HHDs) designed by the company is high and that WD is on-track to ship such products to computer makers in the second half of 2013.

“All major PC OEMs have shown strong interest in our 5mm and 7mm hybrid designs as an alternative to solid-state and dual drive configurations,” said Stephen Milligan, the president of WD who will become chief executive in January, during a conference call with financial analysts.

WD unveiled its 5mm and 7mm hybrid hard drives this September. Unlike hybrid hard disk drives that are available today from Seagate Technology and Toshiba, WD's HHD utilizes multi-level cell NAND flash memory and utilizes the concept of tiered storage. Data accessed most frequently (often referred to as ‘hot’ data) is managed using speedy NAND flash to ensure fast response times, while data accessed less often (‘cold’ data) resides on the magnetic disks. The magnetic disk backs up all files residing in the NAND, protecting the user from inevitable NAND wear and preserving it for the more hot data handling. WD’s hybrid technology works in conjunction with the PC operating system to deliver higher performance than current hybrid offerings while minimizing NAND wear to allow the use of less expensive MLC NAND.

“[We are now] providing engineering samples to our customers. In the first half of calendar 2013, we will be supplying call samples and gearing up for volume kind of activity the back half of 2013,” said Mr. Milligan.

WD on Monday reported revenue of $4.0 billion, hard-drive shipments of 62.5 million and net income of $519 million, or $2.06 per share, for its first fiscal quarter ended September 28, 2012. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $2.7 billion, net income of $239 million, or $1.01 per share, and shipped 57.8 million hard drives.

Tags: WD, Western Digital, HDD, SSD, NAND, Flash

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