Seagate Plans New Generation of Hybrid Hard Drives

Seagate Reaffirms Necessity to Redevelop Hybrid Hard Drives

by Anton Shilov
01/22/2008 | 11:07 PM

Seagate Technology, the largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs) in the world, said at a press conference that it needed to fully redesign the hybrid hard drives (HHDs) in order to make them more competitive and more appealing to consumers.

 

Hybrid hard disk drives feature additional flash cache of different capacity that can store certain continuously used data. Manufacturers promised that the hybrid hard drives would cut down power consumption, increase battery life, and, most importantly, speed-up boot-up time. However, the actual performance increases of HHDs is not crucial and customers are reluctant to pay extra for them, executives of hard disk drive makers revealed back in September ’07.

The main problem of the first-generation hybrid hard drives is that makers of hard drives installed just 256MB of flash memory on them, which did not boost performance significantly. Equipping future HHDs with larger amount of additional memory would speed them up considerably, but none of the manufacturers have announced such devices yet.

“What the consumers came to us and said, and what the lackluster reviews told us, was that… customers want more performance out of hybrid drives. They said, go back to the hybrid technology, and give us either larger [amounts of] flash, a better use of flash, or a combination of both,” said Joni Clark, senior product marketing manager of Seagate’s personal compute business, reports PC Magazine.

Despite of acknowledging once again that hybrid hard drives do not give any substantial advantages, Ms. Clark did not unveil whether Seagate actually plans to correct this with its second-generation of HHDs. Instead, she indicated that shortly the company would introduce a drive “focused on flash memory”, which is most likely a solid-state drive that was promised by Seagate’s chief executive officer last Summer.

“That sucker is fast and will blow anything that's out there today out of the water,” Ms. Clark is reported to have said.