Samsung turns to Flash new hard drive

Samsung has unveiled a prototype storage unit that combines a hard drive and 128MB of Flash memory.

Developed in conjunction with Microsoft, the Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD) was designed for laptops running Longhorn, the next version of Windows. By writing data to the Flash memory, the hard disk does not need to be spun up as often, reducing power drain by as much as 10 per cent and prolonging the life of the drive.

‘The failing item in a returned notebook is typically the hard disk,’ Ivan Greenberg, director of strategic marketing at Samsung said. ‘If we keep that drive spun down, we believe that will have a huge impact.’

Samsung expects to ship the drive when Longhorn becomes available in the second half of 2006. Although it will cost more than standard drives, Samsung says that lower power and maintenance costs will compensate.

The HHD will complement Longhorn technologies that will enable more data to be stored in memory, rather than held on the hard drive. Microsoft anticipates that if users have as much as 10GB of memory, they will be able to do everything without recourse to the hard drive.

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