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Hitachi Launches Hybrid Storage Drive

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Hitachi calls its device the first hybrid optical disk drive with its own on-board storage

Hitachi, which partners with South Korea’s LG Data Storage to make storage devices, on 4 October introduced what it called the world’s first hybrid NAND flash optical disk drive with its own on-board storage.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology supplies its new 25-nanometre NAND as the flash memory for the new optical disk drive, oddly enough acronymed ODD. The chip debuted last February as the result of a cooperative project with Intel.

The new 25nm, 2-bit-per-cell chip can hold 8GB of data storage, more than 10 times the 700MB capacity of a standard CD. The chip measures a mere 167 square millimetres, making it small enough to fit through the hole in the middle of a CD.

Thin and light notebooks

The small size of the flash chip is a big advantage to the manufacturing process of the drive itself in that it allows designers more flexibility to fit it into the layout.

The new HLDS [Hitachi LG Data Storage partnership] hybrid drive will be used in PCs, DVD players and Blu-ray products.

The first edition of the drive will come in embedded flash memory capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Higher NAND capacities will be available in future versions.

The HLDS Hybrid Drive is designed for thin and light notebooks that traditionally have space for one drive, Micron said. It can be used for client-side applications that in the past would have employed a hard disk or solid-state drive for long-term storage.

In these deployments, the hybrid drive would be used for caching and launching applications and providing an improvement in system performance, including faster boot times.

HLDS will be demonstrating the Hybrid Drive using Micron’s 25nm NAND at the CEATEC conference from 5 to 9 October in Japan. They will begin showing up in devices later this autumn.