HDD vendors unite to form Hybrid Storage Alliance

Hard disk drive vendors Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate Technology and Toshiba have collaborated to form the Hybrid Storage Alliance in an effort to promote the use of traditional disks that incorporate NAND flash memory. The Alliance has outlined its goals as being two-fold: to increase awareness of how flash memory and hard drive hybrid technology can extend the capabilities of notebook computers and to accelerate market adoption of the technology.

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By  Dawinderpal Sahota Published  January 9, 2007

Hard disk drive vendors Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate Technology and Toshiba have collaborated to form the Hybrid Storage Alliance in an effort to promote the use of traditional disks that incorporate NAND flash memory. The Alliance has outlined its goals as being two-fold: to increase awareness of how flash memory and hard drive hybrid technology can extend the capabilities of notebook computers and to accelerate market adoption of the technology. Joni Clark, chairperson at the Hybrid Storage Alliance, said: “The hard drive industry is continuously looking for ways to bring greater value to the systems in which our technology resides and to those who use them. Adding non-volatile memory to the hard drive brings about a host of mobility benefits that increases the value users want in notebook PCs – longer battery life, faster response, greater system durability.” The alliance has been formed in light of recent IDC research predicting that hybrid disk drives will constitute 35% of all HDDs shipped in portable PCs by 2010. John Rydning, research manager for hard drives at IDC, commented: “NAND caching will emerge as an important technology enabler, especially to improve the performance of portable PCs running the Windows Vista OS. Hybrid hard drives combine the best features of two storage technologies in a single product to deliver high capacity, responsive storage for portable PC users. The formation of the Hybrid Storage Alliance by HDD industry participants is prudent to raise awareness of hybrid HDD technology benefits.” Microsoft Windows Vista has been announced as the first operating system to utilise this technology. Bill Mitchell, corporate VP mobile and tailored platform division at Microsoft, added: “Microsoft is pleased to see the storage industry uniting to drive the adoption of hybrid hard drives. Hybrid drives will leverage ‘Windows ReadyDrive’ features in Windows Vista to enable a new generation of mobile PCs that boot up and resume from hibernation faster, optimise battery life, outperform standard hard disk drives, and are more reliable and robust.” The Hybrid Storage Alliance states that end-users of notebook systems will enjoy a variety of potential benefits for hybrid hard drives including faster boot-ups, lower power consumption and greater durability.

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