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WD and SanDisk team up on solid state hybrids

SanDisk brings fast flash memory tech to ‘world’s thinnest 2.5-inch hybrids’ from WD

WD and SanDisk team up on solid state hybrids
WD Black SSHDs blend flash memory from SanDisk with high-capacity hard drives from WD.

Western Digital company WD and flash memory specialist SanDisk Corp today announced their collaboration in the introduction of hybrid storage devices that feature flash memory technology from SanDisk and hard drive technology from WD.

SanDisk supplied a SanDisk iSSD storage device for the WD Black solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), which is claimed to be "the world's thinnest 2.5-inch SSHD solution, which utilises both WD proprietary hybrid technology and industry standard SATA IO technology".

The SanDisk iSSD is designed to deliver a balance of performance, low power consumption and stability in a compact form aimed at the consumer segment and its increasing consumption of digital content.

"I am delighted for SanDisk to team up with WD on these exciting new hybrid products," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager of client storage solutions at SanDisk.

"By combining SanDisk's unparalleled flash memory expertise and technology with the hard drive know-how of WD, WD Black SSHDs offer outstanding hard drive-like capacity, and the slim form factor and the level of performance that you will only get with flash memory solutions." 

"Working with SanDisk, WD realised our vision for products that combine the best of both technologies," said Matt Rutledge, vice president of client computing at WD.

"WD's SSHDs are a significant achievement in the continuing SSHD/flash storage revolution."

There is traditionally a trade off when choosing between solid state drives and magnetic hard drives. Hard drives are cheaper and have vastly higher capacities, but are comparatively slow. SSDs are faster because they have no moving parts (their memory is electronic in nature, rather than magnetic, which precludes the need for read-write heads), but their components are much more expensive and so manufacturers have to limit their capacity in order to maintain viable price points.

Hybrid drives are designed to use some SSD memory to store the most commonly used data, like the OS, while using high-capacity magnetic storage for the remainder.

WD Black SSHDs use WD hybrid technology that blends flash memory technology from SanDisk with high capacity hard drives from WD. The combination is designed to enable both high capacity and a high performance, including increased speed, instant-on and faster application launching.

With device volume being a key concern for PC manufacturers who want to design slimmer devices, the WD Black SSHDs are designed to accommodate integration into the market's thinnest notebooks. According to WD, the WD Black 5mm SSHD offers 500GB of capacity, while being 50% less in volume than current standard notebook hard drives (which are approximately 9.5mm).

The low-profile of the solid state hybrid drive is complemented by the small form factor of the SanDisk iSSD, which is built on 19-nanometer (nm) process technology, said to be "the world's smallest and most advanced semiconductor manufacturing process".

The WD Black 5mm SSHDs are shipping to OEMs. WD is also currently shipping to OEMs ultra-slim, 7mm and 9.5mm SSHDs for portable devices.

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