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HDD with DDR RAM en route

Hybrid hard disk synergy platform
Wed Sep 05 2007, 11:15
A JAPANESE company called DTS claims it has iterated the hybrid hard drive concept one stage further and come out with the ideal magnetic/solid state hybrid - a hard drive with 1GB of DDR RAM on board.

Hybrid hard drives use standard hard drive technology but complement it with a chunk of flash memory bolted on as a cache. This makes drive access faster, more reliable and more power efficient. However, the roll-out of this technology has been slow, since flash memory is still relatively expensive.

Windows Vista is designed to play nicely with these drives and can even use USB memory keys as performance enhancing dongles. But by adding standard DDR RAM to a hard drive, DTS hopes to hit on the right mixture of price and performance - cheaper than solid state hybrids, but performing just as well.

There are more details of the drive here. The quoted throughput looks impressive, at 110MBps, but we suspect that real-world performance is a little more iffy. The drive comes in 80GB, 120GB and 160GB sizes, since it is based on a 2.5" HDD, and is available now in Japan - but there's no news as to when we will see it here in the West.

More and more laptops are starting to come equipped with all-flash drives as capacities begin to rise. However, these are incredibly expensive, and still lacking in capacity - these new DDR drives could be interesting. µ


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