STORAGE VENDOR Western Digital has announced a line of hybrid hard drives that will be less than 5mm thick.
The company said that the drives will combine standard 2.5in hard disk drives with solid state disk (SSD) components. The drives will be offered through the company's WD brand and will target the high-performance storage market.
According to WD, the drives will be roughly half the thickness of previous 2.5in models and will offer hardware vendors more flexibility for designing new ultrabook and thin-profile notebook systems.
"Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive," said Western Digital VP of client storage Matt Rutledge.
"Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5 mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings."
The company hopes that the hybrid drives will prove popular in a notebook market which is increasingly looking to thinner designs as a way for matching the light weight and portability afforded by tablets.
Intel has put a lot of its marketing budget into pushing its Ultrabook design, showcasing models developed by OEMs and putting research and development funds into advancing the brand. Apple has also sought to advance the market with its Macbook Air brand.
While the thin designs of the lightweight notebook models have won rave reviews, the high prices of components such as SSD drives have largely limited ultrabook sales to the high-end and early adopter market segments. µ