Advances To NAND Flash In Ultrabooks
Long specializing in quality storage devices, Western Digital has recently announced that it will be rolling out samples of its new line of ultra-thin hybrid drives, designed expressly for sleek, space-conscious ultrabooks. The Western Digital drives are only 5 millimeters thick and come with 500 GB of storage capacity.
Since the drives are hybrid, they use of HDDs’ spinning disk technology in conjunction with SSDs’ NAND flash technology. What results is a product that is one tenth the price of similar performance SSDs and a volume 50% less than that of a standard 9.5 millimeter hard drive.
Meeting Ultrabook Expectations
When Western Digital went to the drawing board for this line of drives, they focused on the demands of today’s ultra-thin notebooks, most of which feature Instant-On and the seamless and speedy performance that has come to be expected from solid-state drives. According to the company’s press release, the new hybrid drive meets the ultrabook specifications established by Intel.
Basically, what this specification entails is either of two setups: the presence of two drive bays, one for HDD and one for SSD, or the presence of just one drive bay for a hybrid drive. Western Digital claims that its hybrid drive is superior to the two-bay design, since its design is single-unit. The statement holds weight considering that the economical use of space is always a primary concern for ultrabook manufacturers. The hybrid design of the new Western Digital ultra-thin drives offers the best of both hard disk and solid-state drives. When observed according to function, the hard disk portion of the drive is primarily used for the storage of files, while the solid-state disk part is in charge of launching frequently used applications and data. An added bonus for the hybrid drive is that the HDD portion serves as a backup drive; all the files from the NAND flash SSD portion is stored there in order to avoid the data loss that comes with eventual NAND wear.
Currently, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, HP, and Dell are already building ultrabooks that will accommodate Western Digital’s hybrid drive. Western Digital has yet to release the retail price for the new line of hybrid drives.