Toshiba's first line of hybrid drives will first launch in notebooks later this year.
Toshiba said on Tuesday (pdf) that it has shipped its very first line of 2.5-inch hybrid drives, the MQ01ABDH series. These combine the best of both worlds: the speed and reliability of NAND flash and the cheap storage capacity of hard disks.
The new series currently features two drives: the 750 GB model (MQ1ABD075H) and the 1 TB model (MQ01ABD100H). Both drives consist of two platters and 8 GB of non-volatile 32-nm SLC NAND (for read and write caching), and measure just 9.5-mm high. Their overall size makes them ideal for ultra-thin notebooks, but will also work well in standard-sized notebooks, gaming PCs, all-in-one and slimline desktops and other digital computing applications.
Toshiba claims the drives feature "self-learning" caching algorithms that learn the system user’s data access patterns to optimize performance. "The self-learning caching algorithms also manage which user data is stored to the NAND Flash for quick response to the near future access from the host, as well as how the data in the NAND Flash is updated based on intelligent access pattern learning," the company said.
The specs, as seen below, show that the drives have an average seek time of 12 ms and a rotational speed of 5400 RPM. They also connect via a SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) interface.
"Hybrid Drives represent a significant innovative technology for Toshiba in combining the high-performance features of NAND Flash, with the key HDD attributes of large capacity and cost-effective data storage," said Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at Toshiba’s Storage Products Business Unit. "As the only storage company which designs and manufactures HDDs as well as NAND flash, Toshiba is in a unique position to capitalize on these benefits because the expertise on how these technologies function resides within Toshiba."
The MQ01ABDH series will be featured in various notebook PCs, with the first systems shipping in time for the holiday season – a retail version may be launched early next year. Meanwhile, here's the actual spec list:
* Maximum Capacities: 750 GB (MQ1ABD075H) and 1 TB (MQ01ABD100H)
* Number of Platters: 2
* Areal Density (Max): 858.1 Mb/mm2 (553.6 Gb/in2) and 1153.4 Mb/mm2 (744.1 Gb/in2)
* Average Seek Time: q12 ms
* Rotational Speed: 5400 RPM
* Buffer memory: 32 MiB
* NAND Flash Size: 8 GB
* Interface: Serial ATA 3.0 (ATA-8)
* Interface transfer rate: 6 Gb/s
* External dimensions (WxDxH; mm) 69.85 x 100.0 x 9.5-mm
* Weight (g) 117 g (max)
* Shock resistance:
-- Operating: 3,920m/s2 (400G) 2ms
-- Non-operating: 8,820m/s2 (900G) 1ms
-- Idle (average): 23 dB
-- Seek (average): 24 dB