Monday during CEATEC 2010, Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) said that it revised the Hybrid Drive to offer higher performance and a smaller form factor for thin laptop designs. Now in its second generation, the Hybrid Drive combines a Blu-ray optical drive with flash memory--serving as a solid state disk--on one circuit board. The new Hybrid model also uses only one SATA 6 Gbps connector, and is now the size of a standard laptop drive.
The first version, seen at Computex 2010 earlier this year and officially announced back in June, wasn't quite as compact, combining the optical drive with an SSD in one shell. But unlike the new version, the first-generation model used two SATA 3 Gbps connectors and offered capacities of only 32 GB and 64 GB.
However now consumers can alter their rigs by replacing the current ODD with the new 2nd-generation Hybrid Drive. Consumers keeping their clunky hard drives can use the Hybrid's NAND solely as cache, or install programs and use the remainder NAND as cache. Then again, users can toss out the hard drive altogether and use the SSD portion as the main drive. Nevertheless, HLDS' Hybrid Drive allows manufacturers to create ODD systems with only one physical drive.
"We are very excited about the potential of this ground-breaking product," said HLDS Chief Marketing Officer YK Park. "Once Hybrid Drive is loaded in all PC products including AIO, Mini PC, and Notebook, a new solution will be provided for user classes who were previously unsure of purchasing SSD. And Hybrid Drive also enables a smaller PC foot print (under 12" tablet PCs such as the Ultra Mobile PC, for example) by removing the HDD or SSD from the motherboard and just having Hybrid Drive with SSD as its primary storage."
Micron followed up on Tuesday by announcing that its 25-nm NAND memory was used in the new Hybrid Drive. The company said that the first wave of drives will include 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities. Higher NAND capacities of the Hybrid Drive will be available in future versions.
The Hybrid Drive is expected to become available in May 2011, however HLDS did not specify pricing. AVERATEC's All-in-one PC, SHUTTLE's Slim PC, and MONEUAL's HTPC will be showcased at HLDS' booth during CEATEC 2010, all sporting the new Hybrid Drive.