Samsung’s Hybrid Drive, Aimed At The Windows Vista Market, Is Released To Computer Makers –

Well, John has been saying that this product was developed specifically for Windows Vista, now it has arrived.

It’s a little late for the Vista launch, but Samsung Electronics still aims to take advantage of the new Microsoft operating system. On Wednesday it announced that it has begun shipping its long-awaited hybrid flash/hard drive to computer and other equipment makers.

The 2.5-inch drive features up to 160 Gbytes in hard disk technology combined with as much as 256 Mbytes of flash memory. Samsung has worked with Microsoft since 2003 to develop the hybrid drive to save power consumption and cut boot time for the software firm’s new operating system.

Noting that the drive consumes 70% to 90% less power than traditional rotating storage drives, Samsung said the device could extend laptop battery life by 30 minutes. The NAND flash helps lower power consumption while also providing higher reliability and faster read/write access.

  1. natefrog says:

    Cool. . . But how much?

  2. James Hill says:

    It’s interesting technology… and it won’t go away… but the idea that it’s going to dramatically speed things up isn’t going to pan out. This will be less important than the move from IDE to SATA, meaning that it won’t drive people to buy new drives.

  3. Dallas says:

    Excellent! Fast boot times, more battery life, higher reliability, faster access – this is terrific technology. This is the biggest improvement in HDD’s since they put cache in them.

  4. mark says:

    4. Sounds great, why start at 256MB though?

  5. Dugger says:

    Perhaps so they can restart the memory cycle fresh.
    First 256 MB, then 512 MB, then 1024 MB, etc.

  6. evan says:

    This is pretty awesome. Actually very awesome. Get me a 160gb+ with 512mb+ in a 1.8 inch model into my Toshiba Portege R200 running vista without all that fancy pants graphics hoo-ha and that will be one sweet, stable machine. Looking forward to seeing the prices that us ‘early adopters’ will be rewarded with by our loyal corporate overlords….

  7. TJGeezer says:

    Intel CTO Justin Ratner wrote about NAND in his ZDNet blog back in December. He believes this technology is going to change computer design in some important ways. ( )

    He didn’t deal with NAND-based hybrid drives, but there’s an interesting viewpoint expressed there.

  8. tcc3 says:

    Pedro – how do you figure?

    These are brand new, just released by the manufacturer. Which Mac features a hybrid drive?

  9. Angel H. Wong says:


    Pedro was being sarcastic.

  10. gquaglia says:

    Who cares, Vista is garbage.

  11. Podesta says:

    Pedro, the drive is less suited to Mac users because we rarely shut down our computers, particularly laptops. Macs wake up from sleep very quickly, making something like this unnecessary for its most obvious purpose. However, a drive with like this should be a great deterrent for Windows comas.

    Anyone else feeling a bit of deja vu? They hybrid brinks back fond memories of RAM disks on the Mac.

  12. Smartalix says:

    Vista does use memory in interesting ways, from this technology to ReadyBoost.

  13. chewy says:

    Wow Vista really isn’t a good operating system. I’ve had it now for about a week, everything is so confusing and weird.

    I feel like it’s operating me, not the other way around.


  14. Greg Allen says:

    Flash memory is so cheap these days, why only 256 MB?

    I, personally, would like to see a total flash memory computer with no moving parts at all and — most importantly — instant on.

    It would probably need a scaled-down OS but that would be a very good thing, IMHO. I’m totally fed-up with these bloated OSs.

    I’m thinking of PuppyLinux as a model — 85 MB and it’s as much OS as most people need.

    A flash-only computer could have a few Gigs for local files and drivers. Applications, pictures and video could be stored on-line.

  15. Greg Allen says:


    Why not? My Windows and Linux machines can mount a thumb drive just like any FAT disk.

    So, why couldn’t a computer just have a big ‘ole thumb drive in there?

  16. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    13…I’ve been hibernating Windows on laptops for almost ten years, starting with Win 98. FWIW, XP crashes just as often as OSX, maybe less. Deal with it, eh?

    Oh, and MS-DOS had ramdisks in version 4, maybe even 3.3. Every Win 98 ERD has one.

  17. soundwash says:

    now, now dont get your MAC panties too wet..

    DOS had ramdrive.sys (as well as many 3rd party builds)

    i remember swapping the kernel to a ramdrive on bootup back in the 286 days in an attempt to speed up DOS 5.0 since acess times on HD’s back then were painfully slow (and they had little or no cache). paging stuff to and from the HD ’twas no fun at all…


  18. Gasparrini says:

    #17, Ramdisks could be run on Win 3.1 because I did it, I would use it store the cache of IE.
    There’s also the RAM drive from RocketDrive, which uses RAM to create a hard disk. It has an external powe source so when you turn off your PC the memory keeps being energized.

  19. Ed Allen says:

    To answer TJGeezer:

    The real innovationwill come as Intel scales up the PRAM they just started making in 128k bit size this week.

    Non volatile and faster read/write times than DRAM.

    These will upsize quickly as drive manufacturers discover that PRAM cache enables reads from cache at the 5Gb rate of SAS drives and able to take and put data to the coming Terabyte size 10k RPM drives coming in 2010.

    Eventually PRAM will be used for SSD (Solid State Disk) construction to be able to SUSTAIN 500MB per second write speeds but that won’t happen for some time yet because of the need to ramp densities to near what static RAM does at release time.

    About that time somebody will begin selling laptops with no disk.

  20. Bruce IV says:

    Yes – this is what I’ve been looking for – the real interesting computer stuff these days is happening in storage – more flash memory is better – quick, and low energy – my next laptop’s HDD will definitely have at least a couple gigs of flash memory (I won’t be able to afford a new one for a few years yet …)

  21. TJGeezer says:

    23 – Thanks Ed – that’s interesting. I looked it up at Wikipedia, which describes it: “PRAM uses the unique behavior of chalcogenide glass, which can be “switched” between two states, crystalline and amorphous, with the application of heat. ”

    Application of heat? Using it in laptops brings unsettling images to mind. But I also read that Intel, calling it PCM for Phase-Change Memory, will send it to device makers in Q2 this year. It’s supposed to be a thousand times faster than Flash memory. It’s targeting mobile phones with it.

    Interesting stuff! thanks for the pointer.


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