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3/7/2007
09:46 AM
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Samsung's Hybrid Drive, Aimed At The Windows Vista Market, Is Released To Computer 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.

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.

Samsung's MH80 Series drive will be available in 80-Gbyte, 120-Gbyte, and 160-Gbyte capacities. The flash portion will be available in 128-Mbyte or 256-Mbyte capacities. The drive is combined with a OneNAND Flash cache and Microsoft's ReadyDrive software.

"The MH80 hybrid hard drive provides the ideal solution for two major issues that notebook PC users continually face: faster boot and resume performance and extended battery life," said Albert Kim, a Samsung national sales manager, in a statement.

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.

Other advantages can be traced to the fact that the MH80 drive's platters are dormant 99% of the time, eliminating the constant spinning associated with traditional hard drive technology. "As a result," said Samsung, "the drive is much less susceptible to shock damage, resulting in less data loss and fewer needed repairs."

Microsoft began working with drive makers a few years ago when its Vista operating system was called Longhorn. The software firm has said it expects hybrid drives to eventually be included in desktops and servers as well. Seagate Technology also is developing a line of hybrid drives.

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