Hitachi-LG hybrid drive does away with HDD

A second-generation Hitachi-LG hybrid optical drive can eliminate the need for a hard disk drive in laptops.

On Tuesday, Hitachi-LG Data Storage announced a hybrid optical drive that can obviate the need for a traditional hard disk drive in thin laptop designs.

Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) disclosed a second-generation Serial-ATA (SATA) 6.0-gigabit-per-second (Gbps)-based "hybrid drive" at Ceatec 2010, held this week in Makuhari Messe, Japan. The drive is meant to eliminate the need for a separate traditional (spinning) hard disk drive in laptops, allowing PC makers to bring out optical-drive-equipped systems with only one drive.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology also announced today that it is supplying 25-nanometer NAND flash chips for the drive. The initial capacities for the solid-state drive will range up to 64GB, with higher capacities in the future.

In a hybrid optical disk drive (ODD), a solid-state drive, based on Micron flash chips, is built into the ODD and serves as the primary device for storing the operating system and applications. Solid-state drives are typically faster than hard disk drives when reading data.

Beta versions of the Hitachi-LG Data Storage hybrid optical disk drive boast fast boot times.
Beta versions of the Hitachi-LG Data Storage hybrid optical disk drive boast fast boot times. Hitachi-LG Data Storage

The HLDS hybrid drive "provides a comprehensive mass storage and removable media solution for PCs, DVD players, and Blu-ray products," Micron said.

In addition to Micron, HLDS has formed partnerships with Advanced Micro Devices--which supplies the chipset--and PC makers such as Shuttle and Averatec.

HLDS did not say when systems using the drives would be available.

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