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.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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