Without Drivers, Hybrid HDDs
Delayed"> There has been some shift in resources at Microsoft, Rydning said, to redirect the development of other hybrid drivers in favor of supporting the Robson Turbomemory technology when it comes to the market. "Its even still unclear as to whether drivers will be in place in Vista to support Robson," Rydning said."Is booting up in 21 seconds [which is what the hybrid touts] that much of a difference from Vista booting up in 28 seconds?" Hagberg asked. "I dont see anybody paying extra for that. There arent that many near-term benefits at this point. It [hybrid drive] goes to sleep easier and more often [to save power], but that also means it has to boot up more often, and that could impact its reliability. Did Samsung ship the first hybrid HDD? Click here to read more. "I think we need to drive them around the field and test them for a while. I dont see them as a real-world technology yet," Hagberg said. Hybrid hard drive technology is the industrys response to growing demand for notebook PCs that deliver the speed and durability of desktop PCs, Joni Clark, chairperson of the Hybrid Storage Alliance and a marketing manager at Seagate in Scotts Valley, Calif., told eWEEK. Hybrid drives can be deployed in other mobile devices and computing systems, and they combine the capacity and cost-effectiveness of hard drives with the responsiveness, power-efficiency and durability of flash memory, Clark said. "Adding nonvolatile memory to the hard drive brings about a host of mobility benefits that increases the value users want in notebook PCslonger battery life, faster response, greater system durability," Clark said. Robson offers a speed boost that cannot be matched by raising clock frequencies without running into power dissipation limitations, Intel program manager Knute Grimswald said at 2006 flash conference. "And while multicore processors are good for applications like graphics rendering, they do not really help with typical user tasks like powering up or accessing programs," Grimswald said. "A laptop with Robson flash technology will power up almost immediately, compared to several seconds for an identical laptop without Robson." A Robson laptop will open Adobe Reader in less than 0.5 seconds, compared to over 5 seconds for a non-Robson laptop, he added. Editors note: This story has been updated to clarify Microsofts definition of the ReadyDrive and ReadyBoost technologies and to fix a quote attribution. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
Fujitsu Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Joel Hagberg said at the luncheon that the hybrid hard drive isnt far enough along in development and that hes not sure it has quite enough market value yet to justify the extra cost it would take to acquire it.