Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond

News Analysis: When the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association hosts a symposium in our neck of the woods, we pack up and go. Find out what the future holds for hybrid hard drives and the next generation of magnetic HDDs. (

Last Tuesday, IDEMA hosted a symposium in entitled "HDD Dynamics: Interfaces, Electronics, Architecture, and Reliability."

IDEMA, which stands for International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association, is a trade association representing 340 companies from the $30 billion disk drive industry.

At the event we attended, representatives from Adaptec Inc., Agere Systems Inc., Broadcom Corp., Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Intel Corp., M-Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp., Network Appliance Inc., Samsung, Seagate Technology LLC, and Western Digital Corp. were given the opportunity to speak on issues such as emerging interfaces, new electronic designs and integration, sector architecture and reliability testing.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about Samsungs flash-based hard drive.

One of the topics discussed at the symposium dealt with the incorporation of solid-state storage with traditional magnetic disks. Hybrid hard disk drives, as theyre called, combine a magnetic hard disk drive and flash memory into a single device.

The use of solid state media in consumer and enterprise storage is already widespread: Its in our cameras, MP3 players, USB drives and mobile phones—and its market share will continue to expand.

At the same time, the price of flash memory has been decreasing by about 30 to 50 percent per year. The areal density of magnetic drives continues to grow as the price per gigabyte falls.

With the hybrid HDD, manufacturers seek to combine the robustness, low power consumption, and speed of flash media with the extraordinary storage density and low cost of magnetic drives.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead the full story on ExtremeTech: Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond

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