Samsung Semiconductor executives said Monday that the concept of a hard drive incorporating flash memory will be a reality, and come to market in mid-2006.
The drive, first talked about at last years Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle, will be manufactured by Samsungs hard disk drive division, according to the company. The drive will be initially targeted at notebooks, where the drives low power consumption will yield the most benefit.
The hybrid hard drive will mount a one-gigabit OneNAND flash chip inside a hard drive, which will serve dual duty both as a write buffer and as a solid-state boot disk for the operating system. The act of writing data to the hard disk, such as user files or cached images while web browsing, would instead be intercepted by the hard disk. Only when the flash memorys “write buffer” was full would the hard disk be spun up, minimizing the time and power that would be spent keeping the drives rotating media spinning.
“Whats different now is that its real,” said Ivan Greenberg, strategic marketing manager for Samsung Semiconductor, in an interview. “The Longhorn base drivers have been made final, and made the plan of record.”
Samsung and Microsoft will demonstrate a prototype of the drive at WinHEC using an emulator to simulate the system, Greenberg said.
At this point, however, only Samsung has signed up to manufacture the drive, Greenberg said. As an extra incentive, Samsung plans to appeal directly to OEMs.