Hybrid storage devices were few and far between last year, and almost unheard of prior to that, but now they are considered the next big thing on the storage industry, due to the price-capacity-performance ratio. WD and SanDisk are now pushing them faster.
Solid-state drives, made from NAND Flash memory chips, have the highest transfer speeds among storage units.
Meanwhile, hard disk drives can store a lot more on their magnetic platters than SSDs, while costing a lot less, albeit their read and write speeds are inferior by a great deal.
That is why the leaders of the HDD and SSD markets figured that the best way to bring the two advantages together was to literally combine the technologies.
Thus, hybrid hard disk drives (HHDs) and state hybrid drives (SSHDs) were born, where the HDDs have a few gigabytes or dozen gigabytes of NAND storage where the data is initially stored (at great speed). Said data is then moved to the HDD platters, in the background, without impacting the PC performance at all.
SanDisk and Western Digital have now formed an alliance for the production of SSHDs (HHD is a term used mostly by Seagate).
“I am delighted for SanDisk to team up with WD on these exciting new hybrid products,” said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager of client storage solutions at SanDisk.
“By combining SanDisk’s unparalleled flash memory expertise and technology with the hard drive know-how of WD, WD Black SSHDs offer outstanding hard drive-like capacity, and the slim form factor and the level of performance that you will only get with flash memory solutions.”
The name of the series of SSHDs is WD Black. The drives, or drive since only one has been released, is 5mm-thick and has 19nm-based SanDisk NAND Flash cache. It uses 50% less space than standard notebook HDDs (SanDisk iSSD form factor).
In addition to 5 mm drives, WD and SanDisk are shipping 7 mm and 9.5 mm units.