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Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond
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Old 15th December 2005, 19:27   #1
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: 7090/Belgium
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STORAGE: Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond

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, Agere Systems, Broadcom, Hitachi GST, Intel, M-Systems, Microsoft, Network Appliance, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital were given the opportunity to speak on issues such as emerging interfaces, new electronic designs and integration, sector architecture, and reliability testing.

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 they're 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: It's 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% 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
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