Seagate Technology is shipping hybrid notebook disc drives that combine disc storage with flash memory to deliver ultra power efficiency, faster boot-ups and greater reliability for the laptop PC market.
"With instant access to content, an increasingly essential part of the digital lifestyle, laptop users expect systems with snappy response, longer battery life and new levels of durability," said Tom Major, Seagate vice president, Personal Compute Business. "Seagate is delivering in volume worldwide the best of two worlds -- hard disc drives and flash memory -- to enable laptop PCs with cutting-edge capabilities and tighten the connection between users and their information."
The new Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) hard drive uses non-volatile cache, or flash memory, to deliver the benefits of solid state disc drives. The Momentus hard drive places commonly used hard drive data onto a 256MB flash memory to deliver these capabilities.
Users will be able to find the new drive in 80-, 120-, 160-GB capacities.
Once a notebook is turned on, a traditional hard drive's platters must spin up before boot-up can begin. Hybrid hard drives load boot-up files on the flash memory to minimize this delay. Once the drive spins up, computer files are pulled simultaneously from the spinning media and the flash.
Seagate's Momentus 5400 PSD hard drives reduce hard disc drive power draw by up to 50 percent and extends battery life by reducing platter spin time. In hybrid mode, the hard drive's spindle motors spin down, dramatically reducing the drive's power requirements.
Hybrid hard drives also quicken access to laptop data. Windows Vista's ReadyDrive technology uses Vista Superfetch to analyze computer usage patterns -- such as how frequently a worker accesses certain files -- and place commonly accessed user data in the flash memory to shorten system response time.
All versions of Windows Vista deliver native support for hybrid drives, so system builders and end users alike can take advantage of hybrid hard drive technology today. Hybrid technology also delivers benefits for desktop, enterprise and other hard drives. Look for hybrid technology on other Seagate drive platforms in the future.