Toshiba launches two hybrid drives

Sep 25, 2012
Toshiba to Deploy Hybrid Drive to Boost Share in Storage Market

Toshiba today announced that it will launch two 2.5-inch form factor Hybrid Drives that bring new levels of high speed read and write performance to notebook and desktop PCs. The new drives, which integrate high capacity hard disk drives and NAND flash memory in a single unit, will be available in two capacities, 1 terabyte (TB) and 750 gigabytes (GB). Sample shipments started today.

The new drives—the 1TB MQ01ABD100H and the 750GB MQ01ABD075H—use hard disks to deliver high level capacity and 8GB NAND as a cache memory to support throughput. As a result, read and write times are about three times faster than in Toshiba hard disk drives with equivalent capacities. In PCs, the new Hybrid Drive reduces application boot times by about 40%. With a 2.5-inch form factor and high capacity, the new drives are ideally positioned as a high performance alternative for portable and desktop PCs.

In operation, data is allocated to one of the Hybrid Drive's three memory layers: DRAM , NAND flash memory or the magnetic disk media. This process is enhanced by an algorithm that dynamically learns the user's data access pattern and stores data accordingly to the appropriate tier. High speed access is achieved by storing frequently accessed data in the NAND flash memory.

Today's PCs must meet increasingly strong demands for storage capacities that can handle multiple HD videos and other data-rich sources and a read/write performance that can meet the demands of ever faster CPU and . Through the synergy of state-of-the-art NAND flash memory manufactured with the latest generation of process technology and by leading-edge miniaturizing technique and high speed, high capacity HDD, Toshiba now offers business and consumers the solution of the Hybrid Drive, a large capacity drive that matches the capacity of HDD with data access speeds like the .

Key Features

1. Self-learning caching algorithm

Toshiba's Hybrid Dive technology integrates NAND flash memory (8GB of 32nm SLC) and a self-learning caching algorithm for data writing. The three tiers of memory, DRAM, NAND flash memory and hard disk media all have different read/write speeds, and data is allocated into them as appropriately by the algorithm, as it learns the user's data access pattern when the system is in operation. High speed access is achieved by storing frequently accessed data to the .

Toshiba Launches Two Hybrid Drives

2. 1TB high capacity

MQ01ABD100H achieves a surface recording density of 1,153.4Mbit/mm2 (744.1Gbit/in2) and 1TB capacity with two disks and a product height of 9.5mm. MQ01ABD075H achieves a surface recording density of 858.1Mbit/mm2 and a 750GB capacity.

3. 6Gb/s high speed SATA I/F

High-speed data transfers are secured by adoption of state-of-the-art SATA I/F Revision 3.0(ATA-8) capable of a 6Gb/s transfer rate.

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2 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2012
I can't see the point. It will be cheaper to put OS and progs on an SSD and have a big slow HDD for media and data
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2012
Dirk, this is for laptops when you only have space for one drive. This way you get capacity and a big performance boost.

However, SSD's are dropping in price so fast it may be too late for spinning disks in laptops.
2 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2012
"Most frequently accessed" is hardly "self learning" but hey if Apple can say it why not Toshiba? Incidentally Toshiba inherited drive technology from IBM Deathstar series meaning you get the click of death telling you your data is gone forever. I wouldn't touch a Toshiba until all moving parts are eliminated.
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2012
"Most frequently accessed" is hardly "self learning"

You seem to have some special definition of learning then.
1 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2012
"Most frequently accessed" is hardly "self learning"

You seem to have some special definition of learning then.
Unless you consider water eroding a rock or a pair of shoes wearing out as "learning."
1 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2012
Dirk, this is for laptops when you only have space for one drive. This way you get capacity and a big performance boost

Agreed. On my gaming rig, where there's space for two drives, I have Windows and my huge music list on my SSD (the music player loads playlists MUCH faster that way), and I install the big games on the HD. I'll eventually install more SSD's when the price/GB drops further. The above hybrids would be better if they had a couple more GB of SSD space, to install Windows there.

However, SSD's are dropping in price so fast it may be too late for spinning disks in laptops

I'd be willing to bet that within 10 years we are using memristor based memory and we'll have one big cach that serves as RAM and drive space both. With a TB of persistent RAM, it could be like your applications are already in a running state when you open them, though it would require some programming technique changes.
1 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2012
Toshiba makes great laptops; it's their DVD drives that suck. I've not had one that didn't have to be replaced once or twice a year while under warrantee. In the five years of extended warrantee, my Toshiba 17" Sattelite went through about a dozen DVD drives. The last one, before the warrantee expired lasted about a month past the expiration date. Now I use it as an intelligent terminal for my Linux system; which is the only access to the internet for the house. All my other machines use Windows XP 64 and are slaved to the Linux box. I haven't been hacked successfuly since setting it up that way.