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Data Storage

Samsung Ships Hybrid Hard Drives 118

Posted by kdawson
from the not-for-you-yet-binky dept.
writertype writes "ExtremeTech reports that Samsung has become the first company to begin shipping hybrid hard drives as discussed last fall on Slashdot. (Some photos here.) Unfortunately, there's no word yet (beyond 'soon') on when retail shipments will begin, or when (or if) 3.5-inch models will be available. Note that these hybrid drives are different than the ReadyBoost USB flash drives optimized for Vista; hybrid drives contain a smaller amount of flash, and work as a write cache for your notebook drive, extending battery life."
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Samsung Ships Hybrid Hard Drives

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  • Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash...eighty+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:09PM (#18277066)
    But, really, can they run Linux? Are the drives supported in the kernel?
  • well (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:19PM (#18277200) Homepage
    Isnt flash only good for ~30,000 writes? If the flash breaks, can you still use the drive? And most importantly how much does it cost? I think the spinning magnetic disc is still king for a while to come, unfortunately.
  • by Danathar (267989) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:31PM (#18277364) Journal
    I'm certain that hard drives will slowly go away to be replaced with Flash ram devices. As the price drops it will happen.

    Reasons?

    1. Hard Drive reliability - See the security now podcast or read google's paper about hard drive reliability. The manufacturers are lying BIG time about how bad it's gotten. And SMART is a steaming pile of nothingness that can and is wildly inaccurate.

    2. Latency (not speed) is so much better than hard drives.

    3. Power and heat - Flash memory does not generate near as much heat or draw as much power. Plus we can expect densities to get higher so the footprint probably will be smaller than hard drives

    We've already seen it in handhelds. It's moving to laptops (Toshiba and Fujitsu already are selling laptops)

    If it has a mechanical action to it, it can fail horribly.

    just my 2 cents.
  • Re:well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by necro81 (917438) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:33PM (#18277398) Journal
    I suspect that the intelligence built into the drive has the capability of detecting flash sectors that have gone bad, much like an ordinary hard drive can detect bad magnetic sectors. So, I think that over time one will see that the flash's capacity decreases, but is mostly still available during the life of the drive.
  • Re:well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by justthinkit (954982) <floyd@just-think-it.com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:34PM (#18277414) Homepage Journal
    Who would be reassured by the following:

    The average human is good for 10,000 to 1,000,000 hours.
  • Re:well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @12:47PM (#18277572)

    Who would be reassured by the following:

    The average human is good for 10,000 to 1,000,000 hours.
    That's surprisingly accurate:
    10,000 hours = Roughly 1 year, 50 days
    1,000,000 hours = Roughly 114 years
    Most people do die in that timespan, even if it is a little broad.

    Anyway, back to flash: Those numbers aren't from the same variety of flash, they might be using one that averages say 800,000 erase/write cycles, with 99.999% of devices being within 50,000 of the average. I certainly wouldn't mind knowing how long I was going to live that precisely, and I definitely wouldn't mind living 800,000 hours (I'd be 91!).
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @01:29PM (#18278088)
    And I've seen more X brand drives. (No, I'm not even going to bother naming them, but it's not Samsung.)

    As they say, the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'.
  • by owlstead (636356) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @02:43PM (#18279058)
    "So yes, it woulf be GREAT to get rid of the bulky, loud, power hungry, slow access, mechanical HD of the last century, but... there is really nothing even close on the horizon right now :( Sadly, flash just isn't practical at all in it's current form for anythig OTHER than small devices that only need a small number of gig in a tiny form factor."

    In a couple of Gig you can easily store an operating system, many applications and many documents. For company PC's it would make sense to just load the OS and applications from flash and store the documents on the network. Really big files -media files- may still be stored on a (external) disk, that spins up when needed.

    Currently I am trying to create a (headless) server that just runs from flash, without any mechanical parts whatsoever (using a VIA EPIA mainboard, I don't need CPU cycles or high redundancy). With flash it will be silent, will use almost no power and quick to boot. Maybe I'll even try to use RAID-5 on a couple of flash drives, why not? RAID is rather fast when latency is low, so it should be possible to get rather high speeds even with flash ( 3 * 15 MB/s is still 45 MB/s - less than 60 MB/s for a hard drive, but close enough).
  • Re:Linux (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rblancarte (213492) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:54PM (#18279990) Homepage
    Not at all. Hardware to do all that you are talking about is probably on the Drive side of the SATA port. It would be transparent to any host system because of the SATA interface. All that it would care is that it sees a SATA drive, and it appears to be really fast!

    RonB
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @06:12PM (#18281890) Homepage Journal

    you can get 750 gig of HD for $350, probably less now, how much would that cost in flash?
    For desktop-replacement applications that need more than half a terabyte, such as video editing, hard drives are probably the best option. But with fully-packaged flash retailing near $10 per GB, a laptop with a flash drive (imagine an enclosure the size of a 2.5" hard drive containing 20 miniSD cards in a RAID 5) can do a lot of things surprisingly well.

    Sadly, flash just isn't practical at all in it's current form for anythig OTHER than small devices that only need a small number of gig in a tiny form factor.
    Define "small number of gig" in terms of applications that laptop owners would want to run and which wouldn't work with a "small number of gig".

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