MojoKid writes "A fairly new Hitachi-LG joint venture announced the world's first hybrid optical drive, called the HyDrive. This unique device is a notebook optical drive with an SSD built in. When you slide it into your machine and it connects via SATA 3Gbps, your computer recognizes not only a DVD burner / Blu-ray drive, but also a 32GB or 64GB SSD. This configuration allows you to have an SSD without taking up the single 2.5-inch storage slot within your laptop, so you could then have an optical drive, an SSD, and the standard hard drive as well. There are also a few nice tricks you can play in caching with the on-board SSD. Error-correction techniques can be employed that allowed a damaged disk to be be playable."
The HyDrive will ship to OEMs in August; a smaller version usable in netbooks is planned for 2011. The Register has some more technical details