CNET reports Samsung is preparing to go commercial with its hybrid hard drive in 2007. Notebooks with this drive will boot up faster and have an extra half hour of battery life.
A hybrid hard drive is a hard drive that contains a flash memory chip that stores data and applications. Because the processor can retrieve data from flash, the drive--which spins constantly in an ordinary computer--can stay asleep most of the time.
Spinning drives are one of the most power-hungry components in a computer, so allowing it to idle will lead to about an extra half-hour of battery life on a notebook, said Don Barnetson, director of flash memory at Samsung Semiconductor. "We can cut about 70 to 90 percent of the power consumption" of hard drives, he said.
The drive will also be less prone to break down, he added. Boot-up time is also increased, because applications can be retrieved from much speedier flash memory, which takes only a few milliseconds. Although slower, the drives can store more data for less money.