Samsung Electronics Ltd has begun volume shipments of hybrid drives that combine disk and flash memory.
The drives are shipping to OEM customers now, and will reach retail and commercial outlets soon, according to Samsung. The 2.5in devices will ship in 80GB, 120GB and 160GB versions, with 128MB or 256MB of flash memory.
Two months ago Samsung and Hitachi Ltd’s GST disk-making division, Seagate Technology LLC and Toshiba Corp unveiled the Hybrid Storage Alliance, and cited an IDC prediction that by 2010 35% of all portable PC shipments will involve hybrid drives.
Alongside the fall in the price of flash memory, the other driver for the emergence of hybrid drives is Microsoft’s Vista OS, which detects flash memory.