Feeds

Samsung, MS to demo Flash-fitted HDD - again

Ready to ship, just waiting on Vista

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Samsung and Microsoft first demonstrated a hard drive containing Flash memory as well as magnetic storage just over a year ago, and next month the pair will show the technology again, this time in a form that they claim will be ready to come to market.

Once again, the system will be demo'd at WinHEC, which this year kicks off on 24 May. But don't expect the drive to debut soon after the show: the operating system code that supports the Flash package will ship with Windows Vista.

As a major Flash producer, Samsung is keen on the idea. The unit it showed off last year contained 128MB of Flash, used to cache start-up data and other frequently accessed information not only to make loading the data into RAM faster but to boost the battery life of notebook computers.

Flash memory has a limited write capacity, of course, and it's likely Vista uses the same sort of technology Microsoft added to Windows Mobile 5.0 to reduce the number of times the system writes to each Flash memory location. Unfortunately, that's led to quirky Windows Mobile performance. The system is designed to write information to the Flash memory when the CPU is idle, and most of the time this works. Sometimes, however, the OS has to write data to Flash when the user's running a processor-taxing application, and then he or she can see a slowdown.

Come Vista and Intel will be promoting its own take on the technique, this one incorporating the Flash memory on an add-in card rather than building it into the hard drive. Such an approach allows the Flash to be replaced without trashing the hard drive, and should keep hard drive prices down, but raises the system price.

Intel is also putting in place the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) initiative, which will seek to develop a standard method of implementing and using such a system in PCs - and presumably Macs now. Intel's pitch is that ONFI will do all the hard work, allowing notebook manufacturers to implement the technique easily and cheaply.

It will be interesting to see which alternative system vendors adopt. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.