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WD mixes flash-disk cocktail in Vegas, lets clients feel up models

OEMs given terabyte and half-terabyte versions

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CES 2013 WD is sending out samples of its 500GB and 1TB hybrid flash hard disk drives to OEM customers and showcasing them at CES in Las Vegas.

According to an Engadget report WD is sampling two hybrid HDDS with its OEMs:

  • A 500GB 2.5-inch model with a 5mm z-height and 24GB of NAND, called the WD5000M13K
  • A 1TB 2.5-inch drive with a 7mm z-height and a 24GB NAND cache, called the WD10S13X

This is more NAND cache than the 8GB seen in Seagate's Momentus XT. Hybrid drives put commonly used data, such as the operating system and application load files, in the NAND cache to speed start-up and application load times to near native-SSD speed, but at a price significantly below SSDs. Hybrids may become known as SSHDs, solid state hard drives, but it hasn't really caught on yet.

Both hybrid drives are in WD's Black range - what used to be the Scorpio Blacks - spinning at 5,400 and 7,200rpm. The 1TB one has a 6Gbits SATA interface and the 500GB unit has a new connector.

If these drives come to fruition they could signal the end of the 10,000rpm Velociraptor drive, beloved of gamers. Data access speed will come from flash, not from the disk spinning faster.

We suspect these two hybrids both use 500GB platters, spin at 5,400 rpm, and might be available in the second half of the year. ®

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