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Apple announces hybrid drive technology in Macs

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 24, 2012
Apple announced it will be including hybrid drive technology in its new iMac and Mac mini desktops, which will offer flash-like performance with up to 3TB of hard drive capacity.

The smaller NAND flash gets, the more chance that electrons will pass through thin cell walls and create data errors.

Anobit has produced two generations of Genesis SSD technology.

The purchase of Anobit addresses several issues for Apple. It frees the company from dependency on flash component makers such as Samsung and Intel, which lead the market in NAND flash production. And, Anobit's ECC software allows Apple to use the least expensive NAND flash while still maintaining high performance and endurance levels.

If Apple is using Anobit SSD with Seagate HDD, it would not be a first.

Laptops that sport two drives, a high-capacity hard drive and a low-capacity solid state "cache" drive are already shipping and are expected in droves with the release of ultrabooks. But ultrabooks tend to have smaller "cache" SSDs with 20GB to 50GB of capacity, so Apple's 128GB SSD is enormous by comparison.

Also, cache SSDs come in several sizes. Most are 2.5-in. mini-SATA drives, just like a typical laptop hard drive.

The cache SSD works in the same way as Seagate's Momentus XT: The OS and most frequently used applications are loaded from the flash memory, while the files and other less frequently used data are stored on the hard disk drive. The result is a lower-cost laptop with similar performance to a laptop with just an SSD.

Intel, Micron and OCZ are putting out cache SSDs, while Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are beginning to build laptops and ultrabooks that use them. For example, a number of Lenovo's ThinkPad and ThinkPad Edge notebooks support cache SSDs.

The Asus Zenbook UX32VD ultrabook combines up to a 500GB hard drive with a 24GB SSD. In fact, according to Intel's specifications, a device must use either a cache SSD or a full-sized SSD to achieve the performance required to be called an ultrabook.

 

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