Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has begun volume shipping of its hybrid notebook drives that combine disc storage with Flash memory.
The firm claims that the devices offer enhanced power efficiency, faster boot-up times and greater reliability.
The Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) drive uses non-volatile cache, or Flash, memory which places commonly used data onto a 256MB Flash memory section of the drive.
This provides faster boot-up times as a traditional hard drive's platters must reach a certain speed before boot-up can begin.
Hybrid hard drives load boot-up files into Flash memory to minimise delay. Once the drive spins up, computer files are pulled simultaneously from the spinning media and the Flash memory.
The technique also means lower power consumption. The Momentus drives reduce power draw by up to 50 per cent and extend battery life, while the reduction in platter spin time extends drive life by minimising wear and tear.
In hybrid mode, the drive locks its read-write heads in place, enabling the drive to withstand a fall from a height of six feet onto a hard surface.
"With instant access to content, an increasingly essential part of the digital lifestyle, laptop users expect systems with snappy response, longer battery life and new levels of durability," said Tom Major, vice president of the Personal Compute Business at Seagate.
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