A-Drive 5 mm-thick hybrid hard drive for ultrabooks and tablets
By Darren Quick
November 4, 2012
Hybrid hard disk drives, such as Seagate’s Momentus XT, offer the performance advantages of a solid state drive (SSD) combined with the capacity and cost advantages of platter-based hard disks. Now the Data Storage Institute (DSI) from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has unveiled its own hybrid hard drive called the “A-Drive” that comes in a 2.5-inch form factor and measures a svelte 5 mm thick.
Produced to commemorate 20 years of data storage research by the DSI, the A-Drive is yet to find a manufacturing partner so is still some way off sliding into drive bays. However, once it does, its creators say it will be cheaper than the current crop of SSDs found in ultrabooks, while offering the same instant-on capabilities but with the larger storage capacity of traditional HDDs.
The HDD component of the A-Drive is designed to provide capacities of up to 1 TB, while the SSD would add a further 32 GB of storage. The DSI says the 5 mm thickness of the device is targeted for use not only in ultrabooks, but also in tablets. It is also aimed at data center and enterprise storage applications where its creators say it can help optimize limited rack space and reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent.
The reduced power consumption comes courtesy of a new proprietary axial field motor developed by DSI researchers that not only enables the drive’s reduced size, but also runs quieter, smoother and more efficiently, resulting in power savings of up to 70 percent. Something that should also appeal to ultrabook and tablet users alike.