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A*STAR claims thinnest hybrid hard drive at 5mm

Posted: 06 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hybrid hard drive? A-Drive? data centre? tablet? ultrabook?

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Data Storage Institute (DSI) has announced what it declares as one of the world's thinnest 5mm hybrid hard drive in a 2.5in form factor. According to DSI, the "A-Drive" represents the next generation of storage innovation offering up to 1TB hard disc drive (HDD) with 32GB solid state drive (SSD). This basically allows the "A-Drive" to store more than 250,000 songs and also addresses limitations of flash-based SSD, as well as the conventional HDD for the consumer and business industry.

DSI's "A-Drive" is set to change the consumer and enterprise landscape, targeted specifically for tablets, ultrabooks and future data centres. With its slim form factor, the "A-Drive" could fit into tablet devices, greatly expanding its storage space while extending battery life by up to 30 per cent. The "A-Drive" will be a cheaper alternative to the SSDs currently used in ultrabooks, offering the same instant-on capability but with larger storage capacity, boasted DSI. In addition, the "A-Drive" can be extended for enterprise storage applications, reducing power consumption by up to 50 per cent, resulting in greener and more efficient data centres with better optimisation.

One of the main challenges in reducing the thickness of current 7mm HDDs by almost 30 per cent without compromising on its performance and stability is its spindle motor design. To achieve a reduction in size, DSI researchers developed a proprietary axial field motor that runs smoother, quieter, more efficiently, lowering power consumption by up to 70 per cent yet at a fraction of the cost of SSDs. The motor's design has been patented, along with 30 other unique designs for the "A-Drive". In addition, DSI has collaborated with multinational corporations and local companies such as Seiko Instruments, Miyoshi and Unisteel to develop key components for the "A-Drive".

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