back to article Hitachi launches Blu-Ray-SSD hybrid drive

Hitachi is launching HyDrive, a Blu-ray drive with an embedded solid state drive (SSD), and working with AMD and ASUS to deliver notebooks using it. The part of Hitachi doing this is Hitachi LG Data Storage (HLDS) and the idea is to use the 32GB or 64GB as a place to store Windows and system applications and get the SSD …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    it's the way of the future

    Right pain in the arse if you need to replace your optical drive though :-)

  2. Lusty

    Blu-ray starting to fail

    Is it just me that sees this might be better as an SD drive and forget all this BR nonsense? optical drives no longer provide the capacity benefit over flash and drain power from laptop batteries. Sure they may be cheaper but for RW that cost benefit starts to look less worthwhile. Movies can be delivered over the web at the same quality as BR so it's only a matter of time until they fail anyway.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Or . .

      Or just put a screen on top of the drive and some simple controls and it's its own mini tablet.

    2. Zack Mollusc

      Allright for some.

      Maybe movies can be delivered over YOUR web at BR quality, but here in virginmedialand I can't even watch 20 second youtube clips of cats falling over without buffering and freezing.

      1. Lusty


        On your virgin media connection, does it take longer to download 5-10GB than to drive to town, park, browse the shop, buy the disk, drive home?

        Maybe you're not old enough to remember the MP3 revolution, but folks used to say they couldn't download MP3s quickly enough (I'm talking late 90s). There was suggestion of putting terminals in shops and shopping centres to allow downloading on a big connection in a central location. Within a couple of years broadband speed had made this a pointless excercise.

        There are many people who download movies at the moment - these tend to be tech savvy people with good connections. Within a year or two more people will start downloading and will have faster connections. I think most people are smart enough to realise that BR disks will be obsolete soon enough not to bother buying too many of them. Many of the sales at the moment are to Playstation owners and movie buffs and I'd be surprised to see this change. BR seems a lot like super audio CD, better quality that is not really necessary for most folks. Besides, if you encode a DVD with H264 it becomes quite a lot smaller for the same quality.

        If you have Windows 7 Media Center, you'll see the way the industry is going. I have freeview, sky player and MSN Player (this has loads of old BBC shows) all in one box with a nice interface connected to the TV. This same box can also do internet radio, MP3, photos etc all from my TV interface through the remote. It's time for convergence of all these technologies and the web is likely to be the medium of delivery IMHO.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Difference between then and now...

          ...the problem is the scale of increased bandwidth demand. That and the lack of infrastructure. Look at it like this. The average standard-quality MP3 file runs under 5MB. Even with a conservative 1Mbit/sec (=128KB/sec) transfer rate, the file's in your hands in...under a minute. Now, let's assume the full capacity for a single-layered BD--25GB. To get something this big in a reasonable amount of time would require a significant amount of bandwidth--which isn't even close to being available, especially in poorer or larger nations (poorer because they lack the capital; larger because their infrastructure costs are much higher). Now multiply it by an increasing number of users and you're going to end up with the electronic version of a traffic jam on your favorite motorway/freeway. And to give you an idea of just how much work on infrastructure is going to be needed, 10Gbit Ethernet only recently entered the market, and most fiber-optic links are only in the Gbit range themselves. Those links can keep less than 100 links at 100Mbit/sec fed.

          1. Lusty

            obviously too young

            When I started downloading MP3 files it was over a 33.6Kb modem - a speed of 4.5KB per second IF you got a good conenction which more often than not you didn't. I'm only talking about mid to late 90s here and your 5MB file would have taken 18.5 minutes.

            Very rarely would a movie actually take up 25GB on a disc. This is a myth so help you along to the decision to "upgrade". The actual movie is likely smaller than a DVD can hold, but lets say 10GB to be fair. on a 50Mb connection with Virgin, soon to be upgraded to 100Mb and then 250Mb, this file will currently download at 6.25MB per second giving a download time of under 27 minutes. This is less than the time taken to watch the film. Even on a 1Mb conenction it would take under a day and connections this slow are getting more and more rare just like modems did as MP3 took off.

          2. Brian 6

            @Charles 9

            Some good points. But u fell into the old trap. A DVD can hold 5.5 GB but if u download a DVD rip its only 700MB (Divx AVI) Its the same with Blu Ray. So no need for 25GB dowloads.

        2. Ammaross Danan


          Until your ISP hobbles you due to hitting some unspecified magic number of bandwidth usage during the month. Having a local, saved copy of some content will always be valued. It's the whole intrinsic worth of having a physical object that is "mine," rather than a video feed that will be most-likely "leased."

          But as far as the ACTUAL tech goes, I think it's a splendid idea. I don't think it will work as intended, due to "The HyDrive can be used in conjunction with a PC's normal hard disk drive or, HLDS says, on its own in netbooks and tablet form-factor devices" since a netbook sporting a optical drive AT ALL is fairly uncommon. One sporting a BD drive would most likely be for the person who shells out the little extra for a media player netbook, instead of a 7" portable DVD player, since the netbook can surf the web and the like as well. I think the ideal market will be in normal notebooks. A single massive hard drive for data storage, and a SSD conveniently tucked away in the optical drive, not wasting internal space in a fancy 2.5" shell.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty pointless

    Combining one of the most unreliable parts of a notebook (a disc drive) with an expensive piece of hardware (SSD). The size isn't even that impressive unless you're only planning on surfing the web.

    Most people I know (across the pond in the States) have their bandwidth throttled if they download more than a Gig. an hour outside of late night hours. The electrical costs alone make it cheaper to hit a rental store on the way home (the more we use, the more we pay... fair, but it still sucks).

  4. King TuT
    Thumb Up

    Virgin Media

    I have no issues so far with my 50Mb broadband, no limits either at the moment.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All very good, but...

    I'd much rather have a rotating hard drive with 32Gb DDR-Ram cache, (preferably 3x32GB Dimms) in which you can pin files and folders in the boot.ini. E.g.

    Pin c:\Users\...\*.*

    Pin C:\windows\...\*.exe;bin;dll;

    Pin c:\program files\...\*.* /exclude:*.chm

    After starting, each file described would be loaded, plus any others that from then on were loaded, would be kept in cache. Access time would just get faster until everything happened instantly.

    This would make the PC almost entirely ram based within a couple of minutes of starting. It would be so fast to load any app, run any service etc that SSDs would be pointless.

    Yet will anyone build one? No. Instead we have to put up with windows 7and the ridiculous HCI issues caused by the chief designer being someone whose BAU work is copying a file once a day, and opening PPT files at presentations. God how I wish techies were back in charge, rather than people with business degrees.

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