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Hitachi-LG Debuts HyDrive, Optical Drive With SSD

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the two-in-one dept.

Data Storage 88

MojoKid writes "A fairly new Hitachi-LG joint venture announced the world's first hybrid optical drive, called the HyDrive. This unique device is a notebook optical drive with an SSD built in. When you slide it into your machine and it connects via SATA 3Gbps, your computer recognizes not only a DVD burner / Blu-ray drive, but also a 32GB or 64GB SSD. This configuration allows you to have an SSD without taking up the single 2.5-inch storage slot within your laptop, so you could then have an optical drive, an SSD, and the standard hard drive as well. There are also a few nice tricks you can play in caching with the on-board SSD. Error-correction techniques can be employed that allowed a damaged disk to be be playable." The HyDrive will ship to OEMs in August; a smaller version usable in netbooks is planned for 2011. The Register has some more technical details and specs.

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88 comments

Cost? (3, Interesting)

IDK (1033430) | more than 4 years ago | (#32416940)

What's the cost? Every feature in the world for infinite cost doesn't make a good product...

Re:Cost? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417196)

Read the article.

Re:Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417292)

Read the article.

Just read the article. no price was mentioned. Perhaps YOU should read the article.

Re:Cost? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418814)

"No retail sales are planned, but these are expected to increase the price of laptops around $200,"

So they don't give you OEM prices, but if consumer prices are 200$ then OEM prices should be around (normal prices for an optical drive) + X (where X is 200 - standard markup).

Re:Cost? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417262)

"What's the cost? Every feature in the world for infinite cost doesn't make a good product..."

HUSH! The Early Adopters will hear you and might not subsidize my future purchases.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" :)

Re:Cost? (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417270)

It is expected to add $200 to the cost of a laptop depending upon SSD size. Nice job reading the article, it's far too much to expect on /.

Re:Cost? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419568)

So, basically cost of device = ( 2 X cost of separate DVD-RW player) + cost of SSD

"error correction" (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32416950)

Error correction techniques can be employed that allowed a damaged disk to be be playable.

And since it's a Blu-Ray device, always remember that "DRM techniques can be employed that allow a valid purchased commodity disk to become unplayable."

Re:"error correction" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417030)

And how is that a specific problem of blu-ray above DVD or any other digital distribution format?

Re:"error correction" (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417110)

Re:"error correction" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417164)

Interesting. I thought updates were only meant to be required for non-playback features. Lame.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417462)

Evil.

Re:"error correction" (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419972)

Interesting. I thought updates were only meant to be required for non-playback features. Lame.

Why would you think that?
That's the whole key (lol) to their encryption schemes.

DVD got hacked because a shitty player had its keys basically out in the open. Can't revoke those keys. Once you got they keys for one player, you broke CSS. They then started doing stupid shit that they liked to do with game CDs and some audio CDs. Fuck up the structure, include damaged areas that ripping programs would fail when trying to read, etc. That's why DVD rippers have "path player" options, where they only take paths navigable by standard menu options that a dumb dvd player and user would use.

Blu Ray got hacked because Power DVD is a piece of shit. You can revoke those keys. And they did. That's why Power DVD has to be updated every fucking week. Getting one player's keys means that all discs up until that point are hacked. Future discs can revoke those keys, and you'll have to get a new set of keys to decrypt those discs.

They're working on a more permanent solution to breaking Blu Ray encryption, (including a fully emulated JVM), but as far as I know it's still mostly a matter of attacking players (usually Power DVD) to get keys every time the industry rolls out a new blacklist (this typically coincides with major releases).

Re:"error correction" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420350)

Why would you think that?

I've read it before, but I guess it was just marketing BS.

Re:"error correction" (2, Insightful)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417220)

Too bad there isn't a way to ship the firmware update on a data part of the disc itself. Then you insert the disc, firmware is upgraded (the first time you insert), and no internet connection is ever needed.

Re:"error correction" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417406)

Too bad there isn't a way to ship the firmware update on a data part of the disc itself. Then you insert the disc, firmware is upgraded (the first time you insert), and no internet connection is ever needed.

On the playstation 3 this is possible, at least in regard to console firmware updates. There is no reason it can't work for a less sophisticated system.
The only problem is that it requires hardware vendors to write an enhanced firmare which can pick up on a portion of the disc containing update data.
The problem i see with your one time run system is that what if a smart pirate who know's his way around firmware code were to rewrite it to do something nasty, and bundled it with a pirated disc, then you get a nasty supprise the first time you run it. An opt-in update feature from disc would be far more secure.

Re:"error correction" (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418784)

Too bad there isn't a way to ship the firmware update on a data part of the disc itself. Then you insert the disc, firmware is upgraded (the first time you insert), and no internet connection is ever needed.

Two problems.

One, the obvious technical one - there are many players on the market, and each has a different architecture. You've got PCs and the players for them (PowerDVD, WinDVD, TotalMedia Theatre), the PS3 (Cell-based), and many Blu-Ray players that may or may not be based on many differing designs, but each requiring their own firmware (the Blu-Ray spec doesn't really call for a "BIOS" type firmware design that allows the code to be modular, other than the JVM).

The second problem is the social one. Imagine you insert the disc in your player and it updates the firmware. It means on startup your player must do the update, slowing things down just like unskippable ads (WTF - you can't bypass these ads in a number of recent Blu-Ray releases - you can only fast-forward... popup menu/top menu are prohibited...). Or if one of the update files is bad and bricks your player. Or you have a PS3 and want to enjoy OtheroS.

Re:"error correction" (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421320)

Third problem: Sony once tried software that automatically installed itself when you inserted a CD in your computer. They called it DRM, the rest of the world called it a rootkit. I don't want software automatically running on my system ever, and already disable autoplay on my optical drives. Of course, in the Sony instance, it wouldn't have mattered since the rootkit was installed secretly, in the background.

Re:"error correction" (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420038)

Not all players have to implement it, but yes, this IS possible.

Players HAVE to be upgradeable by disc (download an ISO from the site), via internet / flash drive, OR via LOLSERVICEPORT (send it in for service and wait 2-6 weeks).

Players CAN read firmware upgrades off of the actual Blu Ray and do a live update the first time you try to play a title that has revoked your player's keys.

I doubt this will ever be used though, simply because there's tons of models out there each requiring unique firmware and you'd have to get all the (major) manufacturers coordinated to get firmwares onto a shipping disc.

Re:"error correction" (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419126)

Even worse:

Error correction techniques can be employed that allowed a damaged disk to be be playable.

No they can’t!

All optical media already have at least CIRC [wikipedia.org] ECC. If that fails, you’re done.
ECC is not magic. It is additional information that is encoded in a very wise way, so you can calculate missing data from the rest of the data.
Storing that additional information on an ECC won’t help whoever you give the disc to. And it also does not help you, if someone else has ECC on his SSD, when you get a disk from him.

And the same think also makes it very unlikely that it’s useful for DRM.

Seems like you two... the MojoKid (16?) and you... think that ECC is some kind of magic.

Does it make DRM a little less annoying? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32416954)

Will this save us the trouble of digging up a DVD just to play a game that is already installed?

Re:Does it make DRM a little less annoying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417056)

No, but this [alcohol-soft.com] will. There's also a free version called Alcohol 52%.

Darn... (4, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#32416982)

When I first read the title my mind thought about a really kick butt cache drive that allowed you to throw in a DVD/Blu-Ray disc, read in its entire contents in one pass - saving power, increasing performance, and that annoying buzzing sound. Shame what they've created here is nothing remotely that interesting or creative. In fact I'd even go as far as to say the Optical / SSD combo drive is a useless concept on the face of it. As if USB slots are hard to come by or laptops lack SSD/MMC card slots?

Re:Darn... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417042)

I could see some value in this, if you wanted to put your system files on the SSD and use the internal HD for the rest (assuming your OS allows it). I'm a bit surprised that the capacities are so small, considering they are mass producing 500 GB SSD's in laptops like the Macbook Pro. The article does note that the second generation drives will sport a 256 GB drive, which is a bit more acceptable so if this is grabbing your interest, I'd suggest waiting until they have decent capacities.

Re:Darn... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418002)

I didn't realize SSDs had gotten so big. I thought high-end ones had only hit 256GB and 500 GB was pretty high-end for mechanical drives.

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418206)

o.O Where have you been for the past several years. We have 2TB mechanical drives, and they only cost $170 to $230 depending on where you go and any sales going on.

Re:Darn... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418438)

Context is your friend. Learn it and love it. Of course 2TB drives exist. I've seen them, too but those aren't laptop drives.

Re:Darn... (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418292)

High end mechanicals are measured in TB these days. I think 4 TB ones are being released in the next couple of months.

Re:Darn... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418396)

2TB laptop harddrives? The biggest I've seen is only 640GB.

Re:Darn... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417050)

You could easily write a short script to do that if you wanted.. can't take much to copy the contents of the disc and mount it in a virtual drive if you have the appropriate utilities installed.

Re:Darn... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417140)

You could easily write a short script to do that if you wanted.. can't take much to copy the contents of the disc and mount it in a virtual drive if you have the appropriate utilities installed.

On the PS3 you could easily write a short script to do that if you wanted because you can just dd from the device. On other systems, copy protection might work.

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417052)

Performance matters.
And laptops usually offer a very limited amount of SATA ports. eSATA for an SSD might work of course, but you'd still lose out on the integration aspect that laptops thrive on.
So, yeah, if you do need a harddrive in your medium sized laptop (ie, large enough to have an optical slot, but not big enough to have 2 2.5" bays), this is a pretty convenient piece of kit.
I just can't see myself getting into that situation..

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417060)

When I first read the title my mind thought about a really kick butt cache drive that allowed you to throw in a DVD/Blu-Ray disc, read in its entire contents in one pass - saving power, increasing performance, and that annoying buzzing sound. Shame what they've created here is nothing remotely that interesting or creative. In fact I'd even go as far as to say the Optical / SSD combo drive is a useless concept on the face of it. As if USB slots are hard to come by or laptops lack SSD/MMC card slots?

nothing is stopping you from using a dm-cache or similar to map the optical disc onto the flash

Re:Darn... (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417068)

When I first read the title my mind thought about a really kick butt cache drive that allowed you to throw in a DVD/Blu-Ray disc, read in its entire contents in one pass - saving power, increasing performance, and that annoying buzzing sound. Shame what they've created here is nothing remotely that interesting or creative.

What they've created here is a piece of hardware. Exactly how it gets used will largely be determined by software. There is absolutely no reason it could not be used in the way you envision. Maybe Hitachi doesn't plan to implement anything like this... But that wouldn't stop some other manufacturer from developing what you suggest. Or you could write your own software to do it.

In fact I'd even go as far as to say the Optical / SSD combo drive is a useless concept on the face of it.

Space is generally at a premium in laptops. If you can cram an SSD and an optical drive into the same space, you no longer need room for that 2.5"/3.5" laptop HDD/SSD. You can use that space for additional storage... Or you could fit in a bit of bulkier hardware on the motherboard... Or bigger speakers... Or a larger battery... Or better cooling...

As if USB slots are hard to come by or laptops lack SSD/MMC card slots?

Both of which are poor replacements for your internal/primary storage device.

Re:Darn... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417502)

I'd have to side with the GP on this: this device has neither the benefit of saving space, like a nice built-in SSD would have (it takes all the space a DVD drive needs, which for a netbook, is huge), and it probably consumes a bit more than a SSD by itself, even in standby. Of the two issues I'd definitely like to stress the first one. Netbooks are so space (and weight) conscious, that they don't usually have a DVD/CD drive.

Re:Darn... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417642)

What the heck are you smoking? I'm sorry, but how does it not save space? Instead of an internal 2.5" drive for permanent storage AND a SEPARATE optical drive, you now only need the slot for the optical drive for both the optical drive AND permanent storage.

If done right, this should be great for ~12" to 15" laptops. Smaller than this, and you probably won't have an optical drive. Larger than this, and saving space might not be that much of a concern to begin with.

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417998)

I think the point is that a laptop-sized SSD is smaller than a laptop-sized disc drive, because a laptop-sized hard drive is smaller than a normal disc.

Re:Darn... (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418972)

If you can cram an SSD and an optical drive into the same space, you no longer need room for that 2.5"/3.5" laptop HDD/SSD.

the flip side to this logic is that in most cases, both of these can be replaced in less than 10 minutes with nothing more than an eyeglass screwdriver. Consolidating them hopefully also involves the ability to detach them, because I'd hate to have to replace my hard disk because my Blu-Ray drive died, or vice versa. It sounds like a great idea on paper, but the increased cost of replacement doesn't sound to wonderful, especially if it also involved the added headache of having to clone the hard drive unnecessarily.

Re:Darn... (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32426770)

What they've created here is a piece of hardware. Exactly how it gets used will largely be determined by software.

"Ah - You're a Linux user, I see." [xkcd.com]

Re:Darn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417076)

It's not useless. There is a small industry for MacBooks doing this: http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/

The thing is you usually don't have room for 2 hard drives in the laptop so when you get the new SSD, you replace the original (and usually bigger) disk. Using this HyDrive might be a faster way to upgrade the machine and keep the old hard drive in place.

I was actually thinking that a future upgrade might be geting that OptiBay and replacing the DVD drive which, except for installing OSX, I never use it nowadays. Getting the HyDrive with the embedded SSD looks quite convenient.

Re:Darn... (2, Insightful)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417092)

I don't know about you, but I have no problem using a [32|64]GB SSD on my laptop as my root drive and using a 500+GB rotating disk as my primary data storage mechanism (especially since laptop drives are getting up over 500GB into the terabyte+ range) thus giving me the performance boost of SSD for booting and program launching. Since it's rare that I'll be launching a program AND watching a BD movie, I can't see too much contention on that one interface (although I'm not saying there won't be contention, that's just silly) so I think combining the two could be a very smart move. Provided I can use both drives independently and simultaneously.

If it's an either/or then they have created the world's least useful device, I think.

Re:Darn... (1)

jochem_m (1718280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417094)

usb is a lot slower than sata 3gbps... and some laptops only have two usb ports, which would be taken up by an external keyboard/mouse.

Re:Darn... (2, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417128)

When I first read the title my mind thought about a really kick butt cache drive that allowed you to throw in a DVD/Blu-Ray disc, read in its entire contents in one pass - saving power, increasing performance, and that annoying buzzing sound.

And have their Blu-Ray license revoked; the licensing party would be none to please with essentially making a copy of the blu-ray onto the SSD.

Of course you, yourself, would still be free to do exactly this using any one of the blu-ray ripping tools.

In fact I'd even go as far as to say the Optical / SSD combo drive is a useless concept on the face of it.

They already give the main advantage 'on the face of it' in the story: you don't end up taking up one of (and often, the only), 2.5" HDD slot in your notebook.

As if USB slots are hard to come by

No, but when's the last time you opened up a notebook to connect an SSD to a hidden internal USB connector and still get the case closing properly?
If you're referring to the connectors for external devices - I'm pretty sure part of the point was to -eliminate- the need for an external device.

Finally, USB2 is nowhere near as fast as SATA3. USB3 gets closer, but it still leaves you with the downside above.

or laptops lack SSD/MMC card slots?

given their a slow interface, I'm not sure why you're even trying to compare them to an SSD.

If I were in the market for a laptop right now and my options included...
- Blu-Ray, HDD 750GB
- Blu-Ray, SSD 64GB
- Blu-Ray+SSD 64GB, HDD 750GB ...I'd say it'd be a pretty easy choice if pricing is kept competitive.

Of course there's downsides as well.. such as, presumably, not being able to upgrade the SSD portion easily.
( aside from pricepoint / performance / etc. which remain to be seen )

Re:Darn... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418366)

For now, I don't think many people will be ripping Blu-Ray discs to the SSD. They are quite large and it would take a very long time.

why long time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418832)

shouldnt it take eg, 1/4 the play time, for a 8x blueray drive. i dont know what the maxspeed of a bd is these days, but a like says that they can write at 8x so i expect reading might be faster.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Blu-ray-Fastest-Buffalo,6309.html

on the otherhand, copying an 1Tb from one drive to another, with one drive connected via a usb dock is slowwww. it took like >10hrs. and thats at something like 40meg/s ... and if i had two esata docks it would still take 2hrs at a constant 150meg/s reading and writing which might be pushing it (my next buy is another esata dock for my lappy, or perhaps an esata raid rack yummy)... with a tonne of files and other filesystem bottlenecks it could easily be half that, so 3-4hrs min to copy 1tb. thats a 'long time'. whereas 20min to copy 32gig is not such a 'long time'.

Re:Darn... (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417334)

USB is a CPU-bound bus. It requires every packet to be at least partially processed by the CPU. MMC is even worse, the damn things does almost everything in software as most MMC "controllers" out there are just GPIO passthroughs. A side effect of this is that the CPU is unable to enter deeper C-states when a file transfer to/from a thumbdirve or an MMC card is in progress, wasting significant amounts of power on something so trivial.

An SSD connected to the SATA bus, on the other hand, is able to perform a bulk data transfer using DMA and wake up the CPU when all the requested data is already in the memory, to be processed at once.

Conclusion: sometimes there's more to some things than you expect, so be wary when making over-the-top dismissive comments.

Re:Darn... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418866)

I've used a few ARM SoCs that could do DMA with MMC/SD/SDHC. And when you're in DMA mode things like multiblock transfers are available.

Re:Darn... (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420530)

I guess the key is "ARM" here. Unfortunately, x86 laptops are equipped with either internally connected USB card readers (the worst of both worlds, really) or some PCI-based Ricoh crap that generates roughly 800 interrupts/s during a file transfer.

Re:Darn... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32426266)

Well ARM is the most popular 32-bit processor architecture in the world (possibly of all processor architectures, but I'm not sure of those numbers).
So it's not unusual to mention ARM given its massive mainstream popularity.

Re:Darn... (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417342)

Like you, I was thinking this would be a kick-butt caching drive for an optical disk. But, as others have suggested, the lack of that feature is easily remedied with software. A 32GB or 64GB drive would be nice for the kick-around netbook or laptop. A lot of low-end laptops come with 80GB or 120GB HDDs and that seems to be enough.

I don't know if the article mentions it (need to keep my page clicks to a minimum at work ;) But the other advantages I can see for this is to reduce size and weight of the laptop -- no need for the 2.5" HDD and slot. Power consumption reduction = longer battery life (again, because a 2nd piece of hardware is no longer needed).

I gotta say, I'm looking forward to seeing newly designed laptops with this product utilized.

Re:Darn... (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417596)

You've got to be off your rocker. I threw in an 80GB SSD into my laptop to increase battery life and computer performance. Not does my battery last a lot longer in class (ah the joys of grad school), but it's a lot snappier too. The downside? I no longer have the storage space to feel comfortable with the triple booting that I had going on when I had a 500GB drive in there.

Now I carry the old drive as an external for when I need to boot another OS. Imagine having the speed of an SSD and the storage capacity of a traditional HDD in your laptop! I'm quite jealous.

Re:Darn... (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32428488)

Shame what they've created here is nothing remotely that interesting or creative.

I recently brought back to life a 10 year old laptop. It works good, but I could think of 2 ways to extend it simply: with an SSD in the CD slot (without CD player which is hardly useful anymore), and with an SSD in the mini-USB slot. I could not find any SSD in those formats. Do they exist ?

one SATA port, two devices? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417048)

One SATA port, two devices - does the SATA spec even support this?

Re:one SATA port, two devices? (3, Informative)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417090)

Obviously, it does. ;)

Related: http://www.serialata.org/technology/port_multipliers.asp [serialata.org]

Re:one SATA port, two devices? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417210)

Afaict, it's an optional feature - certainly to have FIS-based switching would require controller support, though I guess you could emulate something akin to command-based with a driver if your controller doesn't support that either. And I can't see anyone wanting the latter, as it means transfers by the slower device are the bottleneck.

Re:one SATA port, two devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417096)

SATA 2 does
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/silicon-image-brings-virtualization-esata,1610-3.html

too bad it's not truly hybrid. it's just two devices in one package

Re:one SATA port, two devices? (2, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417104)

Yes. [serialata.org]

only one question remains... (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417070)

Will it blend?

great iMac mod (1)

MonoSynth (323007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417072)

This is exactly what the current iMac needs :)

Bus bottleneck? (3, Interesting)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417120)

As there will only be a single SATA interface, it will be shared between the SSD and the optical drive.
What if you need to burn data that's on the SSD?

Re:Bus bottleneck? (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417214)

The bottleneck will probably be the speed of the burner. If the data's going from the SSD to RAM and back to the burner, the bus has to carry data at twice the rate of burning, which it can do easily.

Re:Bus bottleneck? (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417260)

An optical drive is barely noticeable on a 3 Gbps SATA connection. Unless the SSD is really saturating the interface on its own, that won't be a problem. And that's only if you do tons of other stuff, if you just burn something the SSD will be idle 95% of the time.

Re:Bus bottleneck? (0, Troll)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417296)

And any problem should be mitigated with IO prioritization.

Re:Bus bottleneck? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421124)

Burn speeds on optical media are pretty slow when compared to the SATA limit. Heck, its slow compared to USB. Read speeds of CD/DVDs is only a couple of megabytes per second average over the whole disk. USB2.0 or Ethernet transports to either flash or spinning disk are at least 10x that.

Optical media is the floppy disk of today. Not sure why we are even still using it. Legacy and retail concerns mostly. External drive storage is cheaper and faster. I can't imagine buying a BD burner for data. I'd rather just put these files on an external USB drive. Here's hoping DRM laden, no skipping ads, HDCP only junk like BD are dead sooner than later.

Limited Life of SSDs? (2, Interesting)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417192)

I'm not going to try to track it down now, but I seem to remember reading about SSDs having a limited life time. High read/right operations would effectively use that lifetime up more quickly. This doesn't bother me too much with a normal memory key, since the one I get this year will last at least a couple of years, and by obsolete in a couple of months anyway. But an internal SSD? What do you do if/when that sucker dies? A key I can toss, and buy a new one. An internal chip will require surgery on my laptop.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (3, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417238)

Reading has no wear effect on SSDs. Writing does, but it's a very high limit. Intel set the bar pretty high with the the X25-M, and it was something like 20GB per day, every day for 5 years the enterprise version is even higher, since it uses SLC instead of MLC flash memory). I haven't tracked the latest releases from other brands, but I imagine they are pretty similar.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419234)

Bullshit. They can state all they want. But until those 5 years have passed, and we have actual data on a significant amount of SSDs, it’s all just wild guesswork right out of the marketing department.

Oh, and others are not pretty similar, but much much worse. You know that, because you deliberately picked Intel. The only manufacturer to have the balls to make up numbers that are in the acceptable range. (But they are still made up. Unless they got a time machine.)

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

OffTheWallSoccer (1699154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419724)

Bullshit. They can state all they want. But until those 5 years have passed, and we have actual data on a significant amount of SSDs, it’s all just wild guesswork right out of the marketing department.

Oh, and others are not pretty similar, but much much worse. You know that, because you deliberately picked Intel. The only manufacturer to have the balls to make up numbers that are in the acceptable range. (But they are still made up. Unless they got a time machine.)

There are many types of technologies that are put through accelerated life testing *precisely* for the reason of having engineering test data and not "marketing data" that form the basis of what manufacturers claim for their products. Now of course that doesn't mean that marketing folks won't bend the truth or play with words, but any manufacturer that simply makes up numbers won't be around very long.

Of course accelerated life testing isn't perfect, but this is how manufacturers are able to make reasonable predictions to the useful lifetimes of your CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, the platters in your hard drives, etc.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419988)

Until those lifetimes have passed, we have no way of knowing whether those predictions were reasonable or not. There's no reason to believe that the average failure rate of a pool of brand new devices has anything to do with the chance of that device surviving for 5 years or more. Consider if we were to do an experiment on a bunch of devices that had time bombs implanted in them, set for 2 years in the future. No matter how big you make your test pool, or any statistical manipulations you come up with, you won't have an accurate estimate of MTBE (mean time before explosion) until those 2 years have passed. After one year of testing, with millions of devices, you could say with a high degree of statistical certainty that those devices would never explode.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421272)

If you want to know reasonably how long the product will last then look at the warranty.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32424590)

Well, actual testing is ideal, but I'm sure their estimations aren't far off. If they claim that they have at least 20GB / day for 5 years, and can run them at 10000 GB / day for 3-4 days then I think that's a fair estimate. Of course there are other factors involved, but it is far from wild guesswork from the marketing department.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32427212)

You can get angry and accuse me of cherry picking the data all you want. However, this isn't bullshit. These companies do put a reasonable amount of effort into testing this stuff, and especially with these sort of non-mechanical components, it is reasonably predictable (outside of isolated cases of random failure).

And you are right...I did deliberately pick intel. The reason I picked them is because their drives are the one model I know most about. At the time I purchased my first drive, the first generation X25-M was the king of the crop...far above and beyond other models for performance, bug free operation, etc. I researched the drives in depth, and I know specs on those drives forward and backward. After buying my drive, I've had little reason to keep up on the intimate details of the competition's every spec. I've followed it enough to know that the competition has greatly closed the gap on Intel's lead (and surpassed them in some aspect), but I don't know them in the same depth I did when I bought my drive a year and half ago. Thus I quoted what I know.

But thanks for proving yourself to be an ass by suggesting I deliberately attempted to paint a rosy picture by cherry picking the data.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

OffTheWallSoccer (1699154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419598)

Reading has no wear effect on SSDs. Writing does, but it's a very high limit.

Unfortunately reading NAND flash is not "free", i.e. a cell's lifetime is reduced simply by reading *neighboring* cells. The effect is called "read disturb". I'm not an EE, but the explanation makes sense.

From a JPL/NASA document: http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/40761/1/08-07.pdf [nasa.gov]

"Disturb testing is designed to study the robustness of the data storage of the flash cells when the state of a nearby cell is being changed, either through programming or reading. A disturb failure means that the initial (and expected) state of the cell has been changed (disturbed) to the opposite state as a result of programming or reading the nearby cells. Disturb failures are usually soft failures that require additional device commands to repair. Flash manufacturers acknowledge disturb failures can occur on their devices and try to provide users with guidance on how to address them."

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

cameljockey91 (1455491) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417554)

I'm not going to try to track it down now, but I seem to remember reading about SSDs having a limited life time.

Because all the other components in a computer last forever.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417752)

Yes, SSD's have a limited number of writes per cell before breakdown but it is way higher than that of spinning platter disks so with a good wear leveling system this is usually not a problem. The question is if this hybrid has good wear leveling.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418106)

This. They should at least offer a way to replace the SSD somehow. But in this case due to the already compacted design to fit in the already-set dimensions, not very likely.
Who knows. It mostly depends on how they managed to compact the hybrid drive. This is just going off of my current mobile optical drive, not so much a laptop optical internal which offers a slight increase in space compared to mines. (by LG at that)
From what i can remember when i took my old laptops drive out, there should have been a decent amount of size to have made a removable SSD of some sort.
There is a rather nice chunk of space on either side of the drive used for circuitry. And unless they are targeting a smaller bay standard, it shouldn't have been too hard to pull off... shame.

When it comes to compact designs, i have seen some pretty amazing things.
I saw a USB card reader for a memory stick type i forgot the name of, the memory stick actually slots IN to the plug in some of the space under the frame that holds the connections in place (the white or black part usually).

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419804)

OMG you're right. Also, seems a little weird, doesn't it? OK, most won't mind an SSD in their optical drive, but what happens when they start turning up in keyboards and mice? or in LCDs? Or in daughter cards and motherboards? My God, man... what happens when they get into the PSU?? Before we know it.. .there's gonna be SSDs in SSDs! And by then it WILL BE TOO LATE.

Re:Limited Life of SSDs? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421652)

Someone *always* seems to remember that SSDs have a limited life span, pretty much any time someone discusses SSD in any forum whatsoever. Which is usually OK, because half a dozen other people obliging provide the appropriate... "wear leveling" mumble mumble "no wear from reads" mumble mumble "better lifespan than mechanical in many cases"... replies

Thing is, SSD has been available for years -- shipped installed in laptops and desktops; and in ever-increasing capacities. They've also been seeing increasing enterprise data-center usage as well, where the usage patterns are far more extreme than anything you'll do on your home PC.

If they had a failure rate that was any higher than mechanical hard drives at this point, it would be secret only due to a massive industry cover-up-- and I'm a bit skeptical that the industry found a way to silence hundreds of thousands of voices -- including the subset of them who are also bloggers. Not to say that failures don't occur (google shows that they do easily enough) -- but that they don't occur in any disproportionate amount relative to standard hard drives.

optical drive failure? (3, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32417204)

Over the years, if I've had 1 component fail more often than hard drives, it would probably have to be optical drives. I just cannot see tying my SSD to an optical drive.

Re:optical drive failure? (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32418086)

That's a pretty good point. You don't want to have to replace two devices just because one failed.

Re:optical drive failure? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419118)

Over the years, if I've had 1 component fail more often than hard drives, it would probably have to be optical drives. I just cannot see tying my SSD to an optical drive.

This device will permit OEMs to eliminate the hard drive mount location in designs which utilize it, saving space. It will also permit OEMs to add a second SSD to a laptop which otherwise has too little storage space, given that SSDs are not available in densities so high as hard disks (yet.) The primary appeal isn't the aftermarket.

Re:optical drive failure? (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419274)

I can not see why I would need a optical drive at all anymore...
The OS installs from an USB stick. And the rest goes over the network.
Optical drives are the new floppies. Except that in this case, some anachronistic companies think they can put stuff on them, and actually sell them. Lol. Sell data. Now that’s just silly...

Re:optical drive failure? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32425892)

Which is why I have replaced my optical drive with a nice one from newmodeUS (the only one I could find after a nice tip on Slashdot, I'm not affiliated). Now I can keep Windows/backup on my HDD and still use the SSD in the optical bay. Most high end laptops have specific replaceable drive bays. If you are (like me) stuck with a generic one, try one of these.

7 seconds for Ubuntu to boot on a cheap SL300 and a 160 GB HDD as media/backup/windows drive. Sweet.

Re:optical drive failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32419666)

It's so netbooks can have an optical drive and a hard drive in one. Currently the space requirements only allow one or the other and SSD's win over 2.5" HDD's which win over ODD's.

The real question IMO is how the volume mounting and unmounting is done on a driver level. SATA was designed one drive per controller with the motherboard southbridge or nothbridge handling routing where it'll be the fastest/cachiest. You can split LBA addresses and I/O addressing between devices or run a proprietary controller on either end and then things get kinda wierd. Probably you're going to see devices with two sets of SATA data interfaces.

Danger Will Robinson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32417506)

One thing to keep in mind is that laptop form factor optical devices fail often. The SSD module will be many many times more durable and reliable than the optical drive mechanism and should be separable from the primary ODD to preserve user data space.

HyDrive name already being used... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418204)

...by Hartke's line of bass speakers.

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1939&brandID=3

it works with linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32418704)

in 2019.

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