Japanese electronics firm DTS has put a slight twist on the hybrid hard drive concept. Instead of putting NAND flash memory into the drives, the company has instead opted to use DDR-SDRAM sticks, claiming the approach as much cheaper way to provide some of the benefits of solid state storage. The DTS Mcell consists of a 2.5" 5400rpm hard-drive, a stick of 1GB DDR-SDRM, and a special chip from DTS that contains a real-time OS and CPU, all bundled up into a standard 3.5" form factor case. According to DTS, the additional memory combined with its I/O management chip drastically improves hard drive transfer speeds: the drive sees speeds above 110MBps in random read tests for data sizes of 64KB to 512MB, faster than most 7200rpm SATA drives. The drive will initially be available in 80GB, 120GB, and 160GB sizes, with the 80GB model selling for Â¥15,800 ($136.15); the product is Japan-only, with no date on an expected North American release.
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