A hybrid hard drive (HHD) is a mass storage device that contains both a conventional hard drive and a flash memory module. The flash memory handles the data most frequently written to or retrieved from storage. Several companies have begun offering variants of this technology, which is expected to become popular in high-end systems, particularly notebook computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Hybrid hard drives have several advantages over conventional hard drives, including:
- Faster data storage and retrieval for applications such as word processors
- Reduced system boot-up time
- Lower power consumption
- Decreased heat generation
- Extended hard drive life
- Extended battery life for notebooks and PDAs
- Reduced levels of operating noise.
Limitations of HHDs include:
- Longer seek time for data stored on the hard drive
- More frequent hard-drive spin-up and spin-down
- Impossibility of data recovery from failed flash memory modules
- Higher overall hardware cost for the system.