Singapore’s Data Storage Institute launches A-Drive, one of the world’s thinnest hard disk drives
November 2, 2012 by Terence LEE
At 5mm, the A-Drive, a hybrid hard drive developed by A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute (DSI), is one of the world’s thinnest in a 2.5″ form factor. It’s also one of the world’s first — the other being Western Digital‘s hybrid hard drive, which is also 5mm thick. The new drive was unveiled on 1st November to commemorate DSI’s 20 years of research.
The A-Drive, which could be commercialized within a year and retail at USD60, can provide up to 1TB of hard disk drive (HDD) space and 32GB of solid state drive (SSD) space. That’s about 250,000 songs.
Compared to SSDs, a hybrid disk drive provides more storage space at less cost and power consumption. If placed in tablets, which uses SSDs, it could extend storage space while prolonging battery life by 30 percent. It could be used in ultrabooks as well, where thinness is a priority.
Dr Pantelis Alexopoulos, executive director of DSI, told Yahoo! that the A-Drive is also more secure. When an SSD is lost, its encryption code can be broken. That’s not the case for the A-Drive, he said.
The hybrid drive could be sold as portable devices, or they could come baked into mobile devices through working with OEMs. Enterprises could be a potential market as well, where it can cut power usage by half.
DSI is currently discussing with partners to market the device in Singapore. Dr Alexopoulos posited that getting from a partnership deal to manufacturing would take about 6 to 8 months.
Patents for the design of the hybrid drive’s axial field motor, along with 30 other designs, have been secured.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE