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Hybrid hard driveMicrosoft plans to introduce a set of performance-enhancing features called Windows ReadyDrive in Windows Vista. ReadyDrive promises to take advantage of hybrid hard disk technology to improve a computer's overall performance.
Hybrid hard disks incorporate a nonvolatile cache in a traditional mechanical design. The photo here shows the mechanical part and the cache part separated out.
The cache (also called flash memory) ranges from 128MB to 1GB or more. It's used by the SuperFetch feature of Windows Vista to store frequently accessed data, providing faster access speed. It also provides lower power consumption, as the mechanical part of the hard drive remains at rest, while Windows Vista accesses only the cache area of the drive.
The majority of hybrid hard drives will come in a 2.5-inch form factor with an ATA interface and capacity of up to 100GB. The first vendor to showcase a .