Apple debuts Fusion Drive for iMac

Apple combines traditional hard drive technology with flash storage to create Fusion Drive, an intelligent hybrid storage solution that learns what you use most frequently and puts these files on the fast flash storage.

Along with the iPad mini and the iPad 4, Apple also unveiled new Macs , launching a 13-inch retina display MacBook Pro , updating the Mac mini, and revamping the iMacs.

Note: fusion Drive is also available for the Mac mini.

One of the things that caught my eye with regards to the iMac update was a new feature called Fusion Drive. This sees Apple bring together the high capacity offered by a standard hard drive, and combine that with the speed of flash storage.

Combining hard drives and flash storage is nothing new. This is what a hybrid drive is. What's interesting about Apple's Fusion Drive is the software intelligence behind it. While internally, iMacs kitted out with a Fusion Drive will have flash storage and a hard drive, the user only sees one drive.

With Fusion Drive, Apple claim that disk-intensive tasks such as booting the system up, launching apps, or importing photos and video, are faster and more efficient. This is because OS X stores frequently used items in the fast flash storage portion of the Fusion Drive, while infrequently accessed items are stored on the hard drive.

For speed, OS X will always be saves onto the flash storage portion of the Fusion Drive.

The moving of files between the flash storage and hard drive take place in the background, so users are not aware that it is happening. What's more, as the system learns how the user works, Fusion Drive reorganizes the files to makes the Mac faster.

Fusion Drive will come as a 1TB or 3TB option for the 27-inch iMac. No pricing is yet available for this option.

The iPad mini and the new iPad 4

Image source: Apple.