The hybrid hard-disk drive market is expected to reach 600 million units in 2016, according to market researcher Objective Analysis. This would mean an explosion of mainstream drives that integrate the performance-boosting benefits of flash memory.
The first generation of hybrid drive technology was "well conceived but poorly implemented," according to a report released on Monday by Objective Analysis. "Now that working versions have been implemented the hybrid drive promises to sweep the PC hard drive market."
"We expect the hybrid drive market to nearly double every year for the five years following its initial adoption, reaching 600 million units by 2016," said analyst Jim Handy, who authored the report, in a statement. "This blazing growth will result from hybrid drives replacing standard HDDs in mainstream PCs."
Hybrid drives, in their current form, add a small amount of flash memory to a traditional spinning HDD. But this pinch of flash can deliver a big boost to performance on certain tasks at relatively little extra cost, as CNET Reviews demonstrated with the 500GB Seagate Momentus XT and as other reviews of the Seagate drive have shown.
"The NAND [flash memory] in these hybrid drives will be pretty small. Seagate's Momentus XT does a really good job with only 4GB of flash, and Nvelo's Dataplex software accelerates HDDs very well with only 16GB of NAND," said Handy, responding to an e-mail query. … Read more