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SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive)

Delivering Speed and Capacity SSHD

What's SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive)?

It is an HDD which also has NAND flash memory (NAND) on it. It is also called as "Hybrid Drive" or "Hybrid HDD". This page describes the features (advantages and technologies) of SSHD.

Key features of SSHD

High Performance

Toshiba's SSHD recorded the score of PCMARK®*1 Vantage several times higher*2 than the conventional HDD (1TB*3).  (please refer to the chart below).

PCMark® Vantage Overall Score

PC Mark Vantage Overall Score

High Capacity

Toshiba's SSHD delivers HDD's large capacity - up to 1TB.


Dual mount and SSHD

Toshiba SSHD is compatible in both physical size and interface with a traditional 2.5-inch HDD. It is recognized by the system as one storage device. The system accesses the drive through single interface without the need for specific device driver software. Comparing to the type of "dual mount", the single interface allows for physical space efficiency within a system.

Toshiba confirmed the feature of MQ01ABD-H / MQ01ABF-H series compatibility*4 with almost 180 PC systems.

Cost Performance

Cost Performance

Toshiba's SSHD is a lower cost alternative to SSDs while keeping close to SSD performance by the optimized NAND configuration.

Difference from Conventional HDD


The most essential features of the conventional HDD (refer to picture to the left) are "high capacity" and "cost performance". Toshiba's SSHD improved the speed of data read and write, by using NAND as the secondary cache. NAND is the storage device that is used on such as SSDs. The capacity of the data storage per one piece of NAND is very small comparing to one unit in an HDD, however access speed is much faster than an HDD, that reads and writes data on the rotational magnetic media.

Example of Conventional HDD

(Model: MQ01ABD100)

Difference from SSD


SSD (refer to the picture to the left) is a storage device that uses NAND as its main memory. Its key feature is high speed of data reading and writing. Due to the higher cost of SSDs in comparison to HDDs, SSDs become more expensive if a user wants high storage capacity. SSHD utilizing NAND on a high capacity HDD improves performance over a conventional high capacity HDD. In other words, Toshiba SSHD delivers higher performance than conventional HDDs with higher capacity and lower cost than SSDs.

Example of Client SSD

(Model: THNSNF512BSS)

Difference from Dual Mount

Dual mount and SSHD

We are referring to "Dual" mount here as kind of PC where its storage is both high capacity and high speed at the same time, like some Ultrabook™*5 systems. A "Dual" mount type PC has two storage devices in it; HDD and cache SSD (smaller physical size and data capacity than the normal SSD). While it achieves the high capacity and high speed at the same time, it has the disadvantage in the difficulty to control the two individual storage devices in the tight space design from the view point of the system design. The SSHD contains HDD and NAND all in one device. Its form factor is compatible with the conventional 2.5-inch HDD and does not require more space within a system. The system recognizes and manages it as a single device without difficult control.

Hybrid Technology

The sentences below describe Toshiba's hybrid technology -- using our combined in-house expertise in NAND, HDD, and SSD technologies.

Toshiba's comprehensive technology for both HDD and NAND

Point 1 Optimized self-learning caching algorithm

Our Vision of SSHD

Toshiba's SSHD dynamically learns the access pattern in each system and directs data to the appropriate tiers, that are DRAM, NAND and disk media. High speed access is achieved by storing frequently-accessed data to NAND.

Point 2 NAND flash memory controller technologies

Toshiba also develops leading-edge microscopic memory technology in NAND. This experience enables Toshiba to boost the NAND technologies, such as defective blocks management, ECC (Error Correction Code), conversion of logical block address, and wear-leveling.

  • *1. PCMark® is a registered trademark of Futuremark Corporation.
  • *2. PC used for this experiment was; CPU Intel® Core™ i5-3210M 2.50GHz + OS Windows® 7 Professional edition 64-bit. Measured by Toshiba in May 2012. Intel® and Core™ are the trademarks of Intel Corporation. Windows® is the trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  • *3. Definition of capacity: Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.
  • *4. This material shows the result of Toshiba's compatibility test that checked the basic functionality on the listed PC systems and that does not cover the whole functionality check. It does not guarantee the functionality of each user's case. This list is provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability, quality, features, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement of third party rights or arising from a course of dealing, usage or trade practice.
  • *5. Ultrabook is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.


Related to SSHD

・ Product Specification





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