Western Digital is showcasing a new hybrid solid state drive technology at CES known as SSHD. Tthe solution combines the speed of a solid state drive with the capacity of a traditional spinning hard drive much like we have see from other manufacturers.

According to the Tech Report, WD believes that solid state storage will continue to remain much more expensive than spinning media for the foreseeable future. As such, they are working on a hybrid drive in the interim until pricing comes down to more competitive levels with regards to flash storage.

The demo consists of loading a suite of applications and measuring how long it takes. The publication observed it took roughly 81 seconds to complete the task using a standard hard drive and 51 seconds on a standard solid state drive. The hybrid drive was able to complete the tasks in 55 seconds; much closer to the SSD's time than the HDD.

Western digital says the incoming writes from the host system aren't stored in the NAND. Furthermore, the caching system is controlled by the firmware and host-based software drivers. This is different than Seagate's Momentus XT drives where caching is taken care of entirely in the firmware.

The drive will be branded under the Black line and will ship in a 2.5-inch format with a thickness of 7mm, allowing it to fit into thinner notebooks than other 2.5-inch, 9.5mm offerings. The publication notes that a 5mm version may also be in the pipeline as well. Look for these drives to come in 500GB and 1TB capacities when they launch.