WD (www.wd.com) says it’s sampling a 5mm-thin hard disk drive featuring hybrid technology. The company says it’s the world’s thinnest 2.5-inch, hybrid hard drive.

WD says it’s developed hard drives slim enough for integration into today’s thinnest notebooks. The new technologies will be showcased during WD’s Investor Day on Sept. 13.

“Mobile devices are becoming smaller, thinner, lighter and more responsive,” says Matt Rutledge, vice president of client storage solutions at WD. “Working with our technology partners, WD has developed new 5mm hard drives that enable high capacity storage along with excellent performance and superior economics to allow our customers to expand their thin offerings.”

With device volumetric efficiency a key concern for system makers, WD began shipping 7mm height hard drives for thin-profile notebooks earlier this year (historically, standard notebook hard drives have been 9.5mm). WD 5mm hybrid hard drives will enable the market’s thinnest computers to offer 500GB of capacity, utilizing almost 50% less volume compared to current 9.5mm hard drives and at one tenth the cost of similar capacity SSDs, says Rutledge.

Hybrid hard drives combine NAND flash and magnetic disks. Rutledge says they provide a host of end user benefits: superior performance, responsiveness, lower power consumption, greater operating shock tolerance, and data protection.