Micron Will Release 256GB SSDs this Year, with Surprising Prices


One of the biggest hurdles preventing solid state drives from bursting into the mainstream continues to be the relatively high price points compared to traditional hard drives. Recent strides have started to reverse this trend, with OCZ pushing its lower cost Core series and Super Talent slashing the price tag on its MasterDrive MX line , but SSDs still have a ways to go if they're to challenge HDDs for the bang-for-buck crown.

Stepping to the plate is Micron, who today announced it will ship a series of speedy SSDs up to 256GB in capacity as part of its next-generation RealSSD line. But the real story here is that Micron's new line will check in at one third the price per gigabyte of existing drives.

"Today on the open spot (market) a gigabyte of MLC NAND (flash memory) is about one-third the price of a gigabyte of SLC NAND. Therefore a 64GB C200 (laptop drive) will be about one-third the price of a 64GB P200 (enterprise drive)," Micron said in a statement.

That's great news for anyone wanting to jump on the SSD bandwagon but having trouble justifying the cost of entry. And while pricing appears to be going down, performance keeps going up. Micron will offer the RealSSD C200 drives in both 2.5 and 1.8-inch form on a 3 Gb/s SATA interface, boasting a read speed up to 250 MB/s and a write speed up to 100 MB/s. By comparison, OCZ's recently released Core series touts read speeds between 120-143 MB/s and write speeds between 80-93 MB/s.

With price and performance becoming less of a hurdle, SSD manufacturers still have to convince the public that flash memory can stand the test of time. After so many writes, cells degrade into read-only memory. Micron says its P200 "provides improved wear-leveling capabilities across its high-performance SLC write cycles," claiming a two million hour MTBF.

Are SSDs finally ready for prime time?

Image Credit: Micron

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