After peering into its crystal ball, the market psychics at Kingston firmly believe that by this time next year, you're likely to choose a solid state drive over a mechanical hard drive. NAND flash memory prices are coming down, and while it's been slow going, overall pricing for SSDs will finally reach the point where they're able to attract would-be HDD buyers.
Just when all seems bleak on the storage front, a possible savior has emerged: OCZ. No, the company doesn’t have plans to open an HDD facility in a dry location and start pumping out traditional drives. Instead, the solid-state-focused OCZ plans on rolling out a new, cheaper type of SSD early in 2012, in exactly the same time period that experts think traditional HDD reserves will be drying up.
It was three years ago when Adata chairman Simon Chen declared the DRAM market the worst it's been in 15 years. Perhaps his early recognition of how bad things had become ultimately helped Adata weather the ongoing storm and make business decisions that, in the fourth quarter of 2011, will grow the company's revenues by double digits. How is that possible when the only thing DRAM players talk about anymore is cutting production?
Hitachi and Intel are fast becoming best buddies in the storage space, and why not, the two apparently play very well together. The latest effort from these two tech heavyweights is Hitachi's new Ultrastar SSD400M multi-level cell (MLC) solid state drive family. Pitched as a cost-effective alternative to those pricey single-level cell (SLC) SSDs, these new drives are built using Intel's 25nm enterprise-grade MLC NAND flash memory, Hitachi says.
SandForce has built quite a name for itself by building high-end solid state drive controllers employed in a number of enthusiast level SSDs, and the company doesn't show any signs of slowing down. After launching its second generation SF-2200 (SATA 6Gbps) and SF-2100 (SATA 3Gbps) chipsets earlier this year, SandForce says it's now prepared to demonstrate a prototype SSD built with Toshiba's 24nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory.
Toshiba announced it has enhanced its NAND flash portfolio with new embedded NAND flash memory devices that feature toggle-mode DDR NAND for improved performance. These higher performing 24nm e-MMC devices wedge open the bottlenecks typically associated with single data rate NAND, enabling faster random access and sequential performance. The icing on the cake is that they're cheaper to boot, a combination we'll take 8 days a week.
Like Jennifer's Lopez's marriage, DRAM manufacturers are going through a bit of a rough patch. DRAM insiders were popping Cristal when the industry saw a 77 percent surge in revenues between 2009 and 2010, but thanks to a dramatic death-spiral in DRAM prices, those same executives could soon be snuggling up to Wall Street bankers and MD 20/20 in the gutter. Today, a report surfaced that indicates that things could get worse before they get better for DRAM manufacturers; some experts theorize that PC owners may shift away from DRAM into the open arms of NAND flash memory.
Toshiba and its manufacturing partner SanDisk officially cut the ribbon on their third 300mm wafer NAND fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan. They're calling it Fab 5, which has nothing to do with the 1991 University of Michigan men's basketball team, though its foundation is just as solid.
DRAM makers haven't had much to celebrate in a long time, and as profits took a nose dive, some wondered if they'd be better off bailing on the PC RAM industry, as OCZ did earlier this year. But at least one memory maker is optimistic about the DRAM and NAND flash memory markets going forward. Transcend chairman Peter Shu believes things are getting ready to improve in the second half of 2011, which is good news for memory makers, but at what cost?
Patriot is upfront in the fact that its new Torqx 2 solid state drive line isn't the fastest on the market, nor is it intended to be. Built to take advantage of the SATA II (3Gbps) interface, Patriot says it's looking to deliver "the perfect balance of price and performance." Don't misunderstand that to think the Torqx 2 is slow. On paper, this new series is rated at up to 270MB/s read and up to 230MB/s write speeds.