Patriot on Wednesday launched a new line of SSDs built on top of the JMicron JMF612 controller. According to Patriot, you can expect "aggressive pricing and performance" from their Zephyr series.
"As solid-state drive technology advances, it is becoming more affordable, allowing SSD solutions to reach an increasing segment of end users. Patriot's objective is to offer the latest technology in our solutions which provide the best performance and price options", states Les Henry, Vice President of Engineering at Patriot. "Our Zephyr family of SSDs offer great performance, aggressive pricing and the inherent benefit of SSD technology over antiquated hard disk drives: quicker boot times and shorter application loading times. Including a Zephyr SSD in your desktop or notebook upgrade plans provides one of the best bang-for-the buck improvements you can make to your system."
That's all well and fine, but while Patriot was busy tooting its own horn, the company failed to mention exactly how much these new drives will cost. However they did release capacity and performance numbers, which breaks down as follows:
Zephyr 256GB: 240MB/s read, 180MB/s write
Zephyr 128GB, 240MB/s read, 145MB/s write
Zephyr 64GB, 240MB/s read, 85MB/s write
All three drives also ship with native support for the TRIM command in Windows 7. No word yet on when these will be available.
Toshiba said it is investing heavily in chip-making equipment that will enable the world's No. 2 NAND flash memory maker to produce microchips built on a sub-25nm manufacturing process.
The shrink to below 25nm will pave the way for higher capacities on smaller slices of silicon that are cheaper to produce, so it's a win all around. Toshiba's current product is stuck at 32nm and 43nm, and the company will spend $160 million this year in order to build a test production line for the smaller chips.
According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business Daily, Toshiba will soon begin churning out NAND chips with circuitry widths in the upper 20 nanometer range in the second half of this year. NAND chips with circuitry widths in the lower 20 nanometer range could begin as early as 2012.
Citing sources from hard drive makers, news and rumor site DigiTimes says that Apple's iPad could end up slowing SSD growth in the market place. Say what?
The reason, sources say, is because the iPad might create a shortage of NAND flash chips. Apple already consumes about one-third of the total NAND flash output because of the company's immensely popular iPod and iPhone devices, and if the iPad proves to be just as hot, NAND flash supply could tighten.
The news gets even worse for SSD fans. The cost of NAND flash has been the biggest roadblock in pushing SSDs into the mainstream, and the sources noted that prices are continuing to increase. That should change once the NAND flash industry transitions to a 20nm process technology, however that isn't expected to happen until at least the second half of 2011. Bummer.
OCZ, one of the biggest players in the solid state drive market, said during CeBIT that the company plans to focus its attention on pushing SSDs in the European market, paying particular attention to the enterprise sector.
"There are an increasing number of applications where SSDs are quickly replacing traditional hard drives, including mobile and high-performance computing as well as numerous enterprise environments," commented Alex Mei, CMO at the OCZ Technology Group. "At CeBIT 2010, OCZ continues to expand our robust SSD lineup with the introduction of next-generation solid state storage solutions in an increasingly wide array of interfaces that truly deliver transformational capabilities when addressing the unique challenges of enterprise clients."
Part of the process includes meeting the demand for PCI-Express and SCSI (SAS) SSDs. This includes both current options -- like the Z-Drive series, now being showcased in its fourth generation -- as well as upcoming parts.
Following the 'better late than never' motto, Plextor today announced it will try its hand in the SSD market with a pair of high performance offerings, the PX-64M1S and PX-128M1S.
"We're excited to leverage Plextor's expertise in optical storage and enter the SSD market as it continues to grow," said Esteban Kim, Director of New Business Development at PLDS. "PCMark, SYSmark, and HD Benchmark industry utility tests scored Plextor SSDs high and we're proud to have the new lineup available to our customers."
With the recent spate of SSDs boasting read and write speeds well above 200MB/s, Plextor may be stretching things a bit in classifying these as "high performance." The 64GB PX-64M1S comes rated at up to 110MB/s sequential reads and 65MB/s in sequential writes, while the 128GB PX-128M1S sports 120MBs and 70MB/s read and write speeds, respectively.
Both drives are available now for $225 (64GB) and $400 (128GB).
You can probably stop trying to cram that external hard drive into your pocket. Kingston may have just solved your portable storage woes with the DataTraveler 310. The 310 is a standard USB flash drive, except it has 256GB of storage. The DataTraveler 300 is a nearly identical unit sold only overseas. The 310 finally lets American buyers get in on the fun. It will be plug and play on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
This is the first flash drive of its size to ship in the US. As such, the DataTraveler 310 commands a premium. The MSRP is going to be $1,108 at launch, but you might be able to find a deal. Well, “deal” is relative here. You’re still looking at paying around a grand for portable storage; granted it is a lot of storage. The DataTraveler 310 could hold 54 uncompressed DVDs or more mp3s than you can shake a stick at.
Can you think of a reason you’d need this much storage on your keychain? Note, “because it’s cool,” is not an acceptable reason. Is there a price at which you’d run out and pick one of these up?
Kingston this week introduced its second generation SSDNow V Series the company says is targeted towards mainstream users. Kingston also claims these second-gen drives offer higher performance than their predecessors, while also boasting TRIM support.
"Kingston has really increased the performance on the new second generation SSDNow V Series drive without raising the price. A first-generation SSDNow V Series 64GB bundle upgrade kit can be found for about $150 (U.S.) at retailers and e-tailers so maintaining pricing will be huge for our customers," said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. "By bundling together all of the software, hardware and step-by-step instructions with the drive, we make it easy for everyday users to upgrade with an SSD. The addition of TRIM support is a key benefit because it enables the SSD to maintain optimal performance throughout its lifespan."
The new drives will ship in 30GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities with varying degrees of performance. On the lower end, the 30GB model read speeds up to 180MB/s and writes up to 50MB/s. Both the 64GB and 128GB more than double the write speeds at 110MB/s and 160MB/s respectively, while upping the read speed to 200MB/s.
All drives come with Acronis True Image, while those in the desktop bundle also include a 3.5-inch mounting bracket and SATA data and power cable extenders. The netbook bundle tosses in a 2.5-inch USB SATA external enclosure.
Most of these drives and bundles will start shipping next week with pricing ranging from $110 to $377.
Don't worry if you've never heard of IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), because you've certainly heard of the two companies which comprise the joint venture: Intel and Micron. And the big news coming from IMFT today is that the silicon duo have managed to unveil the world's first 25nm NAND Flash memory.
"To lead the entire semiconductor industry with the most advanced process technology is a phenomenal feat for Intel and Micron, and we look forward to further pushing the scaling limits," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. "This production technology will enable significant benefits to our customers through higher density media solutions."
What this means to Joe Consumer is smaller, higher density designs at lower price points. So next-gen SSDs, for example, could very well end up with larger capacities without jacking up prices far and above what they already are. And according to Intel, performance will be on par with current 34nm products.
IMFT said it has already sent 8GB NAND samples to a handful of manufacturers. These samples represent the industry's first monolithic 8GB NAND devices, and at a die size of 167mm2, they boast twice the capacity of the company's highest density 34nm parts.
For more technical specs, as well as a quick tour inside IMFT's multi-billion dollar semiconductor plant in Lehi, Utah, see HotHardware's write-up here.
Super Talent has the high-end enterprise and database server markets squarely in its sights with the unveiling of the company's new TeraDrive SSD series.
"Super Talent has a solid track record of developing leading edge SSDs. Their new TeraDrive series, incorporating SandForce technology, is an impressive advance in enterprise storage," said Thad Omura, VP Marketing at SandForce, Inc.
The TeraDrive series is being offered in capacities from 50GB to 200GB and boast support for SATA 3Gbps. Speed shouldn't be an issue, not on paper, anyway. According to Super Talent, its TeraDrive series come capable of of up to 250MB/s read and write speeds "that will not degrade over time," as well as up to 30,000 IOPS.
As storage technology moves inexorably toward solid state, Toshiba is determined to be on the forefront of the changeover. The Japanese tech giant has announced plans to expand their selection of 32nm Multi-Level-Cell (MLC) NAND SSD units. The new lineup will include a “Half-Slim” 128GB SSD suitable for use in netbooks. The drives will be capable of 180MB per second read and 70MB per second write speeds.
Lest you assume that Toshiba has forgotten the performance space, there will also be new high performance SSDs. These standard 2.5-inch drives will be capable of 250MB per second read and 180MB per second write speeds. They will be available in sizes ranging from 64GB all the way up to 512GB.
If you’re weary of SSD reliability, fear not. These drives will support the new TRIM commands implemented in Windows 7. The first production samples should show up in Q1, with wide availability in Q2. No pricing information was available.