Advanced Micro Devices is apparently trying to flex its Radeon brand everywhere it can. In addition to video cards and system memory, both of which are markets currently served by the Radeon brand, it's rumored that AMD is getting ready to launch a line of Radeon solid state drives (SSDs). If this works out, perhaps one day you could build an entire PC with nothing but Radeon parts.
OCZ Technology fans have had cause for concern lately. Earlier this month, the former memory maker turned solid state drive player sacked 28 percent of its staff and discontinued 150 product variations. The restructuring effort was put into place by OCZ's recently appointed chief, Ralph Schmitt, who was appointed to replace former CEO and founder Ryan Petersen. At the time, Schmitt admitted OCZ had "lost credibility," but going forward, he seems to have a plan to turn things around.
Intel, the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, today started shipping its Solid State Drive (SSD) 335 Series using the smallest, most efficient multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash on the market. According to Intel the 335 Series is the first to employ a 20-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory process, which were produced by IM Flast Technologies (IMFT), a joint venture of Micron and Intel.
While the future of Ultrabooks might be in question, there's no doubt that manufacturers are trending towards thinner, lighter, and more powerful machines, and that has peripheral and component makers all vying a piece of the pie. Enter Mushkin, which just announced a line of slim 7mm solid state drives intended for Ultrabooks. In addition to their slim profile, Mushkin's new Chronos Deluxe SSDs sport performance-oriented SandForce controllers and SATA 6Gbps interfaces.
OCZ has typically reserved its Vertex label for the highest-performing SSDs in a given generation—using synchronous NAND, for example, rather than the asynchronous NAND found in its less expensive Agility series. The 256GB Vertex 4 carries on that tradition, with 16 128Gb IMFT 25nm synchronous NAND packages on a board with 512MB of DDR3 DRAM cache and OCZ’s new Indilinx Everest 2 controller.
The Everest 2 controller in the Vertex 4 is a modified Marvell controller with custom Indilinx firmware.
It's not really fair to pit an enterprise grade PCIe solid state drive (SSD) against a typical consumer grade model sporting a SATA interface, like Samsung's 840 Series announced earlier today, but that doesn't mean we're any less impressed with the fact that RunCore's new Kylin III SSD manages 3 million random read IOPS and 1.4 million random write IOPS. It's safe to say it can run Crysis, and anything else you throw at it, though it's really meant to tackle workstation tasks that include database chores, web servers, analytic engines, and anything involved with high performance computing servers in general.
LSI Corporation today announced an injection of enhanced features into its SandForce SF-2200 and SF-2100 series of client flash storage processors (FSPs) specifically designed to play nice with Ultrabooks. The new features are said to extend battery life by as much as one hour, cut down on resume times when waking from sleep mode, and "enhance the overall user experience."
For those of you paying attention, it's hard not to notice the downward trend in solid state drive pricing, which in some cases has fallen below a buck per gigabyte on high end SSDs. Be that as it may, market research firm IHS iSuppli believes mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) will remain the dominant storage platform now and in the near term future, even as Microsoft's Surface tablet and other competing SSD-only devices enter the market place.
Here's an interesting tidbit for those Maximum PC readers who were wondering why the two biggest players in mechanical hard drives have yet to seriously jump into the SSD waters: OCZ's shares are currently spiking after insider rumors claimed that Seagate and Micron are considering buying out the company.