Come this summer, Micron will go gunning for the high-end enterprise hard drive market, but not with an HDD of its own. Instead, the company will release its SATA 3.0-based P300 SSD line, which it hopes will replace 10,000RPM and 15,000RPM HDDs.
"We think [the P300] is going to lend itself much better to this space," said Kevin Dibelius, senior product marketing manager for Micron.
In addition to pushing data through a 6Gbps interface, the upcoming SSD will also use ONFI (Open NAND Flash Interface) 2.1, which is a faster connection between the flash silicon and the SSD controller. If all this sounds familiar, it's because Micron's existing C300 series share the same specs. The P300 series, however, will use SLC (single-level cell) technology instead of the cheaper MLC (multi-level cell) technology found in the C300 series.
Pricing hasn't yet been announced, but Micron did say the P300 line will ship in 50GB, 100GB, and 200GB capacities starting in June.
Octavius Durdley, an emergency paramedic with the Bradford County Emergency Services (BCES) in Florida, is going to have a tough time gaining any sympathy for his plight. You see, Durdley was charged last September with possessing and distributing child pornography, but it's how the evidence was obtained that is likely to cause a few outcries in the case.
Durdley-do-wrong committed a big no-no, and we're not talking about the (allegedly) obvious one here. What landed Durdley in hot water was accidentally leaving a USB flash drive plugged into a computer provided by the BCES, a PC that's shared by him and other members of the emergency service.
A supervisor discovered the files and turned Durdley in to authorities. This ultimately led to a search of his house, both of which Durdley claims are violations of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Judge Maurice Paul of the U.S. District Court for the northern district of Florida didn't agree.
"Durdley's files were exposed to anyone who sat down at the computer station who used the traditional means for opening and viewing files," the judge wrote in a 15-page ruling. Furthermore, the supervisor who discovered the files did so without any "special means or intruding into any area which Durdley could reasonably expect to remain private."
Ignoring the nature of the alleged crime, what are your thoughts on this? Is forgetting to pull your USB key out of a shared PC cause for others to poke around?
There's no mistaking OCZ's new Colossus LT SSD for what it is: a desktop drive. Measuring 3.5 inches, you're not going to stuff one of these inside your notebook, not if you have any hopes of it ever working again, anyway.
"Designed to offer PC enthusiasts a best-in-class storage upgrade from traditional hard disc drives, the innovative Colossus LT Series features incredible speed and ample storage for the complete gamut of gaming, multimedia and demanding productivity applications," OCZ claims. "The Colossus delivers all the proven benefits of SSDs such as superior system responsiveness, ultra-fast data access, and greater durability, while providing the storage capacity desktop users demand."
Available in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB configurations, the Colossus shatters the notion that SSDs have to be short on storage. Noteworthy features include an dual-controller design, internal RAID 0, 128MB of onboard cache, background garbage collection, read and write speeds up to 260MB/s each, sustained writes up to 220MB/s, and max IOPs of 15,000 (4K random).
Street pricing starts at about $450 and goes on up to about $3,500.
In what's being described as an "industry first," Seagate has partnered with Paramount to preload a selection of 500GB FreeAgent Go ultra-portable hard drives with Paramount movies.
“Seagate and Paramount Pictures are delivering major motion pictures to consumers in a unique and innovative solution. For years Seagate hard drives have been powering the devices that allow consumers to enjoy their digital libraries. Today, we are simplifying content delivery by giving consumers the ultimate flexibility in how they enjoy their movies all in a convenient package,” said Dave Mosley, executive vice president, Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management, Seagate.
Consumers who pick up a specially marked FreeAgent Go package will be able to activate Star Trek (2009) for free. These FreeAgent drives will also come preloaded with 20 other movies that can be unlocked through the online purchase of a license key. Some of the bigger name titles include Beowulf, GI Joe, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Intel once blazed a trail into the high-end SSD arena with its X25 series, and while the Santa Clara chip maker's X25-E is no slouch wih read and write speeds of 250MB/s and 170MB/s, respectively, those are no longer best-in-class numbers.
Don't count Intel out, however. After completing the transition to 25nm NAND flash wafers in a joint effort with Micron, Intel is reportedly making new SSDs based on the die shrink. Codenamed Lyndonville, these upcoming SSDs are expected to run faster than anything currently in Intel's stable.
Lyndonville SSDs will use MLC-based NAND flash memory and will likely be aimed at the enterprise market. Capacities are expected to come in 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB when they launch in the first quarter of 2011, though no decision has yet been made on pricing.
It seems like every few weeks OCZ comes out with a new SSD, and this time around, the company announced two new products to its flash-based storage lineup. Both the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 target enthusiasts with high transfer rates and relatively high capacities.
"OCZ’s original Vertex Series of solid state drives have become a top seller due to the product’s exceptional performance and reliability," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "The new Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SSD lines continue that tradition by incorporating the latest controller and firmware technology. They are an excellent solution for customers who are looking for improved transfer rates and best-in-class input/output per second (IOPS) for a wide range of uses, ranging from entertainment to workstation and tier 2 storage applications. Additionally, this new product line highlights our continuing determination to be the market leader in the high reliability memory and flash-based storage market."
Both drives come rated at up to 285MB/s read and 275MB/s write speeds, and both are available in 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB capacities. So what separates the two? According to OCZ, the higher-end Vertex 2 has been tuned for 4KB random writes up to 50,000 IOPs, while the Agility 2 boasts random writes up to 10,000 IOPS.
It's only fair that Google's browser, Chrome, use a Google-based service in this week's extension of the week. The name of the add-on is Send to Google Docs, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the ins and outs of this little tweak.
I was originally scanning around for an interesting way to tweak the functionality of a PDF in the Chrome browser. In stumbling across Send to Google Docs, I was intrigued by the solution: Rather than simply sticking more save options onto the download bar, Send to Google Docs gave a far better deal.
It's kind of annoying to have to wade through a bunch of PDFs on one's hard drive. Depending on your reader of choice, clicking through PDF after PDF can eat up a lot of system resources... and a lot of time. Why not just stuff these files in the cloud and let Google's speedy rendering engine take care of the rest? Or, better yet, allow Google to convert these PDF files into a format that can be edited straight through Google Docs itself?
Have you turned on your Xbox 360 console today? If so, you may have noticed that you're now able to save data to removable USB memory drives, just as Microsoft promised a couple of weeks ago.
In early May, you'll be able to snag Microsoft's own-branded memory sticks from outlets like Gamestop, but the question is whether you'd even want to in the first place. According to Gamestop's pre-order pricing, an 8GB memory stick will run you $40, while you can expect to pay $70 for a 16GB flash drive. The good news here is that you can use any USB flash drive, "so long as you're aware that the maximum amount of data moved or stored is 16GB on any one device," Kotaku reports.
Microsoft has been aggressively upping the storage ante for its Xbox 360 console of late. Two weeks ago, the Redmond outfit released a 250GB standalone hard drive with transfer kit after previously saying the company had no plans to do so. Could Blu-ray be next? Don't hold your breath.
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.
When this week began, Xtremesystems forum member SteveRo held the PCMark Vantage world record with a score of 30,359,. Now SteveRo sits in second place, having conceded the top spot to Corsair Labs with a record-breaking score of 32,947.
"To demonstrate just how fast our products are, we decided to go after the PCMark Vantage world record," Corsair said. "This benchmark heavily stresses the entire system, not just he CPU and GPU like the 3DMark Series. With PCMark Vantage the memory and SSDs are stressed just as much if not more than the CPU and GPU, with almost all of the individual benchmark tests taking advantage of the fast solid-state drives."
SSD performance proved key in Corsair's successful attempt at taking the performance crown. Corsair's record-breaking system included eleven Force Series F200 SSDs along with Corsair Dominator GTX2 DDR memory. Overclocking also played a heavy role, with Corsair using liquid nitrogen to cool an Intel Core i7 980X processor and pushing the frequency up to a blistering 5.79GHz.