We wouldn't describe today's USB thumb drives as portly, but if you're looking for a way to slim down your flash storage, you could try running over it with a steam roller. We suspect (no, we KNOW) this won't do you any good, so if you absolutely must have a flash drive that will fit in your wallet nestled next to your credit cards, TopTech may be your go-to company. The company today announces the "nationwide availability" of its Slim Data USB Card.
"The Slim Data USB Card, which is available in a variety of colors, enables users to conveniently store and carry digital photos, music, video clips, and other documents in their wallets keeping them available to share with friends or family whenever or wherever the need arises," TopTech Products said in a press release.
TopTech says its ultra slim flash drives weigh less than 9g. So far, capacities for the USB 2.0-capable drives are only offered in 1GB and 4GB flavors, with custom colors beyond the clear, gray, orange, red, and blue currently offered.
The Slim Data USB Card are available now through TopTech Product's website in 4GB form for $28.
Sure, you wanted to add some extra network storage with a NAS, but you just weren’t able to find anything stylish enough. Well, if a basic aluminum exterior with a single blue light is your definition of fashionable, look no further.
LaCie’s Big Disk and d2 network storage systems pack 1.5TB of storage (with an eSATA port for expansion) and 3TB of storage (by slapping two drives together using RAID 0) respectively. Both of them support a multitude of backup software, and play nice with DLNA-compliant devices.
The d2 Network and Big Disk Network are currently available for $190 and $380 respectively.
We don't care one bit that PhotoFast's G-Monster-Promise SSD drive was supposed to be released last month. We're even willing to look past the reportedly obscene price tags being attached to the different sized units, because even more obscene is how freakin' fast the G-Monster claims to be. We're talking about sequential read and write speeds up to 1000MB/s, random 512KB read and write speeds not far behind, and random 4KB read and write speeds still a manageable 66MB/s and 58MB/s, respectively.
The two-slot G-Monster-Promise plugs into a PCI-E X8 slot and comes with a 256MB of ECC DDRII and 64MB x 4 SDRAM cache buffer. PhotoFast bills its new SSD as being ideal for high-end digital and video editing, as well as for a high-capacity data server. On the later front, the G-Monster is being offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB capacities.
Back to the issue of cost. As expected, these drives won't be cheap, and if rumored pricing holds true, look for a starting price of $1,600, with the 1TB drive commanding $4,500. But did we mention 1000MB/s read and write speeds?
There's fast, and then there's stupid-fast, and a new hybrid SSD drive will fall into the latter category if it can live up to the speed claims being put out by its manufacturer, who says a single DDRDrive X1 can hit a staggering 300,000 IOPS.
The new drive combines 4GB of DDR memory for high-speed operation along with 4GB of NAND flash memory for backup duties. By doing so, the manufacturer claims a full 4GB backup will take no longer than 60 seconds. Equally impressive, the drive scales at a 1:1 ratio with multiple drives, making it theoretically possible to backup 32GB, 64GB, or even 128GB in 60 seconds with the appropriate configuration.
DDRDrive CTO Christopher George says the hybrid drive was designed with a maximum IOPS performance in mind, and according to the X1's spec sheet, it offers 512B reads and writes up to 300,000+ and 200,000+ IOPS, respectively, and 4KB reads and writes up to 50,000+ and 35,000+ IOPS, respectively. By comparison, Intel's fastest SSDs offering 35,000 IOPS in 4KB read and 3,300 IPOS in 4KB writes.
Less impressive is the DDRDrive X1's read and write transfer rates, which is bound by its PCI-E Gen 1 interface and checks in around 250MB/s (read) and 155MB/s (write).
RipNAS this week announced two new storage devices, the Statement SSD and Statement HDD. Both come capable of ripping CDs, leading the company to claim the former as the "world's first Solid State Drive Ripping NAS." And as far as we know, they're right.
The aptly named Statement series also challenges traditional NAS design in aesthetics. Instead of a bulky box, RipNAS chose a svelte silver enclosure that would fit right in with a home theater setup. Combined with its media streaming capabilities and dead silent operation (SSD version), RipNAS might be on to something.
On the hardware front, both boxes come an Intel Atom dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and four USB 2.0 ports. The SSD version will come configured with 500GB (2x250GB), and 3TB (2x1.5TB) of storage in the HDD version.
There are backup solutions, and then there's the Phoenix System built by Axxana. The company's tagline reads, "Built to Last," and boy do they mean it. After all, the backup box claims to be able to withstand power failures, earthquakes, terror attacks, fires, flood, and all kinds of nasty weather.
On the inside, Axxana's Phoenx holds anywhere from 72GB to 300GB of data via removable flash media. System performance checks in at up to 200MB/s data transfers, up to 17,000 IOOPs, and protection for up to 4,096 independent volumes. But the 'how much' and 'how fast' serves as only a footnote to the Phoenix's real strength, which is its ability to withstand nearly ever conceivable catastrophe.
According to Axxana, the rugged 436-pound, 38in (H) x 27in (W) x 48in (H) box can survive up to 2000¼ F for up to an hour, after which time it can still withstand 482¼ F for 6 more hours. It can also emerge unscathed following a 40G shock, having 5000 pounds of weight come crashing down on it, or being submerged in 30 feet of water pressure.
Actually getting to your data in the event of a disaster might be the hardest part, so Axxana also outfitted the Phoenix with 3G and WiFi antennas for remote access, with the battery providing up to 6 hours of 3G transfer.
Hold the boat, Blu-ray, a breakthrough in optical storage technology could prove to be game changing, according to General Electric. GE today announced that its researchers have successfully demonstrated a threshold microholographic storage material they say can support 500GB of storage capacity in a standard DVD-sized disc. That breaks down to about 20 times the storage capacity of a standard Blu-ray disc and is equivalent to 100 regular DVDs, the company says.
"GE’s breakthrough is a huge step toward bringing our next generation holographic storage technology to the everyday consumer," said Brian Lawrence, who leads GE’s Holographic Storage program. "Because GE’s micro-holographic discs could essentially be read and played using similar optics to those found in standard Blu-ray players, our technology will pave the way for cost-effective, robust and reliable holographic drives that could be in every home."
GE's holographic storage technology makes use of the entire volume of the disc material rather than just the surface. Three-dimensional patterns represent bits of information, a process GE has been working on for over six years but has only just now turned a corner with the latest breakthrough.
When solid state drives (SSDs) first made a push into the mainstream market last earlier this year, less than stellar benchmark results and buggy controllers did little to convince users it worth paying a premium for flash-based drives over less expensive and much larger (in capacity) hard drives. But the latest round of SSDs have picked up their game, such as OCZ's refreshed Vertex line, the Vertex EX.
"The new OCZ Vertex EX is designed to deliver unparalleled performance and reliability, featuring the latest-generation architecture and SATA interface utilizing single-level cell NAND flash memory for unmatched overall system responsiveness and stability for enterprise grade server solutions," said Alex Mei, CMO of the OCZ Technology Group.
But forget about enterprise grade server solutions - the Vertex EX looks to be a killer storage option for high end desktops, at least on paper. Available in 60GB and 120GB capacities, the new drives boast an impressive 260MB/s read, 210MB/s write (200MB/s for the 60GB), and up to 100MB/s sustained write. Like the previous Vertex drives, the new EX refresh also comes with 64MB of onboard cache and support RAID configurations.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
As the price of NAND flash memory drops to record lows, more and more hardware vendors are getting into the solid state drive business—and why wouldn’t they? A standard hard drive has lots of moving parts, but a solid state drive is nothing more than a few NAND flash modules, a controller chip, some PCB, and an enclosure. CSX is well known in Europe as a producer of aftermarket RAM for Apple products, and its Diablo gaming RAM has started making waves in the United States. But this 128GB multilevel cell (MLC) SSD marks the company’s first foray into the solid state market.
Single-level cell (SLC) SSDs typically have better write speeds than multilevel cell drives, but MLCs are more common because they’re much cheaper. We’ve tested a few standout MLCs, including Intel’s X-25M, but most of the multilevel cell drives we’ve benchmarked have suffered from poor write speeds.