SSDs with a 64GB storage capacity fetched close to a grand last year. But their outrageous prices have become subdued with the passage of time. Now, if you act quickly, OCZ’s brand new Core V2 OCZSSD2-2C60G 2.5” 60GB SSD could be yours for $240 – approximately $4/GB. The SSD boasts read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec. It also features a built-in USB 2.0 port for firmware updates, and can serve as a replacement for your notebook’s HDD.
Solid state drives (SSDs) are best known for the potential performance gains, but the numbers currently being touted could be just the tip of the iceberg. Engineers and researchers at the IBM Hursley development lab in England and Almaden Research Center in California have taken SSD technology to new heights by demonstrating performance results that surpass the world's fastest disk storage solution by 250 percent.
Using a combination of flash solid-state technology and IBM's storage virtualization technology, the company managed to transfer data at a sustained rate of over one million Input/Output (I/O) per second boasting a response time of under one millisecond. When pitted against the fastest industry benchmarked disk system, the company claims not only was performance improved by 250 percent, but it did so at less than 1/20th the response time and by taking up 1/5th the floor space, all the while requiring only 55 percent of the power and cooling.
Based on the name alone, one would expect Qnap’s TS-209 Pro II NAS box to offer more features than its predecessors—particularly our leader in this storage category, Qnap’s TS-109 Pro. And while the former does allow for increased capacity, it does not provide significant improvements in performance or offer more features than the TS-109 Pro, which has been out for more than a year.
Monday, we told you about the forthcoming SATA Revision 3.0, also known as SATA 6Gb/s. Given the fact that conventional hard disks still don't saturate the original SATA 1.5Gb/s bus, let alone the mainstream SATA Revision 2.0 3Gb/s bus, why bother with another speedup?
In a word: SSDs. The Inquirerreports that the new Intel solid-state drives introduced this week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) come very close to saturating the SATA 3Gb/s bus with 250MB/s read speed, while blowing the doors off conventional hard disks and third-party SSDs. And, they're not alone. As we reported Monday, Indilinx isn't far behind, offering the 230MB/s Barefoot SSD drive controller.
To learn more about why some SSD drives are faster than others, and what else SATA-IO is working on for the near future, join us after the jump.
So, what makes some SSD drives faster (or slower) than others? SSD drive performance is affected by two factors: the speed of the controller and the speed of the SSD memory chips. Currently, the fastest SSD drives use single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, while drives using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash trade higher capacity for slightly slower performance. As capacities climb and performance zooms, it's going to be an interesting fall and winter in the SSD business.
That's the good news. The Inquirer also reports that the SATA-IO's Power over eSATA initiative, announced in January, is now expected to be released in early 2009 (rather than late this year as was originally expected). Power over eSATA will enable eSATA drives to pull their power from the eSATA port, just as many USB drives get their power from the USB port. Whenever Power over eSATA appears (and let's hope they come up with a cooler acronym than the logical "PoeSATA"), it will be very helpful in getting eSATA to become mainstream.
Confused by terms like SATA II, SATA Gen 2, and SATA 3Gb/s? You're not alone. With today's release (link in PDF format) of the PHY (physical layer) portion of the forthcoming SATA revision 3.0 specification (details here), SATA-IO, the trade association responsible for defining Serial ATA specifications, is trying hard to stomp out the many misidentifications of SATA specifications and features over the years.
SATA revision 3.0 doubles the speed of the current 3Gb/s version, reaching transfer speeds of 6Gb/s. So, what should you call the newest member of the SATA specifications family? According to the SATA Naming Guidelines, here's what works:
The first reference in a document should be: "Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0." Additional references can be to either "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s."
To find out how SATA-IO is also working to clear up confusion for current technologies, join us after the jump.
Talk about a generational leap forward. The SSD revolution has barely begun, but while others are busy focusing on incremental capacity bumps nowhere near the size of the largest HDD, BitMicro says it can now make SSDs with a ginormous 6.5TB capacity.
According to TG Daily, the company made the claim at the Siggraph trade show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The rep went on to say that the custom drives can have up to 55,000 input/output instructions per second (IOPS) with sustained (not burst) transfers of up to 230 MB/s. In other words, not only would this wonder drive thoroughly trounce today's SSDs in terms of capacity, but it would be faster too.
The drives would also be physically bigger, with the loose-lipped rep saying the custom SSDs would be about two to three times higher than a regular drive.
Anyone think we'll see 1TB SSDs before long, let alone 6.5TB models?
Solid state drives (SSDs) have been all the buzz lately, with companies like OCZ and Super Talent pushing faster solutions at lower price points. But despite the strides being made, industry experts predict it could take up to 10 years for the SSD business to write realistic enterprise-level standards for flash memory.
Motivating vendors to get there, the enterprise flash memory market is projected to be in the $60 billion range by 2012. While cost still remains a roadblock, the real stickling point is that flash memory can only last for a limited amount of write cycles, at which point the cells become read-only.
"Personally, I think SSDs are a terrible replacement for hybrid hard drives (HHDs) at this time, for a lot of reasons, the biggest of which is that they haven't been around long enough to know how they really will perform in heavy-duty production situations," said Robin Harris, a panel member for Data Mobility Group.
Many analysts agree that the SSD industry needs a standard, and according to Michael Cornwell, Sun Microsystems' new head of NAND flash business development, "there are about 60 flash vendors and about 17 organizations doing some kind of standards work." Hard drives went through a similar competitive transition period back in the '80s, but it didn't happen over night.
Are we really a decade off from SSDs becoming a viable option in the enterprise market?
Kingston announced that it is shipping a 32GB Elite Pro SDHC Flash memory card. The new 32GB card is the largest capacity in Kingston’s line of SDHC cards, which currently includes 4-, 8- and 16GB capacities.
“With the growing popularity of digital video and the HD format, consumers continue to look for ways to extend recording times and maintain fast data transfer rates (DTR) to maximize the performance of their recording device,” said Wendy Lecot, Flash business manager, at Kingston. “Our new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC memory card is optimized to meet the demands of high capacity and fast write speeds to help consumers share their lives through the use of video, photography and other creative devices. With the addition of the 32GB capacity card, Kingston is at the forefront of offering a versatile line of SDHC solutions to solve a variety of needs in today’s digital imaging world.”
32GB is a crap load of MP3s, photos or video to go on these little cards, with about 6,000 still images (with a 10MP camera) and over eight hours of video (for 6Mbps HD extended recording)
Kingston puts the MSRP at $308.00, and it is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Features and Specifications:
Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification version 2.00
Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
Compatible: with SDHC host devices; not compatible with standard SD-enabled devices/readers
File Format: FAT 32
Dimensions: 0.94″ x 1.25″ x 0.08″ (24mm x 32 mm x 2.1mm)
Speed Class 4: 4MB/sec. guaranteed minimum data transfer rate
Power users who have dreamed of outfitting their portable backup solution in a RAID 0 array can now do so thanks to Addonics' new Portable Dual Drive RAID enclosure (AE25RDESU). Nervous Nellies are covered too, with RAID 1 providing a backup for your backup. The handheld device accepts up to two 2.5-inch SATA drives inside its "heat resistant aluminum" chassis, or pick up the optional SATA-CF hard disk adapter and install up to four CompactFlash cards. Other notable features include:
Easy installation and removal of hard drive
USB 2.0/1.1 and eSATA support
RAID configuration with DIP switch or GUI configuration
Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, BIG (Concatenation), SAFE50, SAFE33, or GUI mod using built-in hardware RAID
Can be powered by USB port
For backup duties Addonics throws in DriveClone software and the device itself includes a backup button the company claims "can be configured to provide the convenience of one button backup of any critical files or folders."
Pricing has been set to $100 and can be purchased now.
Toshiba said it has upgraded its onboard flash memory with a new 32GB embedded module. The upgrade makes use of eight 4GB NAND chips built using a smaller 43nm manufacturing process in a single package, allowing Toshiba to fit twice as much capacity in a similar space as before.
The 32GB modules are expected to show up in smaller portable devices, and because the new design integrates its own controller to manage data traffic, other device makers will be able to drop the package in without having to re-engineer their hardware. Toshiba hasn't said which individual customers are expected to buy the new 32GB packages, but it's worth noting that Toshiba is a key supplier of Apple and we could very well end up seeing the chips used in iPhones and iPod Touches.
Toshiba will start offering samples to clients in September with bulk production to expected to follow shortly after.