Most of the talk surrounding solid state storage tends to revolve around the performance numbers, or lack thereof. Sluggish write speeds have hampered the hype on all but a select few models, and while more attention is being paid to the performance numbers, speed isn't the only thing increasing; SSDs are getting bigger.
Toshiba said it will have on display a 512GB solid state drive next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with shipments expected in the second quarter of 2009. At 512GB, Toshiba's SSD would rival mobile hard disk drives and qualify as one of the largest capacity SSDs for use in notebooks.
Alongside the 2.5-inch 512GB SSD, Toshiba also plans to release 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models in both 1.8 an 2.5.-inch drive enclosures or as SSD flash modules. The new drives will be part of Toshiba's upcoming lineup of "fast read/write SSDs" built on a 43nm manufacturing process using multi-level cell (MLC) technology.
"The solid state drive market is evolving rapidly, with higher performance drives to meet market requirements, and differentiated product families targeted for appropriate applications,” said Mr. Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Vice President of Toshiba Corporation's Semiconductor Company. "This new 43nm SSD family balances value/performance characteristics for its targeted consumer applications, through use of MLC NAND and an advanced controller architecture."
Performance for the new drives look promising, with rated read and write speeds up to 250MB/s and 200MB/s respectively.
It looks like Toshiba has been keeping the Japanese gamer market satisfied lately, with a very beefy line of Qosmio laptops that boast some pretty impressive stats.
The Qosmio line has been pretty successful, releasing some 20 notebooks over in the land of the rising sun. Their most recent additions include the Qosmio FX (15.4-inch screen) and GX (18.4-inch screen). Both feature a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600, an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD.
Their even beefier SpursEngine G50 will feature the same specs of the FX and GX, but with the addition of a SpursEngine graphics system, a second 250GB HDD, a digital TV Tuner, four USB ports, a eSATA socket, 1.3-mexapixel camera, a fingerprint sensor and a dual-layer DVD burner.
The pricing has been listed between $2,327 and $3,767, and they should be available before the end of the year.
The mobile gaming sector continues to play leapfrog as each manufacturer attempts to jump to the head of the pack. Gateway wowed us with its surprisingly affordable P-7811FX crammed full of high end parts, and more recently, Alienware's new M17 gave users a double-dose of performance with dual-3870 videocards and up to 1TB of storage space in a RAID configuration. Now it's Toshiba's turn to tantalize would-be notebook buyers, and it looks to do that by introducing the world's first laptops with THREE Nvidia GPUs packed inside.
To clarify, Toshiba isn't planning a line of tri-SLI enabled laptops, and instead will take advantage of Nvidia's Hybrid SLI technology. The Qosmio X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 will be the first two units outfitted with three GPUs, which will consist of a GeForce 9400M and two 9800M GTS GPUs. When not fragging foes, gamers can switch to the 9400M GPU while the other two GPUs power down, resulting in a quieter notebook with presumably longer battery life.
For $4,200, the X305-Q708 also brings an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU to the table along with a 17" 1680x1050 display, 4GB of RAM, 320GB SATA drive, a second 128GB SSD, DVD burner, a 1.3MP webcam with face recognition, HDMI and DisplayPort connections, and Harmon Kardon speakers. At less than half the price ($2,000), the X305-706 drops down to an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU and drops the SSD drive.
The X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 are available now from ToshibaDirect.
Toshiba's TLP-X200U might not have the same novelty appeal as Mio's Knight Rider GPS giving out personalized driving directions in the voice of William Daniels (KITT), but it does qualify as the world's first talking projector. The mobile projector's being billed as "ideal for non-technical people," a claim the device seeks to with voice-guided operating instructions and spoken system alerts.
Closed-captioning also comes as part of the package, as does both wireless and wired networking. Other pertinent specs include a native resolution of 1024x768 (XGA), 4:3 aspect ratio, 600:1 contrast ratio, 3000 ANSI lumens, and HDMI support. Toshiba claims a lamp life of up 2000 hours, or up to 3000 hours in Eco mode.
The 4.4-pound projector is available now with an MSRP set at $1,740.
Toshiba this week announced what it claims is the "industry's largest density SLC NAND chip at 16Gb." The claim comes from the company's new lineup of 43nm Single-Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory products available in densities ranging from 512Mbits on up to 64Gbits.
"The new ranges includes three products, 16Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb, which integrate monolithic 16Gb chips, the highest density SLC NAND chips available," Toshiba said in a press release.
Up until this point, Toshiba's production of SLC chips has been confined to 56nm and 70nm process technologies. Taking the density down to 43nm, Toshiba is touting both the read and write performance of the new parts, as well as the reliability in terms of write and erase cycles.
Devices using the new chips, including mobile phones, office automation equipment, and servers will start showing up in the market in 2009.
Battery life isn't just the bane of desktop replacements, but even moderately spec'd notebooks aren't immune from woefully short runs before requiring a recharge. And while HP has laid claim to breaking the 24-hour battery barrier, by and large we're simply not at the point of seeing extraordinary long battery life as a way of mobile life.
That doesn't mean headway isn't being made, and Toshiba thinks it can give traditional Li-Ion batteries a run for its money. Toshiba's calling its prototype the Super Charge Ion Battery (SCiB), which is being designed for notebooks. And by Super Charge, Toshiba says SCiB is capable of recharging up to 90 percent in just 10 minutes or less.
Still not impressed? Not only does SCiB hold the potential for wicked fast recharge times, but its said to both last longer and endure more charging cycles when compared to today's lithium-ion batteries. And it's not even close. Whereas lithium-ion batteries can be expected to last 500 charging cycles on average, Toshiba says its SCiB technology will last anywhere between 5000 to 6000 recharges.
The high density NAND-flash-based SSD boasts a maximum read speed of 120MB/sec and maximum write speed of 70MB/sec. On the other hand, the small-sized Flash Modules, which support 8GB, 16 GB and 32 GB densities, are claimed to be capable of a maximum read speed of 80MB/sec and maximum write speed of 50MB/sec. Both drives utilize the SATA-2 interface.
Let us see if Toshiba can pleasantly surprise everyone with cheaper than expected prices.
There seems to be no other device more inane than a pocket-sized projector. But then again, the only thing that could save a swanky cocktail party from total failure is whipping out that compact projector and flaunting last Wednesday’s financial report you so diligently put together. Everyone in attendance will be so impressed by your Powerpoint skills (look at the way that text swivels!). And fortunately for you and the rest of those lackluster cocktail parties you’re sure to attend, Toshiba plans on releasing an ultra compact projector the size of an iPod, so it’ll be easier to take your presentations with you on the go.
The prototype was on display earlier this month at Berlin’s IFA 2008, one of the biggest consumer electronics trade shows. The projector is small enough to fit comfortably inside any pants pocket and runs solely on battery. The device radiates a luminance of about 7lm and can display images as big as 50 inches.
Toshiba hopes that it will be successful at introducing the product in 2009. Afterwards, the company can focus on increasing the specs of the projector, gearing it up with more power and more capabilities. The projector may cost an upwards of $400 USD. Specifications may change before the device’s official release.
SanDisk is teaming up with major music labels, including Sony BMG, to offer “slotMusic”; 1GB memory cards preloaded with full length albums.
The albums will be sold at retailers likes Wal-Mart and Best Buy and will be encoded in high quality mp3 format. The microSD cards will have no DRM restrictions, allowing the music to be easily downloaded to a computer or loaded onto an mp3 player. SanDisk also anticipates that be offering 1GB cards, artists will take the liberty of offering more than just an average 11-track album, maybe even venturing to offer music videos, interviews, album art, bonus tracks, and other premium content.
This business venture is an interesting one, especially considering that SanDisk seems to be attempting to revive physical media. This could prove to be a difficult endeavor, especially with companies like Apple being ahead of the game with iTunes. There’s speculation that this is SanDisk’s way of trying to offset the takeover bids from Samsung and Toshiba, though analysts say there is little the company can do to try to stay independent.
Move over Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, ECS, Everex, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and everyone else, and make room in the netbook bandwagon for Toshiba and Samsung. Citing un-named "sources in the notebook industry," Digitimes says both companies will soon jump into the ultraportable fray.
Later this year, Toshiba is expected to launch its 8.9-inch Satellite NB105. Like many netbooks, the NB105 will come equipped with an Intel Atom processor. Other specs include a modest 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive, with Windows XP at the helm.
Slightly bigger at 10.2 inches, Samsung's nameless model will also sport an Intel Atom chip and 1GB of memory with Windows XP, but will come with either an 80GB or 120GB hard drive. Europe will get first crack at the new netbook next month.
Digitimes points out an interesting side note, in that looking at the top 10 notebook vendors, only Apple and Sony have yet to enter the netbook market.