CES 2010 - Patriot is a company most tend to think of when it comes to desktop memory and secondly SSDs. We visited the Patriot suite today here during CES and the company that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year made it rather clear to us that it intends to break out of its mold and stick its nose into new products to expand its range.
Besides this upcoming range of new SSDs that Chris will cover separately, we were able to get a first look at a whole range of new storage based products that Patriot intends to launch in 2010.
In the video below you'll see Patriot's first serious NAS device, its upcoming USB 3.0 caddies as well as its 4 x 4 unit that excepts four 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs and is able to offer some rather solid performance numbers since it can be ran in various RAID modes.
Patriot also has some interesting driver tweaks for its pen drives and SSDs drives that is able to significantly improve random write performance by telling the flash controller to write sequentially rather than randomly. It's over my head, but you'll read more from Chris soon on this as well.
Western Digital has revealed today that it is currently working on a new version of its Velociraptor hard disk which will take the Raptor series into its fourth generation.
The new drive will boast the largest capacity a Raptor has ever seen at 600GB using two 300GB platters, with a 300GB single platter drive also apparently to be released. Further to the larger capacities are improved electronics and a significantly larger amount of cache.
One of the best bits of news about these new drives is the pricing, with the 600GB model said to initially kick off at around the same price point as current-gen 300GB models (~$250).
The VelociRaptor drives are good alternatives to SSDs with much larger capacities on tap at significantly cheaper prices, whilst still offering much faster performance when compared to traditional mainstream hard disks.
Kingston's little 40GB SSDNow V Boot Drive is all about bringing SSD technology within reach of budget buyers, but Kingston are about to make the reach even closer with a smaller 30GB Boot Drive SSDNow V series drive.
This is set to become available as of next month with an initial promotional price of just $79.99 after rebates, though that's only available in the U.S. - Standard pricing will be $110, around $20 less than the current 40GB model.
A quick run over the specs; this little solid state drive is of course in 2.5-inch form, uses a SATA 3.0Gbps interface, carries a MTBF of 500,000 hours and read and write speeds of 180MB/sec and 50MB/sec respectively.
CES 2010 - On the 2nd day of CES 2010 we stopped by Netgear to see some of their new toys. The tag line for this year is "anywhere, anytime, any media, any screen" To this end Netgear was showing off a few new and very interesting products. The most interesting was the Stora.
This is a highly available and powerful NAS device. We were shown that regardless of the screen we could play media. At one point we were all invited to connect to Netgear's wireless network and to access the "mystora" web page. From there we could view all of the photos, and videos that were stored there, it was pretty cool and something that beats out traditional NAS devices in terms of functionality. The connectivity was not limited to the internal network either. Stora can be accessed over the internet as well.
Some of the features of the Stora are
High Performance home network storage and media server
Second hot-swap drive bay for on-the-fly RAID 1 protection whenever you decide
Gigabit Ethernet port for ultra-fast wired connections.
ReadyDLNATM - Embedded DLNA media server plays content on DLNA/UPnP AV devices like EVA2000, XBox360, PS3, DLNA compliant TVs.
Embedded iTunes Server
Smooth, powerful web interface with playback functionality
CES 2010 - Also at Storage Visions we stopped by to visit Micron who were showing off the Crucial RealSSD C300 that was just announced earlier this morning.
We got a demo of the SSD running on a Shuttle XPC system and just what type of performance it can offer. The system is running Windows 7 and highlighted is boot time, loading large image files and also shut down performance.
In the video we shot below we also get a look inside the drive and we see the Micron flash chips that are put to good use. Chris will be getting one into his lab for review soon, so stay tuned.
More to follow later. Sorry about the end of the video - there must have been an upload error!
CES 2010 - Storage Visions has started today as a warm up to the big CES show and we are on the ground checking out the storage related companies at the show.
Our first stop was with Verbatim who was showing off its line of new and unreleased storage products. We spoke to them and shot the video below.
More coming up from Storage Visions soon!
ioSafe have just officially announced their new ioSafe Solo SSD which promises to be the most robust and ruggedized portable external storage device the world's ever seen. It has both USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity.
The Solo is said to be near impossible to break with its proprietory ArmorPlate military grade steel outer casing and the use of an SSD to ensure the ultimate in shock, drop and crush protection.
ioSafe has also built and tested the drive to be both fire and water proof. It's said to be able to protect data from fires at up to 1550°F for 30 minutes or more and can be submersed under water of up to 30' deep for 30 days in either fresh or salt water.
ioSafe are so confident your data will remain safe with this drive that they're providing a free Data Recovery Service with no questions asked, should anything from accidental deletion to viruses or physical disaster occur and your data becomes innaccessible.
Pricing comes in at $499 for 64 GB, $749 for 128 GB and $1250 for 256 GB, with availability of the Solo from http://www.hddfiresafe.com, Ingram Micro and select international distros as of next month.
iosafe is going to perform an entertaining demonstration with this product at CES, but exact details of what their plans are remain sealed. Our CES crew Will be sure to bring you the scoop once it takes place.
When it comes to backing up lots of data across a network the best way to do it is often with a NAS device. Using this sort of device, you can back up all sorts of data and digital content from any PC on a network to a central location.
Thecus has unveiled a new NAS called the N4200. The device has a dual-core Intel CPU for better system response and to handle multiple clients more quickly. The device has dual displays for easier management and you can change the settings of the device on one of the screens.
The drive bays are combo SATA bays compatible with both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA HDDS. Supported RAID modes include 0/1/5/6/10 and JBOD. Pricing and availability are unknown.
A not so well known Taiwanese company by the name of InnoDisk has just announced a new lineup of PCI-Express based SSDs it calls the Matador II Series.
Aimed primarily at the Enterprise market segment, these high-speed storage solutions are capable of read and write speeds of 800MB/sec and 600MB/sec respectively thanks to the use of the PCI-E x8 interface. Storage capacities range from 128GB through a whopping 2TB.
InnoDisks is expecting to shift as many as million Matador II Series drives throughout next year. Pricing is not yet known, but it's likely for many people, you'll need to sell body parts first if you want one.
Intel's new X25-V series (V being short for Value) is much welcomed into the market as a very attractive option for entry level SSD buyers thanks to its lowly price tag, but the current 40GB capacity limit is a little too small for some.
However, word's about that Intel is planning an X25-V drive with twice the capacity which is said to be launched before Q4 2010 comes around.
The increased capacity also means it'll likely offer even better performance thanks to the use of more NAND flash chips. Pricing is expected to stay nice and low at roughly what the 40GB version costs now (around $100 USD), thanks to Intel's more efficient manufacturing process, likely around 28nm.
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The massive battery recalls that happened in 2007 are still in the minds of many notebook users. The batteries had flaws that caused them to short circuit and lead to overheating and some batteries caught on fire. Panasonic has unveiled a new lithium-ion battery pack that is safer and has more storage capacity.
The new battery packs use standard 18650 form factor cylindrical cells that measure 65mm long and 18mm wide. The cells are packed into the cases that we recognize as laptop batteries. Each of the new cells has a storage capacity of 3.1Ah compared to the standard battery's 2.9Ah.
That is a 7% improvement in run time for the new cells. The new cells also have a positive electrode made of nickel and an insulating metal layer between the cathode and anode to prevent overheating if the cell short circuits. The new cell technology is the same size as cells built using older technology.
Memory card readers are a dime a dozen today and 99% of them are all the same. The things are almost exclusively USB readers and they tend to read the same formats. Users that read large CF or SDHC cards have probably wished the memory card readers were faster before.
Addonics has unveiled a pair of new memory card readers called the pocket eSATA/USB DigiDrive and the internal SATA/USB DigiDrive. The pocket version of the reader reads 15 memory card formats and connects via either USB or eSATA ports.
The internal version connects via SATA and slips into a 3.5-inch drive bay. Both of the readers can be had in versions that can read and write to the memory cards. Both of the memory card readers are also firmware updatable for support of new formats. The read only version of both readers are $59.99.
Reminising of the funny ole' DriveSpace' days way back where it would work supposed magic to double the capacity of your hard drive (only for many to find out soon after their data would crumble beyond any hope of retrieval), Western Digital has come up with a new form of increasing the amount of usable space on a hard disk which is said to be a lot more reliable.
WD calls it 'advanced format' which is a new partitioning method that gets rid of all the Sync/DAM headers and Ecc that each sector normally includes and instead makes use of larger 4k physical sectors, as depicted from the image shown below.
Whilst this method means the ECC ends up being larger, the overall increase in space is still enough to make this form of partitioning worthwhile with an increase in usable storage space of between 7 and 11% (certainly quite noticeable when you're talking 1+TB HDDs).
The only downside? You won't be able to update a current drive's firmware and reformat with the new Advanced Format. WD is only making this format possible on drives shipping out of its factory as of a few weeks from now, with the Caviar Green series being the first to get the Advanced Format treatment and other WD lines to follow soon after.
The SSD is certainly superior technology to the HDD in many respects. The SSD has more speed, needs less power, and can last longer since there are no moving parts to wear out. The downside to the SSD is that the things are expensive.
That last caveat means that the SSD is more common in the enterprise market than the consumer market. Maxwell Technologies has announced that its BOOSTCAP Ultracapacitors are now being integrated inside SSDs for the enterprise environment.
The capacitors offer 10 to 25 farads allowing the SSD to have an internal battery backup. The power stored in the capacitors allows write operations to complete in the event of a power loss. The capacitors are also small enough that the SSD form factor doesn't have to be changed.
Along with the paper launch of its first series of SSDs yesterday known as Pulsar, word from Seagate has also come in that they're working towards bringing out a series of "Momentus Thin" 2.5-inch hard disks for laptops which measure just 7mm in thickness, down from the standard 9.5mm.
Due to the smaller height, it's only logical that Seagate will stick to a single platter and of course use the SATA interface. Inevitably there will be 5400RPM models, but it's possible they will bring out some 7200RPM ones as well.
The new lower height drives will be ideal for laptop manufacturers looking to trim down next-gen portable PCs as much as possible. Seagate plan to officially unveil the new Momentus Thin series in Jan 2010.
SilverStone has brought out a new external storage enclosure today dubbed the DS221.
The DS221 is a 2.5-inch unit which supports up to two 2.5-inch HDDs with the ability to make use of RAID 0/1/JBOD. Connectivity to a PC can be either via eSATA or USB 2.0.
The enclosure is 100% tool-less with a robust door locking mechanism.
SilverStone reports that the DS221 will become available around the middle of this month in Europe with an associating price tag of EUR 66.90.
You can read more about the DS221's feature-set at the official product page here folks.
Seagate has stirred up the SSD market today with the introduction of its first solid state disk, the Pulsar series.
These drives are aimed at the Enterprise market segment and use SLC (Single-Level Cell) technology. Seagate's press release states performance numbers of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS, 240MB/s sequential read and 200 MB/s sequential write rates.
While at this stage the Pulsar series is only meant for OEMs, by the end of Q1 2010 drives should be seen circulating in retail channels. But what's most exciting is that now Seagate has landed in the SSD realm and got the ball rolling, so we should start to see many more and exciting SSD models from them in the not too distant future, both at the Enterprise and general consumer levels.
You can find Seagate's official announcement on the new Pulsar series here. Further to that is an introductory article to Pulsar put together by our own Sean Kalinich who was able to get a full briefing from Seagate about these new SSDs; entitled "Seagate light up the Enterprise SSD sky with Pulsar".
Also, in our State of Solid State - Chapter II article we published earlier today, Chris had managed to get in touch with Seagate's Senior PR Manager responsible for enterprise storage, David Szabados and has a bunch of interesting questions answered on this page relating to Pulsar and beyond.
Where Seagate has become the first hard disk manufacturer to introduce a drive using the new 6Gbps interface, Micron has become the first to do the same for a solid state drive.
Micron call it the RealSSD C300 and in theory, thanks to the new interface it can provide read speeds of up to 355MB/sec and 215MB/sec for write. It's also been said the drive is the first to use ONFI 2.1 high-speed synchronous NAND flash, so it sounds promising as to just what kind of numbers this beast can push out in real world tests.
The drive comes in both 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch sizes with current capacities being 128 and 256GB. It's due to hit the market during Q1 of next year, but there's no doubt you'll be digging deep into your pockets for one of these puppies.
You can view a couple demonstration videos below giving you a taste of the C300 in action.
The height of SD Card performance is about to increase with a new specification version 4.00 on the horizon, said to be ready by spring of next year.
The jump will go from a current maximum of 104MB/sec to a whopping 300MB/sec, but this of course means the hardware reading the card will need to be updated to take advantage of the much higher speeds as well.
The higher speed is accomplished by changing the data transfer scheme from parallel to serial using low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS). This also means the number of pins on the cards themselves and in the readers will increase from the current nine in order to get the speed increase. It's been said the new cards, despite having more pins, will be able to operate in current hardware, only the speeds will of course be limited to a max of 104MB/sec.
RunCore has performed another tidy maneuver in the SSD market with the introduction of its new Pro IV Light series of mini-SATA 50mm PCI-Express based solid state drives.
These are designed for netbooks such as ASUS' Eee PC T91. The drives use MLC NAND flash memory and promise read and write rates of 125MB/s and 80MB/s respectively. Power usage is also impressive with as low as 120mA used while in sleep mode.
Capacity choices are 16, 32 and 64GB with their respective pricing set at $88, $118 and $198. The warranty period is 2 years.
For more details, you can locate the full press announcement from RunCore at the source link provided below.