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Computex 2014 - One of the more impressive, and very surprising things to see at Computex this year was seeing G.Skill re-enter the SSD game with the amazingly fast Phoenix Blade series of SSDs.
G.Skill's new set of flash is based on the PCI Express 2.0 x8 bus, and comes in two sizes: 480GB and 960GB. The 960GB model is capable of sequential reads of up to 1800MB/sec, or 1.8GB/sec while the sequential writes are being pushed up to a huge 1100MB/sec, or 1.1GB/sec. 4KB Random IOPS are hitting 230K, which is impressive. I definitely need a few of these in my life!
Strontium, a leading digital storage brand from Singapore, today launched its finest and fastest range the ultra-high speed Nitro Plus, in Singapore. The much awaited range of products by Strontium consists of UHS-I Speed Class 3 SD and microSD cards, which enable consumers to capture and watch 4K2K Ultra HD pictures and videos on their high performance cameras, tablets and smartphones.
Users can capture up to 2 hours of 4K2K HD video on a 128GB SD card. In addition to 4K2K video capture, Nitro Plus cards can also be used for burst or continuous mode photograph capture and television recording. The faster transfer speeds also reduce the time needed to download large movie and music files to smartphones and tablets.
The NITRO PLUS microSD 3-in-1 comes in three memory capacities 16GB, 32GB and 64GB which are priced at $25.99, $47.99 and $95.99 respectively. The NITRO PLUS SD card is available in four memory capacities - 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, which are priced at $25.99 SGD, $47.99, $95.99, and $166.99 respectively.
Computex 2014: Today Crucial announced the new MX100, a direct replacement for the M500 series and with the world's first 16nm flash.
We were able to test the 512GB and 256GB models before leaving for Taipei but didn't get the content ready. We'll publish full reports in a few days when things slow down at the show. Till then, let's look at the press release and some teaser benchmark results.
Key features of the new Crucial MX100 SSD include:
- Sequential read and write speeds up to 550MB/s and 500 MB/s respectively on all file types
- Up to 89 percent more energy efficient than a typical hard drive
- Industry-leading feature set includes best-in-class hardware encryption, Native Write Acceleration, Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN), Exclusive Data Defense, Adaptive Thermal Protection, and Power Loss Protection
Key features of the new Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory:
- Offers introductory speeds starting at 2666 MT/s and 3000 MT/s and expected to increase as the technology matures
- Increases memory bandwidth up to 24GB/s, nearly double the bandwidth of standard DDR3 memory
- Supports Intel® XMP 2.0 profiles and modules are optimized for the latest Intel X99 platforms
- Available in 4GB and 8GB modules, as well as 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB kits
- Introduces a new design to the Ballistix line-up with an aggressively styled anodized aluminum heat spreader on a custom-designed black PCB
Key features of the new Crucial DDR4 server memory include:
- Up to twice as fast and delivers double the memory bandwidth over DDR3 technology when it was introduced (1066 MT/s and 8.5GB/s with DDR3 vs. 2133 MT/s and 17GB/s on DDR4).
- Operating at 1.2V, Crucial DDR4 server memory uses up to 20 percent less voltage than DDR3 technology when it was introduced (1.5V).
- Leverages the latest advances in technology and is up to 40 percent more energy efficient than DDR3 memory when it was introduced.
Computex 2014: WD demonstrated their newest drive utilizing a new interconnect today at Computex. The new drive is built upon the same philosophy as the WB Black2 (reviewed here by Tyler Bernath) but boasts a much faster interface. The new SATA Express connection allows storage devices to communicate over the PCIe bus, and the WD implementation leverages the AHCI command set to assure broad compatibility.
The benefit off SATA Express? Massive speed of course. Here we can see the new drive pulling down 695 MB/s in a sequential test. This is much faster than the limitation of the SATA 2 bus, which tops out around 550 MB/s. The new drive, much like the Black 2, has a 128GB SSD in tandem with a larger 4TB HDD.
Here we can see the new drive from WD, which actually has both an SSD and an HDD. We also see the new connector that provides the bridge between the motherboard PCIe slots and the connector on the drive.
Our TweakTown hand model Chris Ramseyer shows us the new connector in this picture, but he has also written the world's first article covering SATA Express back in December of 2013.
Seagate was an early investor in SandForce. At one time, we expected to read about Seagate acquiring the company that brought SSDs to the mainstream market but LSI stepped in before that could happen. As part of LSI, SandForce contributed to two product divisions, Accelerated Solutions Division and Flash Components Division. Seagate will acquire both for $450 million in cash.
The acquisition strengthens Seagate's position in the SSD market. Seagate also has a strategic agreement in place with Samsung for advanced NAND flash supply. Current Seagate 600 SSDs use Micron NAND flash and Seagate 1200 SSDs use Samsung flash so the company has the flash side covered.
The acquisition comes at a good time for everyone involved. The SandForce team has the most anticipated NAND flash controller coming to market later this year, SF370. The SF3700 is the first controller to run both SATA and PCIe on the same silicon and early first hand testing at LSI's AIS event last year proved SandForce's claims of over 1800 MB/s sequential reads.
Seagate has already displayed SF3700 in M.2 form factor at Flash Memory Summit last year. This means Seagate has already been working on new products based on SandForce's latest silicon.
As mentioned, there are two divisions coming to Seagate. The Accelerated Solutions Division is responsible for products like LSI's Nytro products that merge LSI RAID hardware with SandForce hardware.
SSDs are already incredibly fast, pushing 500MB/sec in read/write speeds for around $200 - but how does a 300% speed increase sound to you? Yeah, I thought so. Well, a team from Japan's Chuo University have developed a new technology which solves some of the speed hurdles of SSDs associated with "garbage collection" on solid state drives.
The team has come up with an easy solution, which uses a "logical block address scrambler" which reduces the effects of the fragmentation, while at the same time reduces the amount of copies required during garbage collection. This new technology used on an SSD during their testing saw an increase in write speeds of a huge 300%, which also included a 60% reduction in power consumption, and a 55% decrease in write/erase cycles.
We don't know when, or even if this new technology will make it to SSDs in the near future - but if it does, it should see itself baked into SSDs over the next couple of years.
Overland Storage, Inc., a manufacture of tape libraries and network storage devices, is merging with a little known company located in Canada, Sphere 3D. According to the earning reports announced the same day, the combined company will, "deliver a new purpose built virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance and software defined storage solution, which will include Overland's NAS platform and be delivered through Overland's channel partners."
Terms of the deal state each share of Overland common stock will be exchanged for 0.510594 common shares of Sphere 3D. That equates to roughly $4.43 per Overland share which recently (May 9th) was trading at $2.63 per share. Interesting to note - the surge in share price and volume from May 9th until the announcement on May 15th. Certainly, it could not be attributed to stellar sales results as the quarterly earnings report presented on May 15th resembles every report for the past several years - millions of dollars of losses.
This merger is just one more in a long string of M&A activity with Overland. Most notably, the acquisition of Snap Appliances for a mere $3.6M in 2008, just four years after Adaptec bought Snap for nearly $100M. More recently, in November of last year, Overland merged with Tandberg, one of the other long standing tape library leaders. Throughout all of these mergers, every new incarnation continuously bled money while trying to find a path out of being the tired, old tape vendor.
Today SanDisk unveiled the all new X300s, its first self-encrypting solid state drive. The X300s utilizes CG Opal 2.0 and Microsoft Encrypted Hard Drive hardware-based encryption, as well as a new SSD administration dashboard that allows for easier audit and compliance management. These new features allow the X300s to deliver maximum data protection performance that in-turn gives IT managers peace of mind.
"Businesses of all sizes want computers that are reliable, secure, built to last and are easy to support remotely," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager, client storage solutions at SanDisk. "For the enterprises that deploy hundreds or even thousands of laptops, it's essential that their IT departments be able to centrally and securely manage these devices. The X300s, designed with SanDisk's world-class flash, helps corporate IT leaders not only deliver the heightened performance and lower TCO that flash is known for, but also addresses data protection and security needs, without business disruption."
Samsung and Seagate have teamed up for some massive storage for Android users, with the Samsung Wireless media device featuring a whopping 1.5TB. This is enough to hold a serious amount of media, or any other files you need stored.
The device can handle up to five users connected to it wirelessly, without the need of an Internet connection. Android-powered devices running Gingerbread or higher can access it, as well as Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Samsung's Wireless media device can also act as an Internet gateway for those same five devices, on top of allowing users to connect through USB 3.0 for direct access.
It continues to get better, with the Samsung Wireless capable of charging Android devices, too. All of this comes at a price of $179, and is available across the world right now.
EMC holds an annual trade show each year and it's turning into a big deal. Each year EMC also has an awards banquet for companies and products it deems worthy. This year, Load DynamiX won the coveted Technology Connect Partner of the Year Award.
"We are pleased to recognize Load DynamiX as an outstanding Technology Connect Advantage Partner of the Year," said Don Lamburn, Director, EMC Technology Connect Program, EMC Corporation. "We look forward to working with Load DynamiX as they play an important role in helping customers validate their infrastructure on their journey to the 3rd platform."