Computex Taipei 2013 - A few of us walked around the halls of Nangang today, where we bumped into the Innodisk booth and saw something quite newsworthy. It was an NGFF-based SSD, which is the future of storage for super-slim devices.
Innodisk had an M.2-SATA device on show, which is based on the SATA 6Gbps spec, and comes in capacities of between 4GB and 64GB. Performance-wise, we can expect around 300MB/sec for reads, and 70MB/sec for writes. Sure, it won't break any records, but for super-slim devices, this is actually some quite good performance.
This morning storage company Silicon Power released its latest portable hard drive, the Stream S03. The new portable hard drive features design cues that were inspired by how folded pages may look in a book.
The Stream S03 features a matte finish which does well to hide fingerprints and stains while still maintaining the sleek and stylish streamlined design the Stream series is known for. In addition, the portable storage device utilizes rounded corners that allow users to handle the device with ease.
Located on the "page fold" corner is the LED status light which turns red when a USB 2.0 port is used and Blue when connected to USB 3.0. The Stream S03 is available in 500GB and 1TB capacities and features a free backup utility as well as a three-year warranty.
Early Tuesday morning Western Digital announced a new line of hard drives that is specifically designed for scale-out datacenter deployments. Western Digital says that the WD Se line is the first hard drives to be specifically designed for this specific market.
The new drives are built on an enterprise-grade platform designed for reliable 24x7x365 datacenter operation. The drives were tested to five million hours of functional and thermal testing and over 20 million hours of additional testing while being under an actual workload in server and storage systems environments.
Western Digital had the following to say about the new WD Se line:
"Today's cloud datacenter installations require a cost-effective way to build large-scale storage systems, while maintaining the 24x7 reliability necessary to minimize total cost of ownership. "WD's utilization of vast amounts of manufacturing and engineering data has forced us like many other companies to use mapreduce methodologies to effectively analyze our data. The WD Se hard drives are used in our own big datacenter, where we have gained real-world experience with Apache Hadoop."
The new drives have begun shipping in three models (WD2000F9YZ, WD3000F9YZ and WD4000F9YZ) that range from 2TB to 4TB capacities, MSRP for the new WD Se drives range from $159.99 to $309.99 for the 4TB model. Western Digital says the drives are available now through select distributors and resellers.
Ask the Experts: Does pressing the power button on your PC hurt your HDD more than clicking the Shut Down icon?
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, where we have Robin in Belize wondering if pressing the power button on a PC damages the HDD.
Q: Shutting the computer off by holding the power button is bad because the hard drive header (if you still use one) doesn't get parked where it should and instead just drops on the platters of the disk and scratches them. That is bad. But it is also said that if you simply press the power button to engage the shutdown sequence instead of clicking "shutdown" in the operating system, damage is also done. i don't see how and it doesn't seem logical; the problem that the hard shut down gave isn't present here because surely the operating system parks the header into the right place upon shutdown, whatever way it is triggered? Or am i missing something here?
A: You can view the answer to Robin's question right here.
SanDisk have announced today that they have begun customer sampling of flash memory products based on their 1Ynm process technology, which is the company's second-generation 19nm manufacturing technology.
This achievement is quite incredible, as it takes their memory cell size from 19nm by 26nm to just 19nm by 19.5nm. Even though we're talking uber small here, it is a 25% reduction of the memory cell area, allowing SanDisk to continue "leading the industry in building smaller, more powerful flash memory products".
The benefits of SanDisk's advancements in their manufacturing technology will pave the way for higher capacity SSD's, with lower manufacturing costs. Consumers and businesses will all benefit from this, which we should begin to see the benefits of going into the future. You can read more about SanDisk's industry-leading technology here.
Seagate unveils world's first purpose built 4TB video hard drive aimed at the DVR, STB and surveillance markets
This morning Seagate unveiled the industry's first 3.5-inch 4TB hard disk drive that was specifically engineered for use in video applications such as digital video recorders, set top boxes, and the recording of video surveillance. The new drive can store up to 480 hours of high-definition content, making it ideal for video storage.
The Video 3.5 HDD is ideal for satellite and cable providers as it features capacities up to 4TB with the drive being able to support up to 16 simultaneous HD streams or 20 standard-definition streams as well as 24x7 operational uptime. This would also make an excellent HDD for those looking to record feeds from several security cameras at once.
"Leveraging Seagate's 10 years of experience understanding the requirements of the video market, we've combined our knowledge on heat, acoustics and power to deliver what we believe to be the most reliable DVR drive in the world," said Scott Horn, Seagate vice president of marketing. "Our commitment to deliver a drive with unrivaled reliability ensures the safekeeping of consumers' content as well as keeping DVRs, STBs, and surveillance systems in the field longer."
The day is finally here, when Seagate enter the solid state drive arena, in a big way. Seagate have just announced their first client SSD and their next-generation enterprise SSD's.
The first SSD is the Seagate 600 SSD, which includes the usual SATA 6Gbps standard. The Seagate 600 SSD is available in multiple z-heights which includes an industry-first, diminutive 5mm-high drive which makes it perfect for ultra-slim devices. The Seagate 600 SSD is available at up to 480GB.
The second SSD in Seagate's announcement is the Seagate 600 Pro SSD is a low-power server and storage solution, perfect for cloud system builders, hyperscale datacenters, cloud service providers, content delivery networks, and virtualized environments. The Seagate 600 Pro SSD features the industry's highest IOPS/watt to improve system performance, as well as reduce power consumption.
The Seagate 600 Pro SSD uses 2.8w of power in typical use, and can reduce energy consumption by automatically adjusting the power consumption to workload I/O levels, using less power for lighter workloads. The Seagate 600 Pro SSD is available at up to 480GB, on the SATA 6Gbps standard.
Earlier this morning Buffalo announced the release of its DriveStation DDR, a new step forward in the external USB hard drive market. The DriveStation DDR is a USB 3.0 external drive that features a massive 1GB of DDR3 RAM cache for faster transfer speeds.
Buffalo says that the DriveStation DDR is capable of transfer speeds up to 408MB/s, which is 2.3x faster than the average USB 3.0 transfer speed. The DriveStation was first unveiled at CES 2013 and was shown off in a sleek black finish. The drive includes Buffalo's Backup Utility, EcoManager, SecureLock for drive encryption, and RAMDISK which creates a RAM disk on Windows based PC's.
Hajime Nakai, chief executive officer at Buffalo Technology, said:
"Buffalo has developed the perfect solution for consumers that demand fast storage performance, but don't want to sacrifice drive capacity. We designed and built the DriveStation DDR to deliver the performance of an SSD coupled with up to three terabytes of storage, giving consumers the best of both technologies at an affordable price."
The DriveStation DDR comes with a limited three year warranty and is available now at select retail partners, for an estimated street price of $139.99 for the 2TB version and $179.99 for the 3TB version.
It seems our friends over at Other World Computing (OWC) are pushing out the new Mercury Accelsior E2 and want current Gen 1 Accelsior users to upgrade to the latest and greatest. If you purchased your original Accelsior before 12/31/2012 OWC is offering a 100$ rebate if you upgrade to the latest E2. For those of you that purchased the Gen 1 Accelsior on or after 1/1/2013 you will receive $150 in rebate.
- Purchase the 0GB Accelsior_E2 Card
- Transfer the original Accelsior's SSD blades to the new E2 card (The original Accelsior SSD blades are 100% compatible with the Accelsior_E2)
- Send in the original card to receive rebate check.
The new Accelsior E2 offers all the great performance benefits you've enjoyed with the original Accelsior with the addition of two 6Gb/s eSATA expansion ports for transferring data for backup or archival purposes.
With Intel increasing the speed of its Thunderbolt interconnect to 20Gbps, and unveiling the new Falcon Ridge controller that will hit production by the end of the year, it didn't take long for the USB-IF to respond.
At the latest Intel Developers Forum that took place in Beijing recently, the USB-IF announced that development is underway to double the throughput of SuperSpeed USB from 5Gbps to 10Gbps. The speed enhancement will come with new cables, but retain backwards compatibility with existing connectors.
The USB-IF also unveiled the latest power delivery specification, providing a single cable for data and power delivery for devices up to 100 watts.
"The USB-IF recognizes consumer demand for a simplified single-cable solution to power and simultaneously transfer data to their laptops, tablets and smartphones," said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president and COO. "With the new SuperSpeed USB enhancement to increase performance up to 10 Gbps data rate, coupled with the USB Power Delivery specification capable of delivering up to 100 watts of power to USB-enabled devices, consumers will soon be able to have one USB cable to support all their needs."
It's no secret that we love to back-up our important data. We make copies of our data at home and at work and even have systems that automate the back-up process for us through devices such as NAS' and such. So many copies that we really don't get the full scope of it until a report like the one published today by IDC comes out.
Laura DuBois, Natalya Yezhkova and Ashish Nadkarni all analysts at IDC corp, published a report today called The Copy Data Problem, which cites that for every 10TB of storage, 6TB is used for backups.
Based on the approach presented in this document, IDC estimates that in 2012, more than 60% of enterprise disk storage systems capacity may have been made of copy data. Similarly, in 2012, copy data made up nearly 85% of hardware purchases and 65% of storage infrastructure software revenue. In other words, 6TB out of every 10TB of disk storage systems capacity procured and deployed is allocated to copies of primary data.
This morning NAND flash memory manufacturer BIWIN has announced that it will begin selling commercial and industrial grade solid state drives in the US, Russia and Japan.
BIWIN produces such devices as 1.8" and 2.5" SSD with SATA interface, as well as lineups of mSATA SSD, mSATA Mini SSD, Half Slim SSD, and a variety of dedicated flash memory solutions made to order.
"In the highly competitive world of flash memory production, quality and flexibility are two areas that BIWIN has shown a compelling track record within the industrial and commercial flash market. But the key feature of their product is not just the great specs on offer but the wide variety of customization that customers can take advantage of. This is something that traditional manufacturers are reluctant to offer.
By providing a wide range of choices of commercial and industrial grade SSDs or by designing the kind the customers need, BIWIN is not only providing products and services, but they are also offering greater possibilities."
Western Digital have just announced they are now shipping the world's first ultra-slim 2.5-inch hard drives. The new ultra-slim drives suck it all in, measuring just 5mm, making them the world's first 5mm 2.5-inch hard drive.
The new drives come in up to 500GB, and have been dubbed the WD Blue 5mm ultra slim hard drives, that also come as the WD Black SSHD products. The WD Black drives are high-performance solid-state hybrid drives. The new drives reduce weight by up to 36% when compared to a standard 9.5mm HDD.
Not only that, but they make use of WD's best-in-class acoustics, reducing noise when the drive is either idle or active. The new drives come in up to 500GB, with an MSRP of $89 and are backed by WD's two-year limited warranty.
Western Digital have just unveiled their latest storage device, a new 3.5-inch SAS-based solution for legacy data center storage systems. The release of their WD Xe, a 2.5-inch, 10,000 RPM, SAS-based HDD, is now available in a 3.5-inch WD performance adapter.
The new drive is shipping immediately, offering best-in-class performance, low power consumption, and a simple upgrade path for existing 3.5-inch storage systems. WD have cited the slowing demand for 3.5-inch, high-performance enterprise-class drives, but there is still a need for an alternate high-performance device as a transitional solution for legacy systems.
WD's 3.5-inch SAS WD Xe drive arrives with a SATA 6Gbps standard, and a sequential data rate of 204MB/sec. The 3.5-inch SAS drive can deliver up to 67% lower power versus 3.5-inch 15,000 RPM drives, which dramatically reduces cost and heat output. The new WD Xe SAS drives will arrive in 300GB, 600GB and 900GB and are priced from $229.99 to $599.99.
ASUS are ready to launch their first storage product in the form of the Asus Raidr storage card under their Republic of Gamer brand of products. What makes the ASUS Raidr device stand out from the crowd is its reliance on the PCIe 2.0 x2 port it'll use in your system, oh and those blistering read/write speeds.
We're looking at dual LSI SandForce SD-2281 controllers using Toshiba's 19nm 16k page size MLC sync-NAND flash. Sequential read and writes are impressive, with the 240GB drive capable of 830MB/sec read, and 810MB/sec write. The 120GB is slightly slower, with 765MB/sec and 775MB/sec for read and write, respectively. ASUS' Raidr PCIe card is capable of 100,000 IOPS, it of course supports TRIM and has a total power consumption of around 16W.
The drive runs a kind of internal RAID0, and the circuit board is covered by a protective metal shell with the usual red and black ROG theme. We should hear more about the ASUS Raidr the closer we get to Computex, which is only a little over six weeks away.
Western Digital has today made backups of your precious data even easier by unveiling their WD SmartWare Pro app. The backup app automatically backs up file changes to a local drive when it happens, and it can schedule backups to the drive and a Dropbox account.
You can be even more cautious, and backup the Dropbox account to the external HDD. The nifty backup app isn't limited to WD-branded drives, so any external storage will do. You'll spend $30 on a three-computer SmartWare Pro license, which isn't too bad for your data backup needs.
Samsung are looking to take a few steps outside of the current ring of competitors, and quickly speed ahead of their competitors with the announcement of mass-production of 128GB NAND flash on their 10nm process. Samsung have said:
We will continue to release next-generation chips at the right moments to actively react to consumer demands.
More consumers are moving to SSDs, using them as their primary drives, which will obviously lift demand for NAND flash. iSuppli reports that the 128GB chips will account for 30% of the 40.5 billion NAND flash shipped this year alone. Samsung are also going for more SSDs over 500GB to help the adoption rate of SSDs as primary drives.
OCZ has confirmed the existence of a new solid state drive, believed to be the Vertex 5. Current estimates place the launch as occurring sometime next month, though OCZ would not confirm naming or launch window. They did say that it features an updated Barefoot 3 controller and 20-nanometer NAND flash.
The Vector SSD is currently OCZ's fastest SSD and is based off of the Barefoot 3 platform. It's possible that the next solid state drive could be called something like Vector 2, but Vertex 5 makes more sense. Earlier this year, OCZ updated the Vertex 3 to use 20nm NAND flash and called it the Vertex 3.2. All other features remained the same.
Last year, OCZ had some financial troubles that resulted in mass layoffs and discontinuation of numerous product lines.
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, where we have Riyaad from South Africa after a new SSD and wants some recommendations on what he should buy.
Q: Hi guys, I am ready to purchase an SSD! I'm looking at 256gb as the capacity, what would you recommend?
I am running:
- Core i7 950 @ stock
- MSI X58-Pro motherboard
- 3gb DDR3 1333mhz ram
- MSI's GeForce GTX 680 Lightning Edition
A: You can view the answer to Riyaad's question right here.
If you're after a gigantic SSD, Crucial's upcoming M500 in 960GB might do the trick. The mammoth-sized SSD was teased a couple of months ago at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it looks like the drive is about ready to drop.
Upgradeable.com.au has it for sale, at AU$875. This is much more than Crucial teased at CES, where they promised the "First terabyte-class drive available for under $600" But, we're also talking about an Australian retailer, so we have 10% for GST bringing the price down to under $800, and AU retailers nearly always charge more than US retailers - so $600-$650 in the US isn't much of a stretch.
What does Crucial's M500 SSD in 960GB provide? Well, you'll see some sustained sequential read/write performance of 500MB/sec and 400MB/sec, respectively. 4KB random read/writes are both up to 80,000 IOPS. The controller doing all of the work inside the Crucial M500 is the Marvel 88SS9187 controller with "Micron Custom Firmware."
Seagate has begun to ship the world's first 4TB hard drives that feature 1TB platters. Seagate says that the four platter design is one that allows for the highest performance possible, while doubling capacity and reducing cost.
The drives are said to also feature the highest average data rate of any desktop hard drive that is currently sold on the market today. The new design consumes 35-percent less power than competing drives, and features 64MB of total cache space.
To put things into perspective, a 4TB HDD can house 450 hours of HD video, 1 million+ songs and 800,000 DSLR quality photos. The 4TB model has more than 800,000 times the storage capacity of the first Seagate HDD introduced in 1979 and is hundreds of times smaller in physical size.