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Super Talent have made big strides in the SSD market since the birth of their MasterDrive family. Today they have unveiled two new "OX" and "PX" series drives to the lineup which take performance to a whole new level.
The OX series are MLC NAND Flash based solid state disks which use an all new multi-channel SATA-II (3.0 Gbits per sec) controller to help push transfer rates up to 150MB/sec (sequential read) and 100 MB/sec (sequential write), with the drives' capacities available in 32, 64 and 128GB.
Looking at the more advanced (and expensive) PX series, these are SLC NAND Flash based SSDs with incredible transfer rates on tap. The PX series is capable of 170MB/sec sequential reads and 130MB/sec writes. Capacities for these come in at 32 and 64GB.
Super Talent reveal the RRP on its 128GB MasterDrive OX drive to be $419. You can find out more details on the two new series of SSDs within the official PR here folks.
San Jose, California - September 16, 2008 - Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, today added two new series of SSD products in their MasterDrive family that deliver substantially faster performance than existing SSDs.
Super Talent Director of Marketing, Joe James commented, "In this, our third generation of SATA SSDs, we've taken performance to incredible new heights, with sustained read and write speeds that will leave any hard disk drive in the dust. At the same time, our MasterDrive SSDs are among the most cost effective solid state storage solutions available."
Here I was thinking that a 32GB pen drive was pretty insane and over the top, Corsair has unofficially launched a massively-sized 64GB version of its popular Flash Voyager pen drive.
64GB is enough to store around 13,000 MP3 songs or about eight 720p movies.
If you need that amount of storage in your pocket, you can pick up one of these drives for £127.65 ex VAT from CCL over here. That works out to be around $229 USD.
A quick report over at the ChannelRegister says that we should be seeing 2.5" hdds with capacities of 1TB+ by early 2010. Unnamed sources are confident that both Western Digital and Fujitsu will reach the milestone by such time.
Seagate doesn't get a mention as recently WD has been dominating the top-end capacity field with 250GB, 320GB and just now the shipment of 500GB 2.5" drives while Seagate plays catch-up. Though, this trend could change quickly as Seagate are reknowned for bringing sudden surprises to the storage market.
Toshiba's storage devision has just reached a new milestone, delivering the world's first dual-platter 1.8" HDD with a whopping 240GB capacity. Being just 1.8" in size, it allows for massive amounts of storage in devices such as portable media players, camcorders and ultra-mobile PCs. Codenamed MK2431GAH, the drive measures 54 (W) x 71 (D) x 8 mm (H), features a PATA interface and spins at 4,200RPMs.
Additionally, Toshiba has also introduced two more single platter HDDs with 120 and 80GB capacities, each bearing similar specs to their big 240GB brother.
All drives are said to be in full production by the end of the month. You can find the press release here for further information.
A little known memory company, Ao-LAB, has had an innovative idea that, now we've seen it, we can't imagine why no one came up with it before. The company has taken your average USB flash drive and stuck an eSATA interface on one end. Simple, yet brilliant.
USB has certain benefits particularly in terms of its ubiquity, but with more and more motherboards and notebooks being fitted with eSATA connectors specifically designed for plug & play storage applications, why aren't we making the most of them and instead using the much slower USB bus for transferring data?
Thanks to the eSATA connection, Ao-LAB's flash drive is capable of read speeds of 75MB/s and write speeds of 25MB/s, which for point of reference significantly outperforms all of the USB flash drives tested in our recent roundup review. However, don't expect performance levels to match a high-end notebook SSD. Those drives typically use significantly more expensive SLC flash (versus the Micron MLC chips in this device) and/or more complex memory controller ICs which is why they cost several hundred dollars each.
Other nice touches Ao-LAB added to the drive are the ability to get operating power through the eSATA port (the product would be a lot less appealing if we had to carry around a separate power supply), and a mini USB port on the other end in case you find yourself needing to transfer data with a system that doesn't have eSATA.
Dimensions of the drive are 79x29x8mm, so slightly wider than a typical USB drive. It is available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities priced at $295 HKD, $450 and $790, a slight premium over average flash drive prices, but still cheaper than some "high-speed" models from brand vendors.
The only downside is that the product doesn't seem to be available outside of Hong Kong unless you are prepared to run the gauntlet using a certain online auction site. We have contacted the company to ask what its plans are for selling overseas.
An analysis of Intel's blueprint for its SSD offerings, was the subject of this recent report.
Not only has an 80 GB X25-M model taken its place on the launch pad today, but it has also got off to a highly acclaimed start, judging by some of the evaluations it has been subjected to.
The flavour which, is endowed with sustained Read/Write speeds of up to 250 MB/s and 70 MB/s respectively, received a coveted Editor's Choice award at HotHardware, who deemed its real-world write performance, as the fastest they've seen to date.
The Tech Report, on the other hand, found that whilst Intel's offering was exceptional at its best, the situation wasn't as impressive when stressing its slower write rate.
A Gold Award later from PC Perspective, the X25-M is deemed a success and it is expressed that Intel's SSD offerings are apparently causing waves amongst the company's competitors too.
Finally, the anticipated 160 GB offering is at the forefront of ExtremeTech's thoughts as the X25-M powers its way into the marketplace.
Intel is clearly set to re-ignite the SSD marketplace with its blazing portfolio and this, can only be good for end-users.
Buffalo has updated its range of USB and NAS external storage products with new designs for its DriveStation TurboUSB, LinkStation Live and LinkStation EZ series.
The LinkStation EZ is available at $169.99 USD for a 500GB version and $269.99 for 1TB. It comes pre-installed with a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive and supports Gigabit Ethernet. As per the name, setup takes just four steps, the first of which is "take it out of the box and plug it in".
Moving up the range we have the LinkStation Live available at $199.99 (500GB) and $299.99 (1TB). The extra coin gets you iTunes and DNLA media sharing, web access, expandability via USB as well as printer sharing among other features. As with the EZ series, Live models include a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive and Gigabit Ethernet port.
On the other end of the scale we have the DriveStation TurboUSB available in a range of capacities from 320GB ($89.99) to 1TB ($229.99). Buffalo says that these boxes are able to transfer files over USB up to between 20% and 37% faster (40bps) than other USB hard drives, but we'd have to test this out in our labs before we can back that claim.
Finally, Gizmodo has details of an upcoming LinkStation series box with support for up to four 3.5" drives in RAID 5. This device is said to include iTunes/DNLA media sharing etc. as well as support for Apple's Time Machine backup system.
Expect these to hit late September in $560 (1TB), $710 (2TB) and $1,300 (4TB) versions.
Patriot has just announced that it has upgraded its Warp Solid State Drives with a really nice speed boost to both read and write transfers.
The second version of the Warp drive claims read speeds of up to 175MB/s and write speeds of up to 100MB/s, putting Patriot upgraded SSD right up the top of the food chain.
These 2.5" form factor drives use the SATAII interface and come in sizes of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities. At press time there was no information available on how much they would cost or when they would go on sale.
Nevertheless, we cannot wait to get our hands on one and put it through its paces! You can check out the full press release here for more information.
Tim Smalley of bit-tech fame recently managed to spend some quality time with Intel's upcoming X18-M 80GB SSD during the IDF show that is being held in San Francisco.
X18 is the mainstream SSD from Intel based on SATA interface operating at 3GB/s. Tim was presumably able to convince Intel to allow him to open up the drive and get an inside look at the chips and PCB. The controller chip was actually removed to prevent the drive from making its way into competitors' hands well ahead of the planned availability date.
There are a grand total of ten 8GB NAND flash chips (it was not mentioned if they are SLC or MLC) with five chips on each side of the PCB. There is also an additional Samsung K4S281632I-UC60 SDRAM chip which is probably used for buffering and Advanced Dynamic Write Leveling, according to the story.
For a close up look inside Intel's upcoming 80GB SSD, head on over to this link for the goods.
Following its collaboration with memory giant, Micron Technology, Intel is gearing up to unveil SSD solutions with blazing read/write speeds of 240 MB/s and 70 to 170 MB/s respectively, according to this report from TG Daily.
The above image, courtesy of Expreview, adds that Intel's 'Extreme' moniker will find a home with the X25-E, which as expected, boasts the highest performance figures.
The 'Mainstream' parts, go for low power consumption territory, with an impressive figure of 0.25W.
Two size options are in play too, ranging from 1.8" to 2.5" whilst capacity choices, will also be a bag of tricks. The X25-E, expected in Q4 2008, will offer 32 and 64 GB flavours, whilst a 160 GB X25-M 'Mainstream' part, will share centre stage at the same time.
Preceding this however, X25-M and X18-M 80GB options are expected in Q3, with a 160 GB X18-M coming in Q1 2009.
How far end-users may have to dig into their pockets is unknown, at the time of going to press but, SSD storage appears to be making some encouraging headway towards mainstream adoption.
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