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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.
OCZ have really revved up the solid state storage market with the introduction of their Core series drives a couple months back, which brought excellent performance at fantastic prices.
Since then, they've kept working on Core to make it even better; thus, today we see the introduction of a new breed dubbed the Core V2 Series.
Where the first units featured read speeds of around 120 to 140ish MB/sec and write speeds of 80 to 95MB/sec, the new V2 series pumps out 170MB/sec and 98MB/sec read and write speeds respectively. Furthermore, we see OCZ's largest capacity SSD drive enter this new series, a 250GB model.
Thinking ahead, OCZ have also wisely added a built-in mini-USB port to the V2 series drives, allowing for potential performance improvements through future firmware upgrades.
Sunnyvale, CA-August 14, 2008-Responding the demands of enthusiasts and high-performance mobile computing consumers, OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory and computer components, today unveiled the newest addition to their industry-leading OCZ Core Series SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drives. The Core Series has established OCZ as a pioneer in the SSD market by offering consumers the benefits of solid drives technology at an affordable price. With the industry continuously shifting in this direction, OCZ strives to place its Core Series at the forefront.
Seagate has just wow'ed the masses by reaching a milestone we didn't expect to see for quite some time yet; the company has just announced a whopping 1.5TB desktop hard disk under its existing Barracuda 7200.11 Series.
They have accomplished this by cramming four 375GB platters into the usual 3.5" desktop form factor. Other specs are fairly standardized for todays drives; 7200RPM spindle speed, 300MB/sec SATA-II interface and NCQ support. Cache size was not not mentioned in the PR but it's expected the drive would carry the same 32MB cache as its smaller 1TB brother.
Not forgetting about the latest in storage for notebooks, Seagate has also launched two new 2.5" Momentus Series drives. The Momentus 5400.6 range uses a 5400RPM spindle speed, 8MB of cache and is available in capacities of 120 to 500GB. The faster Momentus 7200.4 Series spins at 7200RPM, has 16MB of cache and comes in sizes from 250 to 500GB.
The new 1.5TB monster is expected to ship at the beginning of August whilst the Momentus 5400.6 and 7200.4 hard drives are being promised sometime during Q4 of this year.
You can locate Seagate's press release for more information here.
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.-July 10, 2008-Seagate (NYSE:STX) today unveiled the industry's first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives to meet explosive worldwide demand for digital-content storage in home and business environments.
The debut of the Barracuda® 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive, the eleventh generation of Seagate's flagship drive for desktop PCs, marks the single largest capacity hard drive jump in the more than half-century history of hard drives - a half-terabyte increase from the previous highest capacity of 1TB, thanks to the capacity-boosting power of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.
The Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive combines proven PMR technology, components and expert manufacturing to provide 1.5TB of reliable storage for mainstream desktop computers, workstations, desktop RAID, gaming and high-end PCs, and USB/FireWire/eSATA external storage.
Whilst Blu-ray still hasn't fully embedded itself as the mainstream optical storage of choice, technology keeps on moving forward and efforts to push the barriers of limitation are always in place.
With that said, Pioneer has successfully found a way to put no less than 16 layers on what looks like a standard optical disc. What makes this even more impressive is that each layer is the same size as a standard Blu-ray's; 25GB.
Pioneer said the biggest challenge in accomplishing this was finding a way to stop crosstalk/interference between each layer as it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain a clear signal when more layers are packed onto the disc.
For multilayer optical discs, it has been difficult to obtain clear signals from each recording layer in a stable manner due to crosstalk from adjacent layers and transmission loss. Utilizing the optical disc production technology that it has developed in the DVD field, Pioneer solved these problems by, among other things, using a disc structure that can reduce crosstalk from adjacent layers, resulting in a 16-layer optical disc that can playback high-quality signals from every layer.
As for the read-out system, Pioneer achieved stability in the playback of recorded signals by employing a wide-range spherical aberration compensator and light-receiving element that can read out weak signals at a high signal-to-noise ratio in the optical pick-up mechanism. Since the optical specifications of the objective lens, such as NA (Numerical Aperture)*2, are the same as those for the existing BD discs, it is possible to maintain compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and the BD discs.
More details here.