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Just one day operating under its new name, OCZ Storage Solutions has released its first new SSD of 2014. The Vertex 460 SATA III series of SSDs is a client level SSD designed to meet the needs of consumers looking for solid state storage. The Vertex 460 is an evolved designed based off the Vertex 450, but features new Toshiba-based 19nm MLC NAND Flash as well as OCZ's in-house Barefoot 3 M10 controller.
OCZ says that the Vertex 460 will be fast out of the gate and remain so throughout its life without the use of "synthetic software-based optimization." The new SSD series offers up sequential read speeds of up to 545MB/s with sequential writes hitting 525MB/s. 95,000 4K random read IOPS, and up to 90,000 4K random write IOPS are achieved, while featuring sustained 4K random write performance up to 23,000 IOPS.
The real gem here is the use of OCZ's Barefoot 3 M10 controller which now features AES-256-bit encryption, and a power-optimized clock that is designed for the consumer market and does not compromise performance for efficiency. The Vertex 460 line is rated to deliver 20GB of host writes per day and includes a three-year warranty. Available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB, each Vertex 460 SSD includes a 3.5-inch desktop adapter, as well as a copy of Acronis True Image software to make cloning your data over quite easy.
Today, Toshiba announced that it has completed the acquisition of OCZ Technology's SSD assets and has closed the deal worth $35 million. This is the final chapter in the long-running saga that was OCZ Technology, and the culmination of months of speculation, rumors, and sharp downfalls of one of the pioneers of consumer SSD storage.
"The acquisition of OCZ further expands our solid state storage capabilities and represents Toshiba's commitment to this high-growth area," said Mr. Seiichi Mori, Vice President of Toshiba's Semiconductor and Storage Company and Corporate Vice President of Toshiba. "Our goal is to offer a leading edge portfolio of solid state solutions to address the storage challenges faced by both client and enterprise customers, and the acquisition of OCZ is an ideal addition to our team in realizing this strategy."
In the deal, Toshiba purchased OCZ Technology's enterprise and client SSD business which already has a massive customer base. Toshiba has kept the OCZ name alive but has founded a new subsidiary named OCZ Storage Solutions and will operate independently of Toshiba while continuing to provide high-performance enterprise and client level solid state storage devices. OCZ Storage Solutions will continue to maintain its established world-wide sales channels and its company headquarters will remain in San Jose California.
Late last year, BlackBlaze, a online backup hosting provider published a comprehensive study on hard drive failure rates based on the 25,000 units it has in service. While no manufacturer names were published, the study stated that failure rates were highest in the first 18 months of service or as well as after the first three years.
Today the company released the second part of its report and has officially gone on record and listed out which brands are associated with the study. Unfortunately, Seagate appears to be the worst with an annual failure rate of about 14-percent on its 1.5TB model while its 3TB and 4TB models are likely to see 10-percent and 4-percent fail within the first 12 months.
Western Digital's 1TB and 3TB models fare better in the survey with annual failure rates between two and three percent respectively. Surprisingly Hitachi branded hard drives are the most reliable with the 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models all experiencing less than a 2-percent annual failure rate. The study even goes as far as to note that Seagate's Barracuda LP 2TB and Western Digital's Green 3TB both begin accumulating errors as soon as they are spun up for the first time.
Today SanDisk became the industry's first manufacturer to launch a line of ultra-low latency, memory channel-based ULLtraDIMM solid state drives. The new SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSDs are basically SSDs flash memory that has been populated on memory-channel DIMMs to provide as low latency as possible to ensure data gets to the CPU as fast as possible.
"The SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD was designed to expand the reach of ultra-low latency flash storage throughout the data center and scale to meet the requirements of any enterprise application, no matter how bandwidth or capacity intensive," said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "The ULLtraDIMM SSD's linear performance scalability and innovative DIMM form factor allow organizations to deploy flash as their application requirements change, without requiring significant infrastructure investment."
Today the long running saga of OCZ's slow decline has finally come to an end. This morning a OCZ received approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware, to sell all of its Solid State Drive assets to Toshiba. This approval allows OCZ to finalize the acquisition that we were the first to tell you about back in October, and then again in November.
"The OCZ team is excited to be a part of an innovative company like Toshiba where we can continue to develop new and unique SSD technologies that position the company as a solid state solutions leader in both the client and enterprise storage markets," said Ralph Schmitt, OCZ CEO, in a statement.
OCZ says the asset acquisition will complete by the end of next week, and Toshiba will keep the OCZ brand alive with its full portfolio of consumer and enterprise SSD products. With the financial powerhouse that is Toshiba now behind the OCZ brand, things could turn out very well for the once falling company.
CES 2014 - Personal home cloud storage is going to be one of the biggest markets in 2014 and Lenovo is poised and ready to serve that market with its new Beacon home cloud storage solution. The Beacon is being billed as a "Smart NAS" that can be set up in less than five minutes, and can stream all your media to connected devices.
The Beacon features an Intel Atom processor, and runs a custom Linux operating system. Capacities up to 6TB are available, and users can download a custom app to their mobile device to share and sync photos, documents, and other files while on the go from anywhere in the world. The Beacon retails for $199 without storage and will be in stores in April of this year!
CES 2014 - Seagate displayed a reference tablet design that capitalizes on the new 5mm HDD design and houses a 500GB HDD. Currently, 5mm-thick HDD's only come in the typical platter design, but common sense dictates that soon we will see 5mm SSHD's, which provide SSD-like performance but HDD capacity. Seagate also displayed a new laptop and convertible with an HDD in the keyboard.
The tablet design has a large screen, and runs Androids latest OS. This reference design is suprsingly light, considering there is an HDD inside. The design will allow manufacturers a quicker time to market with this flavor of tablet.
Of course, the resulting design is somewhat thicker than tablets currently on the market, but can come at a cheaper price point with a tremendous amount of capacity. As the process and design matures we expect to see this slimmed down considerably.
CES 2014 - Kingston displayed a prototype of a new type of USB flash drive for mobile phones. A study concluded that the maajority of phone users actually email pictures from thier phones to transfer them to thier PC or laptop.
The concept is pretty simpe, one end of the USB drive connects to the micro-USB connector on the phone, allowing quick and easy access to the contents of the drive.
The other end of the drive is a standard USB 3.0 connector, which can be plugged into any typical laptop or computer. This allows the user to add or remove files on the computer, and then one can transfer files to or from the phone easily.
CES 2014 - We visited Plextor's CES showroom yesterday and found a broad range of new products that span several markets. Over the years, Plextor's image changed from optical products to consumer SSDs and now the company looks to just make it all SSDs.
First up is the new M6e, a PCIe 2.0 m.2 SSD that uses two lanes to outperform SATA based storage products. The M6e drives we saw at the booth include an adapter for desktop use. This makes the M6e the ultimate performance SSD since end users keep TRIM and avoid the hassles of RAID.
Moving closer to the mainstream consumer level, the M.2 form factor could dominate the notebook market with both SATA and PCIe based drives. M.2 products will cost less to manufacture when the economics of scale catch up.
CES 2014 -Seagate displayed it's new 5mm HDD's that stick with the standard SATA connection. For a complete view of the performance capabilities of the drive feel free to take a look at the Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD Review by our very own Tyler Bernath.
To give some perspective, I took a snap of the HDD next to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This thin profile allows this HDD to be deployed into just about any thin device.
The thin HDD's from Seagate's competitors feature a new edge connector, which hasn't made much headway in terms of mass adoption. The slow uptake, or lack thereof, of the edge connector has led Seagate to forgo use of the spec, since it is much more financially viable for companies to use existing standards at this point. Of course that could be subject to change in the future as devices shrink, but selling relevant products for today's market is Seagate's focus.