Solid state drives represented a massive leap over hard disk drives, and now researchers are looking at the next step in storage technology. Turns out, it's light. As in, photons.
Photonic solutions are ideal because they bypass the hindrances intrinsic to electrical memory. Photonic memory chips used to power storage technology has been in development for decades, but the attempts at solutions have all been volatile and required constant power. A team led by Oxford's Harish Bhaskaran and Wolfram Pernice of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology say they've made a breakthrough, however, and arrived at a stable solution that doesn't require constant power. Of all things, they use the same technology for rewriting CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.
Bhaskaran says the technology could result in storage up to 50 or 100 times as efficient as what we currently use, though it's not clear if this means SSDs or HDDs.
Samsung has just announced the latest SSD in its range, the new 950 PRO SSD. What makes the Samsung 950 PRO special? It's the first NVMe M.2 form factor consumer SSD with V-NAND technology, with some insane performance to boot.
The new drive arrives on a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, in various sizes. The Samsung 950 PRO will come in 256GB and 512GB capacities, with the 512GB version featuring insane sequential read speeds of 2.5GB/sec, while it can write at 1.5GB/sec. Random read performance is just as impressive, hovering at 300,000 IOPS while we have write speeds of up to 110,000 IOPS.
Samsung is using its second generation MLV V-NAND 32-layer 128Gb die with UBX controller and magician software to make the 950 PRO, while we also have AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption that will protect your data. Dynamic Thermal Guard will protect your drive and data in environments of between 0-70C, and it can take a physical shock of up to 1500G/0.5ms and vibrations of up to 20G. So if you want to take it up in your fighter jet, you can.
The company is including a 5-year warranty with 200 terabytes written (TBW) for the 256GB model, while the 512GB model will have 400TBW. The new Samsung 950 PRO SSDs will be available starting next month, with the 256GB model costing $199.99, and the 512GB costing $349.99. Not too damn bad at all, considering the insane increase in read/write speeds.
Jon Coulter, our resident Storage Editor, is in South Korea right now for Samsung's Global SSD Summit, where we're expecting to see countless new storage-based products unveiled from the company.
One of which was teased just now where in Jon's hotel he spotted a folder with a butterfly on the cover. Jon was chatting with Allyn Malvantano from PC Perspective, with the two thinking this will be the new consumer SSD from Samsung. For most people, it would just be a butterfly, but upon closer inspection there's a picture of the new SSD that has yet to be announced. Zooming in, we should expect it to be an M.2-based PCIe NVMe 3D V-NAND SSD, offering some truly incredible performance.
Jon adds that he has been expecting this to be the next consumer SSD from Samsung, which we should be able to confirm in the coming hours.
Designed and made by researchers at Xerox's PARC, this self-destructing flash drive is something of a movie prop come to life but without the fiery explosions. Made for those carrying secretive data, this product can destruct on command, shattering the chip within and making it unreadable.
Utilizing Corning's Gorilla Glass, this product is made by stressing the original material in order to form tempered glass. Glass is the 'secret ingredient' here, ensuring that the product will shatter effectively and without fail. As explained by PARC senior scientist Gregory Whiting, this method ensures that "you get is glass that, because it's heavily stressed, breaks it fragments into tiny little pieces."
A resistor located at the base of the chip is used to perform the destruction. A laser is used to heat up this resistor, eventually shattering the glass above due to the magical powers of science. This technique ensures that not only does the chip break up into fragments, but all that's left is the dust of your previously-sensitive data.
I feel quite privileged to have all of my systems powered by SSDs, with the biggest ones being 480GB. But those 1TB SSDs are just huge, and by the looks of things, they're only going to get bigger, and very quick.
Intel is working with Micron in their joint collaboration in IMFT, where the two giants will be making some sweet NAND together. With that in mind, Intel is now projecting to have 30TB SSDs by 2018, and passing 100TB by the end of the decade. Hitting 100TB+ SSDs isn't going to be easy, with Intel expecting datacenters and the enterprise markets to move over to flash-based storage quicker and quicker.
As it stands, flash-based storage is used to cache "hot" data, but Intel wants to see SSDs used for much more than that in the enterprise. The chipmaker sees NVMe-based solutions taking over, thanks to their reduced overheads and increased speeds and lowered latency.
If you're looking for optional extras when it comes to storage solutions for your home PC or small business, SilverStone has just released the MS08, a dual 2.5" SATA hot-swap mobile rack with RAID and a tray-less design.
Announced in a press release today, SilverStone's aluminum bodied product offers support for two 9.5mm 2.5" drives, supports RAID 0, 1 and JBOD while offering SATA 6Gb/s performance.
Fitting into any 3.5" drive bay, this tool-less tray is designed with hot-swapping in mind and comes coupled with a $34.02 (30 Euro) price tag.
Do you remember when expansion cards were used for what is now a basic motherboard feature? I do and the nostalgia is strong with all of the current expansion cards now hitting the market.
Meet the SilverStone ECM20, a "Dual M.2 to PCI-E x4 and SATA 6G adapter card," announced recently in a press release. Supporting up to two M.2 SSD's simultaneously, this device converts one M.2 port into a PCI-E x4 interface and a second M.2 port into a SATA interface.
Currently on the market for $17.87 (15.5 Euro), this card includes in optional low-profile expansion slot and required no drivers to function.
What we already know about Optane and 3D XPoint: We know that Optane is Intel's brand name for storage using 3D XPoint, and we know that XPoint consists of layers (known as stacks). Each stack has wires that run perpendicular to each other (they are silver/gray in the image).
Between each set of perpendicular wires are a selector (yellow) and a cell (green). By providing varying amounts of voltage to the selector it can write or read to the cell. The benefit here is that the cells don't use transistors, and theoretically (depending on the size of the cell) you could squeeze much more of this into a given space than you could with the traditional transistor.
Cells can be written and read to at the same speed since you can find any point in space with only three points of reference. Now 3D X-Point fills a spot in the current memory market, right in between DRAM and NAND based SSDs. Its latency is 10x slower than DRAM but 1000x faster than NAND. It has similar density compared to NAND SSDs, which means its 10x denser than DRAM. All the speeds and density aside, 3D XPoint also offers non-volatility, which means it can store data even when it is powered off.
WD announced its WD Black line of performance hard drives has received a new model with support up to 6TB of storage capacity.
The 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM drive features 128MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 6 GB/s interface, and an integrated dual-core processor. The drive also is 29 percent faster than the WD Black 4TB version.
The WD Black 6TB is available now with a $294 MSRP.
Thecus Technology has launched the 7-bay N7770-10G and 8-bay N8880U-10G NAS units, aimed at helping businesses increase their storage abilities.
The 10G NAS features Intel Core i3 (3.3 GHz), 8GB DDR3 ECC RAM, and a 10G PCIe card - offering SATA drives with NAS stacking. Each unit has 6 USB 2.0 ports, and USB 2 x 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, with support for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA HDDs or SSDs.
Both the N7770-10G and N888U-10G run the Thecus OS5 software, a Web-based OS making advanced data management easier. More than 700 apps focused on data backup, content management, multimedia, and other critical business features are available in the Thecus App Center.