CES 2013 - Just after we posted about Marvell's DragonFly NVDRIVE, it looks like OCZ is ready to step into the PCIe ring with their own PCIe-based storage solution using their flagship Vector line of SSDs.
OCZ's Vector PCIe SSD will work on Windows-based desktops, laptops and workstations that sport 4 lanes of PCIe 2.0 in full-height and half-height formats. OCZ's Vector PCIe SSD will be capable of supporting up to 100GB host writes per day for up to five years, which should give plenty of peace of mind to users looking for a super-fast storage upgrade.
The drive will continue to be powered by the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller and will feature improved IOPS burst performance, but no numebrs have been unveiled by OCZ just yet.
OCZ are also set to show off a bunch of other storage solutions at CES, so continue to check back for more news from OCZ!
CES 2013 - Our resident storage editors Chris Ramseyer and Paul Acorn are down in Las Vegas right now for CES 2013 and hit up Storage Visions before the big show kicks off tomorrow. They've just taken a look at Marvell's DragonFly NVDRIVE + SanDisk X100 SSD and we have a video about it below.
The Marvell DragonFly NVDRIVE sports a SanDisk X100 SSD which is an mSSD module that are connected to the drive and will rock up in various sizes. There's a super capacitor strapped to the DragonFly NVDRIVE which protects the drive (and data) in case of power loss, an NDA controller.
The drive connects through a PCIe 2.0 interface, and the drive will be used in server environments, such as Google or Facebook's servers.
CES 2013 - Network attached storage is huge right now, and will only grow in the future, so it was only inevitable that Seagate would push more products in this area. CES 2013 brings Seagate into a position to release their Seagate Central shared storage, which is the first storage device to feature an app for Smart TVs that allow users to access their files on the big screen.
Seagate Central is also capable of automatic backups for the entire house, as well as acting as centralized storage for your digital movies and music. Remote access is also featured, where you can access Seagate Central from any Internet-connected device. Seagate have built Seagate Central with simplicity in mind, where the storage giant have reworked their software and user experience for Seagate Central where it will provide an easy backup solution for each system on the network.
This can be a Windows PC, or a Mac notebook - it doesn't matter - Seagate Central does it all. The network attached storage device is also capable of backing up photos and videos directly from Facebook, which is something the company first unveiled in their award-winning Backup Plus lineup of devices.
CES 2013 - Seagate have announced the next step in their wireless storage products with the Seagate Wireless Plus. The new Wireless Plus device was designed to wirelessly stream content for up to 8 mobile devices, as well as feature enough storage on-board for 500 high-definition movies.
Seagate's Wireless Plus also comes with a 10-hour battery life which will match the battery life of most smartphones and tablets, and comes with 1TB of storage so you won't be bored with the amount of content you can store on the device. The device is accessed through the mobile Seagate Media app which is available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire HD devices.
Not only that, but it can work with pretty much any device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network, and better yet - you can use the Wireless Plus to watch video, photos or listen to music through your TV using Apple AirPlay, DLNA or an application designed specifically for Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
Today while browsing the booths offered at Storage Visions--a show like CES that takes place just before and just for storage--this M-DISC caught my eye. The company says that their disc, compatible with most newer DVD writers, will allow data stored on a DVD disc to last for up to 1000 years, compared to the 7 years of a normal disc.
They achieve this by etching the data into a "rock-like layer" that isn't affected by light and other damaging elements. The company said that the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division tested the disc versus normal discs and found that it was the only one to survive the 85*C/85% relative humidity test.
The other discs didn't survive past two days. One downside to these new discs is that they will set you back around $3 a piece, whereas normal discs are much, much cheaper than that. Other than that, these discs seem to be pretty cool. You can find out more information from the company's website.
The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has announced that SATA Express has begun the ratification process. Firstly, if you didn't know about SATA Express, it's the specification that will standardize PCIe as an interface for client storage. Secondly, if you didn't know who SATA-IO are, they are the industry consortium that are dedicated to "sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of SATA technology".
SATA Express entering the ratification process is big news, as this process is the last one before it will be available to the general public in the next version of the specification which is expected to be completed sometime this year. The new standard will enable an ecosystem for client storage which will see SATA and PCIe solutions fuzed together which will usher in a new low-cost solution for the next-generation of SSDs and hybrid drives.
PCIe technology is capable of speeds of up to 1GB/s per lane in the client space compared to SATA's current technology which is limited to just 0.6GB/s (SATA 6Gbps spec). Mladen Luksic, President of SATA-IO, has said:
SATA-IO members have worked together to create the SATA Express specification to bring the scalability of PCIe to client storage. This industry-wide effort has made a new level of performance available to client applications and enables connectivity to SATA Express enterprise hosts via the SFF-8639 multifunction connector.
If you still use CDs for storage or music, now may just be the perfect time to stock up. According to CMC Chairman Robert Wong, prices are expected to increase by nearly 50 percent in the second half of 2013 due to a restructuring of the market that will continue into the first half of 2013.
The restructuring includes producers of optical discs stopping production during 2012. Disc demand isn't predicted to drop by as much as previously thought. Predictions place the global decline in demand for optical discs to be less than 10 percent, a number previously forcasted to be between 10 to 15 percent.
The takeaway? Stock up now if you still need optical discs.
Kingston has these really cool Wi-Drives, which connect wirelessly to Wi-Fi devices so that they can store more data. The main use for these devices is to increase the storage of iPod Touches and iPhones, though they work with Android devices and the Kindle Fire, among others.
Kingston is celebrating the release of the 128GB version, which slots in next to the already available 32GB and 64GB models. Up to three users can access the device simultaneously, and battery life is said to be around four hours.
You can pick up a Wi-Drive in the App Store, Google Play App Store, and the Amazon Appstore. Buying a Wi-Drive is much cheaper than buying a brand-new device with a larger storage capacity, and it can be used for so many more things than just your iPhone.
There have been a lot of cool advancements in recent years, but one staple of the business world hasn't seen much improvement. I'm talking about the traditional business card, which has remained a staple of business for many years and appears as though it will continue to be around for several more years.
A company is doing something new with business cards, and paper in general. They have developed technology that allows them to embed a USB flash drive directly into the paper, so now your business card can pass along your contact information, resume, or something else digitally, instead of having to provide a link on the page.
They are currently running a funding campaign on Indiegogo, with $645 of their $30,000 funding goal met. It's a really interesting concept and could revolutionize trade shows and advertising. However, right now, the storage capacity of the paper is quite small, only 5.1MB or so, but that is just the starting point.
Toshiba have just announced new models in their MG series of HDDs, which includes both SATA and SAS drives. The SATA models arrive in the form of the MG03ACA400 and the MG03ACA400Y, with the SAS drives following with the MG03ACA400 and the MG03ACA400Y models. All four models come in 4TB, which is the company's largest capacity drives to date.
Toshiba are pushing the MG series as the perfect partner for "RAID storage and arrays, tiered virtual infrastructures for public and private cloud deployments, archives, and disk-based backup and data protection solutions." The drives feature Toshiba's latest five-platter mechanical design, with the new 4TB offerings providing a 100% increase in capacity of Toshiba's previous models, which were only 2TB in size.
Not only do the new SATA and SAS models offer double the capacity, but they also offer performance improvements, as well as sporting better power efficiency.The new drives come in the usual 3.5-inch form factor, and offer up to an 18% increase in sustained transfer rates for both the SATA and SAS models, as well as featuring power management features that are designed to lower power consumption during off-peak activity periods.
SemiAccurate is reporting that AMD is planning on launching Radeon-branded solid state drives fairly soon. It was just last year that AMD decided to launch their own Radeon-branded RAM to market and they clearly want to continue expanding the Radeon brand beyond just video cards.
Of course, the solid state drive wouldn't be produced by AMD. Instead, they will likely take a solid state drive produced by an ODM and label it with Radeon stickers and market it as their own. This is the method that they employed for bringing their RAM to market, and more recently, their RAMDisk software.
AMD is likely trying to build a platform similar to Apple, where every component in the system can be AMD. This way they can market the stability of the system as all of the components are AMD and should work together well. Similar to Intel's "Better Together" marketing campaign, AMD could market the platform and its performance as a whole.
This is just a rumor, for now, but it's definitely one that could prove to be true.
OCZ have just released their Barefoot 3-powered SSD which is known as the Vector. OCZ's Vestor SSD provides some insane IOPS numbers, pushing up to 100,000 IOPS - yes, we're now breaking through the 100k IOPS milestone.
Our resident Storage Editor, Chris Ramseyer, has reviewed the Vector - and has loved it, you can read more on that here. The Vector series is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, and provides up to 550MB/sec in read bandwidth, and up to 530MB/sec in write speeds.
It comes in a super-thin 7mm allow housing, which, as with all 2.5-inch SSDs, will find a home in your desktop or notebook computer. OCZ bundles the Vector SSD with a 3.5-inch desktop adapter, Aconis' True Image cloning software and comes at a price of $159.99, $289.99 and $569.99 through NewEgg.
I still remember the days of optical discs, where they played an important role in my life. There was a time I burnt myself "system discs", that I had drivers, pictures, updates (for software/games), and much more on it. In the days of dial-up, and in the days when tech didn't change so quickly with updates being freely available over the Internet.
These days, I don't use optical discs - period. Nearly everything I use is online, or on my QNAP NAS - but that hasn't stopped the world of optical discs from moving forward. We're now staring down the barrel of 1TB of data on a single optical disc. Fujifilm have developed a new recording method which is reportedly capable of delivering up to 1TB per disc.
This is done through 25GB per layer, which is the same amount of data a single-layer Blu-ray disc holds. But Fujifilm's new tech can cram in up to 20 layer of 25GB, amounting to 1TB in total.
Samsung only talked about volume production of their uber-fast eMMC memory chips in August, just two months ago, and are already standing proud with their next-generation of hardware. Pushing 20nm to the side, the South Korean giant is moving to 10nm, with the new 64GB eMMC Pro Class 200 sporting a 20% smaller physical footprint.
Not only is it smaller, but Samsung are claiming it includes 30% advantages in both performance and manufacturing productivity. The previous 20nm-based flash memory chips only begun taking advantage of JEDEC's eMMC 4.5 interface in August, but Samsung are hoping to talk to JEDEC about creating a new standard that can handle this new design.
Write speeds top out at 2,000 IOPS, with read speeds of 5,000 IOPS - beating the 1,500 and 3,000 for write/read, respectively, on the older hardware. Bandwidth reaches 260MB/sec read, 50MB/sec write. The new 10nm-based flash memory chips went into production last month and are set to be baked into smart devies in the near future.
Self-assembling block copolymers could lead to storage capacity five times larger than current options
Thought your current single 3TB HDD was big enough? Well, if researchers out of the University of Texas have anything to do with it, you could see a huge spike in storage capacity of HDDs with a new technique they're working on.
The research is being led by C. Grant Willson, professor of chemistry, biochemistry and engineering at UT, where the team have found a way to use self-organizing substances called block copolymers to help isolate a disk's magnetic dots, allowing them to be closer together without becoming unstable. Current drives write ones and zeroes as magnetic dots across a metal disk.
The closer these dots are together, the more data that can be crammed into the same area. But, with current production methods, these dots can't get much denser than around a terabit of information per square inch, or else their magnetic fields interfere with each other, and would lead them to randomly flip states. The new technique involving block copolymers, a UT post reads:
At room temperature, coated on a disk surface, they don't look like much. But if they're designed in the right way, and given the right prod, they'll self-assemble into highly regular patterns of dots or lines. If the surface onto which they're coated already has some guideposts etched into it, the dots or lines will form into precisely the patterns needed for a hard disk drive.
Everspin Technologies, an Arizona-based company, has become the first in the world to supply MRAM, shipping their own ST-MRAM (Spin-Torque Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory) chips to select customers. This non-volatile storage claims to be up to 500x faster than current SSDs, but comes with a similar price tag - up to 50x more expensive.
Let's talk specs - we're looking at 1.6 billion IOPS, and "up to" 3.2GB/sec of bandwidth with latency measured in mere nanoseconds. To compare, most decent SSDs are the mid 100k IOPS with just under 600MB/sec in throughput, with latency measured in microseconds, rather than nanoseconds.
Although the speed is there, drawbacks are, too. Everspin aren't looking to replace SSDs, but they're aiming to supplement them. This is most likely because of the huge price, with ComputerWorld stating that ST-MRAM is around 50x more expensive than current flash-based offerings. But, all technology starts out like that, just like SSDs. SSDs once cost thousands of dollars, and can now be had for under $100 for an 120GB drive.
Samsung have just announced that their new, next-generation 840 family of SSDs are available, including the 840 Pro SSD and 840 Series SSD. The new drives are available for purchase right now from Amazon and NewEgg, and as a bonus for a limited time only, they include a downloadable version of Assassin's Creed III.
Samsung teamed up with Ubisoft for the bonus game, which is available when you purchase the 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB SSD from Samsung. Samsung's new 840 Pro SSD is geared for professionals and tech enthusiasts who want the best performance, with the 840 SSD for the mainstream user who would like an affordable, yet fast upgrade for their PC. The higher-end 840 Pro SSD sits on the SATA 6Gbps interface, featuring 400 megabits-per-second (Mbps) Toggle DDR2 flash memory, AES256-bit encryption, and new triple-core MDX controller, while using triple-level cell (TLC) Toggle DDR2 flash memory.
The new 840 Pro SSD and 840 SSD sport Samsung's proprietary controllers and firmware, all while spinning in its leading NAND flash memory technology. Samsung, unlike most SSD makers, engineers all of their components in-house. This gives Samsung a one-up on the competition, allowing them to perfect their hardware and software for extreme performance, as well as great reliability.
Intel don't sleep, and today brings an announcement of a new SSD series from the chipmaker, the SSD DC S3700 Series. Intel's new SSD is built to offer next-generation performance to meet the needs of the growing HPC and cloud-computing apps market.
The DC S3700 Series offers some extreme IOPS performance, mixed up with some very low maximum latencies. We're talking about 4KB random read performance of up to 75,000 IOPS and 4KB write performance of up to 36,000 IOPS. Typical sequential write latency of 65 microseconds and high Quality of Service (QoS) of less than 500 microseconds 99.9% of the time.
Intel's new SSD also sports the company's High Endurance Technology (HET) which provides single-level cell SSD-like endurance in a much more cost-effective multi-level cell (MLC) technology. Thanks to this mix of technology, it provides the DC S3700 Series the ability of achieving 10 full drive writes per day over the drives 5-year life. This is equal to more than 186 years of recording HD video over the life of the drive in its highest capacity, 800GB.
If you've picked up a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and weren't happy with the included storage space inside of it, you might be thinking of upgrading. Or, before you've purchased it, you've balked at the price of the 512GB SSD option through Apple, which is $800.
OWC is here to save the day offering up their 480GB Mercury Aura Pro SSD for just $580. Sure, $580 for an SSD is expensive, but it is over $200 cheaper than Apple's option. OWC's latest SSD is certified for use with Apple's latest Retina-sporting MBP.
OWC have also stated that additional capacity sizes will be announced in November, so you could also hold out if 480GB was too much, or too expensive. I'm loving the fact that SSD prices are coming down like a sack of bricks, it's glorious.
Intel have begun shipping their latest SSD, which the chipmaker describes as the most efficient multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash currently available. Intel's 335 Series SSD are also the first to use 20nm NAND flash which was built in a joint effort between Intel, Micron and IM Flash Technologies.
Intel's 335 Series SSD use the now-standard SATA 6Gbps interface, sports a SandForce SF-2281 controller running custom Intel firmware. The only drive available at the moment is a 240GB model, which comes with 500MB/sec read, 450MB/sec writes and ramps up to 42,000 read / 52,000 write IOPS using 4KB data.
The 20nm IMFT NAND uses a new cell structure that is said to enable more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. Hi-K/metal gate planar cell technology is used to get around problems that come with this advanced process tech, enabling performance and reliability that we enjoyed with the 25nm process.
Storage giant Seagate have introduced a USB 3.0-powered Backup Plus for Mac which is available through Amazon right now, and will be made available through the Apple Stores in November.
Both the Backup Plus Portable for Mac, and Backup Plus Desktop for Mac both sport the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity, which is of course backwards compatible. Seagate provides their Backup Plus devices with a software feature that lets them backup content from social networks like Facebook and Flickr.
Seagate Backup Plus Portable drivers will ship in 500GB and 1TB sizes for a MSRP of $109.99 and $129.99, respectively. The Backup Plus Desktop drives will be made available in 2TB and 3TB for $129.99 and $179.99, respectively.