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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.