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CeBIT 2012: OCZ have just unveiled the successor to the Vertex 3 SSD, dubbed Vertex 4. Vertex 4 is a fourth-generation SSD which sports the Everest 2 controller, as well as synchronous MLC flash memory that should sport speeds of up to 550MB/sec read, and 500MB/sec write, with 90,000 IOPS (4k random write).
OCZ, if you remember, exited the memory market in early-2011, where they cited weakness in the global DRAM industry, but noticed rapid growth in the solid-state drive market. OCZ then scooped up South Korea-based Indilinx, who they worked on the original Vertex SSD.
OCZ's Vertex 4 drive is the second drive to sport technology from the acquisition and the first to use the Everest 2 platform. OCZ did launch the Octane SSD in October of last year, which featured the original Everest controller, and was the first SSD to ramp up to 1TB in a 2.5-inch form factor. No release date is set on the Vertex 4, but we should see it hitting shelves in the coming months, and we should also see it in capacities up to 2TB.
OCZ have just added two more drives to their Agility 3 range of SSDs, with new capacities: 180GB and 360GB. The SandForce SF-2281 controller is here to help, by supporting up to eight channels, but it can also run in 6-channel mode, which is how you get the 180 and 360GB capacities.
SandForce-powered drives use roughly 7-percent of the storage space for over-provisioning by default, plus possibly RAISE as well, depending on the SSD itself. These SSDs sport 192GiB and 384GiB of actual NAND on the drive. 2.5-inch drives usually sport 16GB NAND packages but in order to run in 6-channel mode you only use 12 packages (i.e. two NAND packages per channel).
This means, for the 180GB mode, it would have twelve 16GiB NAND packages with two 8GiB dies per package. The 360GB model just doubles the dies per NAND package, so we're left with twelve 32GiB packages, with four dies each.
Our latest poll had almost 2,300 people who answered, Which company made the best SSDs in 2011?
Again we see another poll with close results. This time OCZ took out first place as most voted best SSD manufacturer in 2011.
Followed closely in second place was Crucial / Micron and in third place was Intel and in a close fourth place Corsair.
ADATA are making quite the claim with their new SSD, the ADATA XPG SX900. The XPG SX900 sports SandForce's 2281 controller, which lets the storage space expand to 512GB, a 7-percent increase over most of the other SSDs on the market that sport SandForce controllers.
ADATA's XPG SX900 is capable of 550MB/sec read, 530MB/sec writes, with a maximum random 4k write speed as high as 85,000 IOPS. Capacities will be found in 64, 128, 256 and 512GB. The new SSD from ADATA also supports TRIM, so there's no need to worry there.
On top of this, ADATA offer all purchasers of ADATA SSDs a free download of Acronis True Image HD software which allows the quick transfer of your old files to the new SSD, which significantly refuses the time-consuming process of reinstalling your operating system and various software.
HDDs are getting smaller in size, with some drives hitting a very nice 7mm thick. This is attributed to the runaway-train that is going to be the Ultrabooks, and vendors are wanting to get on that train before it leaves the platform. This is where Hitachi have stepped in, announcing their new series of 7mm 2.5-inch hard drives.
They come in the form of the new Travelstar Z7K500 series, where Hitachi are offering 7,200RPM 500GB drives with a super-slim 7mm profile. The new model sports the SATA 6Gbps interface, 32MB of cache, and Hitachi are claiming up to 33-percent more performance than other 2.5-inch drives.
The new Travelstar Z7K500 drives draws just 1.8W of power during read/write operations, and just 0.8W when in low-power idle mode. Hitachi have also gone one step further offering models with self-encryption and an enhanced-availability SKU for use in data center environments. Hitachi will debut the Travelstar Z7K500 series in 250, 320, and 500GB drives. We should expect volume shipments to start in March.
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Corsair have done it. G.Skill have done it. OCZ have done it. More are either in the process, or have done it. Geil is the latest to start ramping up SSD production and are ready to enter the market with 'Zenith'.
Geil are ready to pounce with two solutions, the first of which is the S2 range which is SATA II and will be their value range. The S2 comes in both 60 and 120GB models, which should provide read/write speeds of 280/270MB/sec.
The Zenith S3 products should be better, with Hank Cheng telling KitGuru:
For our Zenith S3 performance products, we only use the very latest Sandforce controllers and these must be supplied with the GOLDEN firmware and original ICs.
The drives come in many flavors, 60, 120, 240 and 480GB. They also sport a sweet carbon fiber look, I love it.
Well, this is interesting: physicists have reportedly discovered a new method of recording data onto hard drives, where the fruits of their labor could see mechanical-based hard drives jump in speeds, up to hundreds of times faster. Heat is the key.
A hard disk drive is a magnetic storage device, which, unlike magnetic tapes, allows random access. The recording surface of a hard drive consists of hundreds of billions of tiny portions that can be magnetized in a particular polar direction to represent 0s or 1s. Recording data flips the direction, which is currently done using an external magnetic field.
A team of researchers led by Thomas Ostler at the University of York, UK have discovered that a short burst of heat can do the job much faster. This is where things get karazay. Up until now, it was thought that heat could only assist in remagnetisation when used in conjunction with a magnetic field. This knowledge base has changed: zapping a magnet with a laser for less than one trillionth of a second, momentarily raising the temperature by over 800-degrees Celcius, can have the same effect.
It is said that using this new method could lead to hard drives that are capable of recording terabytes of information per second, which is hundreds of times faster than today's technology.
RunCore have just debuted some new solid-state drives (SSDs) today, which sport the SATA 6Gbps interface. The new series are the Pro-V MAX series and are based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller with the optimized firmware (the Golden FW).
Read and write transfer rates are at 560MB/sec and 520MB/sec, respectively, as well as burst IOPS at 87K while sustained IOPS over 60K. The Pro-V MAX is said to be ideal for use in gaming machines, HPC & datacenter servers, and with those specs, I definitely agree.
The Pro-V MAX series also sports RAISE technology for enhanced reliability and DuraWrite technology. On top of the SATA 6Gbps support, it is of course backwards compatible with SATA 3Gbps and 1.5Gbps. The RunCore Pro-V MAX also supports NCQ, and SMART Command and OS's such as Windows, Linux, Unix, Solaris, and Mac OS.