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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.