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CES 2015: CES is just a week away and we all know what that means, consumer electronics and computer hardware announcements daily. One product we expect to hear about we've already tracked down thanks to someone administering one of Plextor's websites.
This was our initial lead of a new half height, half length (HHHL) PCIe SSD coming from Plextor soon. At first we weren't too sure what it means other than an unannounced 'M6e BK' model coming soon. Like the Nissan Skyline and amazing Mercedes AMG automobiles, Plextor is prepping a Black Edition of the M6e PCIe SSD released in 2014.
According to a publication by Wikibon, "Flash will become a lower cost media than disk for almost all storage in 2016." This will mark a new era in today's digital age - seeing faster storage capacities become mainstream.
Do you remember when you first installed your SSD? Something under 25 seconds to completely re-boot your system was simply unheard of in HDD-only days, seeing you often click that restart button and adventure out to the kitchen to grab a drink or a snack. Well now according to Wikibon, we're only a couple of years off seeing flash memory price-match or even become cheaper than hard disk technology for always-on enterprise applications.
The main limitation of flash memory in this day and age is the price per GB on offer. For sub-$100 you can now easily purchase a 2TB data drive to store all of your photos, home videos and various backup data - this is compared to a hefty price tag of $3,301 for a comparable SSD offering from SanDisk.
Seagate has teased that it is working on a 10TB HDD for release next year, revealing the news that it will be using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology to get the 10TB HDD into the market in 2015.
The company also hopes to use heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology going into the future, after it uses SMR for its 10TB HDD. The storage giant revealed the massive news with Akiba PC Hotline during its latest interview, stating that it's possible to hide some of SMR's drawbacks by installing large DRAM caches on the HDD. Unfortunately, the upcoming 10TB HDD is not going to break speed records, with the SMR technology - and other factors - holding it back.
We can expect Seagate's upcoming 10TB drive will feature six 1.66TB SMR platters when it launches sometime next year.
Apple's draconian move to disable TRIM software support in the latest versions of OS X has left only one third-party SSD manufacturer that supports TRIM. Angelbird natively supports TRIM in OS X, a feat others haven't been able to accomplish without TRIM Enabler software. Apple removing TRIM Enabler compatibility has forced users to expose their system to malware by disabling key security features, or to simply not use TRIM with their third-party SSDs. Other third-party SSD manufacturers rely upon garbage collection in lieu of TRIM, but as any enthusiast with rudimentary knowledge can explain, garbage collection doesn't keep performance as snappy as a TRIM-enabled system.
Angelbird's wrk SSD now comes in capacities up to 1TB. The wrk utilizes an SMI 2246EN controller, and the case is made of a matte-black anodized aluminum. Sequential read/write speeds weigh in at 564/456 MB/s, respectively. The SSD also tops out at 72,000 random read IOPS. The 1TB wrk retails for $599.99, which is comparable to other Apple-specific SSDs, especially considering it is the only line of SSDs that natively supports an integral feature required for sustained performance.
ASUSTOR has announced the launch of their new 50T and 51T NAS products. There are four new high-performance models that leverage the Intel Celeron 2.41Ghz dual-core processor and a more powerful Celeron 2.0Ghz quad-core processor. The processors also feature turbo functionality to provide higher burst speeds during peak processing activities. Each model comes with either 1GB or 2GB of SO-DIMM DDR3L memory, which can be upgraded to 8GB for more discerning users.
The new products come with the ADM 2.3 operating system, which was recently optimized to deliver a more refined interface. The models support HDMI and S/PDIF, allowing the NAS units to operate as the hub of the home entertainment system. Other features include smart system sleep and instant wake mode, which helps keep power costs down. Both models come with a 3 year warranty and are available now from dealers. We will be posting a review of the units soon in our NAS section.
Corsair is one of the companies that helped forge the third-party SSD ecosystem as SSDs entered the mainstream. The new Neutron XT is a continuation of that theme, but leverages the new Phison quad-core S10 controller. Phison and Silicon Motion have been grabbing SSD controller market share as we await new competitive products from SandForce and Marvell. The SSD also features Toshiba A19nm 2bit MLC NAND.
Chris posted the Corsair Neutron XT SSD Preview as an early look at the new drive, but withheld final scoring until concrete MSRP information was available. Corsair has released the MSRP guidelines. The 240GB SSD is $149.99, the 480GB is $269.99, and the 960GB weighs in at $539.00.
Galaxy is a name associated with top-tier GPU's, but they also recently announced a new HOF PCIe SSD. The Hall of Fame (HOF) series of products from Galaxy represent their top tier products, so an SSD with blistering speed fits the bill nicely. The PCIe SSD is geared for gaming usage and comes with the requisite high performance specifications. The new SSD features a custom Heracles JMF811 JMicron controller developed specifically for Galaxy. While details are scant, we do know that the new Heracles SSD controller communicates via a PCIe 2.0 x4 connection and features sequential read/write speeds of 1,600 MB/s.
There is no word if the new SSD communicates via the AHCI or NVMe protocol. It will come in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. These are rather large capacities that will surely command a hefty price, but for gamers looking for the bleeding edge of performance it might be worth the investment.
With CES fast approaching we expect an increasing number of storage-related product launches. LiteOn leads the pack with the release of their new ZETA Series of SSDs. These SSDs are being launched in the Asian market, but these products often appear later in North American and European markets. The SATA 6Gb/s ZETA comes in three capacities of 128, 256, and 512 GB, and utilizes up to 512MB of DDR3 as a cache buffer.
The drives feature 520 MB/s of sequential read speed for all capacity points, but write speeds vary by capacity and top out at 430 MB/s. The random read IOPS weigh in at 83,500, and random write speeds top 80,000 IOPS. The ZETA leverages the relatively rare Hynix 16nm MLC NAND and is geared for the value market. Current pricing is 439 yuan ($70 USD) for 128GB, 799 yuan ($129 USD) for 256GB, and 1599 yuan ($258 USD) for the 512GB capacity point. A smattering of typical SSD features, such as TRIM, NCQ, and AES 256 encryption, round out the ZETA. There is no word on the controller, but Hynix has been rumored to only sell their NAND to customers who also purchase their LAMD controllers. This has led, in part, to the relatively rare use of Hynix NAND, though Intel is utilizing it in some of their offerings.
Much like most other equipment launched into space, the NASA rover Opportunity utilizes tried-and-true flash memory for data storage on its trek across the surface of Mars. Flash memory isn't as susceptible to vibration as other forms of data storage and operates better in temperature extremes, which works out great for equipment hurling its way through the cosmos. The rigors of spaceflight and the surface of Mars can push even the most durable equipment to the edge, as witnessed by the latest round of memory failures onboard the Opportunity rover.
Scientists reformatted the flash memory on the resilient little rover over the weekend, but things didn't go quite as planned. Now the rover is suffering from amnesia events and system resets. NAND is a persistent memory technology, it can retain data even without power, unlike RAM. The rover stores all data collected during the day in its onboard RAM memory, but when the rover 'sleeps' at night that data is typically copied over to NAND flash storage. The problems encountered during the flash formatting have placed the rover in a RAM-only mode, and data has to be beamed off to Earth each night before sleep. Scientists are working diligently to code a workaround that will avoid using one of the seven banks of NAND that is experiencing the issue.
As according to a newly issued press release, networking giants Barracuda have just placed Ken Grohe on their payroll. This well-known storage expert has just come off employment with some large name companies spanning his massive 26+ year campaign in the industry.
Barracuda is a provider of cloud-connected security and storage solutions, with their goal set to simplify IT. Their solutions are reportedly used by more then 150,000 organizations worldwide. With Grohe appointed as their Senior Vice President & General Manager of Emerging Products, he will oversee the CudaTel and CudaEye product lines while helping drive sales for the Barracuda copy (file syncing and sharing) and SignNow (eSignature) services.
Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at ESG praised Grohe's previous achievements and work ethic, stating that he "an industry star joining a growing company", further stating that "Barracuda continues to impress with its talent acquisition and its relentless execution."