OCZ along with many other storage makers are holding tight onto a piece of the solid state storage market, knowing full well it is the way of the future. We've even started to see flash drives with eSATA connectivity of late which boost transfer speeds far beyond the aging USB 2.0 standard.
Now OCZ turns its attention to notebooks with a new family of ExpressCards called the Slate series.
These NAND flash-based storage cards are the perfect partner for notebooks featuring an ExpressCard slot. They come in capacities of 8, 16 and 32GB and also feature a mini-USB port for added flexibility.
OCZ claim read and write speeds of 18MB/sec and 12.5MB/sec, certainly nothing special there. However, they would serve as a convenient backup solution and the internal design may be more appealing than an external flash drive of sorts as well.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-December 8, 2008-OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today introduced the Slate Series ExpressCard™, a storage expansion drive for the latest generation of performance notebooks. The integration of express card storage is ideal for mobile users who want the peace of mind knowing they will always have a backup option and experience the convenience of an internal solution that eliminates peripheral devices.
It seems Silicon Power and OCZ were the first to kick off a new trend of flash drives with eSATA+miniUSB ports to give the best of both worlds in terms of speed and flexibility. Maxell has now introduced a new family of their own which come in capacities of 16, 32 and 64GB.
Read and write speeds are said to be around 24 MB/s - 16MB/sec for USB and 75MB/sec - 24MB/sec when connecting with eSATA. Play.com have the 32GB drive up for pre-order on their website at a price of 80 pounds (around $119USD) and the series is expected to reach shelves a little later this month.
In up-class style Akasa has just come forward with the introduction of its Elite series HDD enclosure line-up. The most stand-out feature across this line of external HDD enclosures is the soft leather finish which is further complimented by an aluminum body with brushed aluminum fascia panels and polished edges.
Two enclosures are on offer; catering to both types of HDD sizes, there's the 2.5-inch AK-IC009-BK and 3.5-inch AK-IC010-BK, measuring 136x80x16mm and 187x123x33mm respectively. Both units have connectivity for USB and eSATA.
A third accompanying product also makes its way into the Elite series, this being an external card reader which in Elite style also comes wrapped in the same grade leather. Using USB2.0 connectivity, the reader can access all types of memory cards as well as having SIM and Smart Card support.
For further details about each of the products in the Elite series range, head over to this section on Akasa's website.
OCZ are on a bit of a roll with their flash drive line-up this week. After having first announced their new CrossOver USB Flash series which carries an integrated MicroSD Adapter, they now bring us the Throttle eSATA Flash Drive series.
As the name implies, this drive's best feature is the inclusion of eSATA connectivity to really get those transfer speeds crankin'. OCZ claims the Throttle eSATA's read and write speeds to be up to 90MB/sec and 30MB/sec respectively; far superior to the aging USB 2.0 standard. If, however, for some reason you're wanting to access the drive's data on a system that lacks eSATA, OCZ made sure to implement a mini-USB port to cover all situations.
Sunnyvale, CA-December 4, 2008-OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today introduced the Throttle eSATA drive, which offers performance and versatility for enthusiasts that demand the best hardware. The integration of eSATA connectivity now extends beyond desktop systems to laptops, offering increased data transfer rates with extreme portability while eliminating extra cords and power cables.
Intel and Hitachi have joined forces to confront the Enterprise SSD market.
The pair (both big companies in their own right) will develop new SSDs (SAS and Fibre Channel) for the enterprise market together with Intel manufacturing them and Hitachi selling the final product.
This union should product some very nice products indeed.
Read the press release here
The combination of a leading Enterprise drive supplier with a NAND technology and manufacturing leader will produce world-class solutions in terms of reliability, performance and system compatibility. The two companies will work together exclusively to deliver enterprise SSDs with SAS and FC interfaces, with the first products expected to be available in early 2010.
The new generation of solid-state drive technology complements existing enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs) and is intended for use in storage applications that require extremely high Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) performance and power efficiency.
The new SSDs will be branded and exclusively sold and supported by Hitachi GST and use Intel NAND flash memory and SSD technology. Hitachi GST has expertise in drive firmware, reliability, qualification and system integration that, together with Intel's technology and manufacturing capabilities, is expected to deliver world-class solutions with the performance and reliability that enterprise storage customers demand.
The folks at Digitimes report that Pioneer has something very impressive to show at the IT Month fair currently taking place in Taipei, a new super multi-layer optical disc that's capable of holding a hell of a lot more 25GB layers than Blu-ray's two; no less than 16 of them. If all 16x25GB layers were to be filled, that's 400GB of data.
Although the technology behind this super multi-layer read-only disc is based on Blu-ray, the material of reflective layers is dielectric (as opposed to BD's metallic layers) which is where the biggest advancement lies.
The best thing about this disc is that the pick-up head (PUH) is the same as that of blank BD discs, meaning these discs will work just fine on existing BD players. It's this very reason that should see the new tech go into mass production (beginning in read-only format) as early as next year through to 2010, with re-writable discs hitting soon after. Pioneer are also confident they can push the limits further by 2013, introducing a 1TB disc.
Japanese website PC Watch reveals that Buffalo has decided to release an Intel-designed 80GB Solid State Disk under its own branding.
The SHD-NSMR80G drive from Buffalo is a multi-level cell (MLC) designed SSD, 2.5-inch in size. Using the SATA II interface, it boasts a rated sequential read speed of 253MB/sec and random read speed of 241.7 MB/s.
A decent bundle of software from Acronis also accompanies the drive which includes MigrateEasy data migration, TrueImage LE data backup, DiskDirector LE partition management and DriveCleanser data secure-deletion softwares.
The drive is now available in Japan at a cost of 103,950 JPY (around $1,040).
Plextor aren't quite the dominant force they once were in the optical drive market, but they are still reknowned for making some of the best quality drives out there and it's this very reason that they still run a healthy business and continue to expand on their product range.
Today sees the release of five new optical drives which include the PX-610U 8x external DVD drive, PX-B310SA 6x internal BD Combo Drive, PX-B310Q 6x external BD Combo Drive, PX-850SA 22x internal SATA DVD Drive and finally the PX-850A 22x which is the same as the SA model but uses PATA for connectivity.
For further information about Plextor's lineup refresh, you can view the official announcement here.
FREMONT, Calif. - November 24, 2008 - Plextor, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, announces new products as a part of its new 2008 lineup. Featured in the new offering are 6x Blu-Ray Combo drives, 22x Super Multi DVD±RW drives, and an 8x Slim External USB DVD±RW for PC and Mac.
"Plextor continues to strengthen its position in the optical storage market with the addition of these new drives to its already robust line of products," said Bob Gronski, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "Now more than ever, people are going out less and taking advantage of home entertainment more, so it's a perfect time for us to introduce such an extensive line of products."
The vastly growing SSD market sees the addition of a new competitor today with A-DATAs introduction of its new XPG 2.5-inch SSD series.
Available in capacities ranging from 32 to 192GB, these drives are rated with read and write performance figures of up to 170MB/sec and 100MB/sec respectively. Along with its native SATA-II interface, a built-in mini-USB 2.0 port also allows easy access to the drive when outside of a system.
A-DATA also provides the XPG series of SSDs with build-in ECC (Error Correction Code) protection as well as advanced wear-leveling technologies to ensure a high level of reliability with a lengthened life-span.
For further information on the new XPG series of solid state drives from A-DATA, check out the official PR here.
With the ever-growing popularity of compact notebooks and high-end portable devices, the demand for Solid State Drives (SSD) is greater than ever. A-DATA offers a new SSD aimed at a growing, more casual audience seeking for fast and solid storage device.
A-DATA XPG 2.5" SSD is an innovative gadget available up to a tremendous capacity of 192GB. Having both, SATA II high-speed interface and an extra built-in mini-USB 2.0 port, this SSD combines the advantages of SSD and conventional hard drives, such as mobility and great convenience, in one device.
Something new has dropped onto the flash drive scene this morning. Although we are all pretty familiar with USB flash drives (I have about an even dozen) Kanguru Solutions has gone one step better.
Launching the Kanguru e-Flash we now have the combination USB/ e-SATA thumb drive. Sporting 32GB of space and dual ended connectivity Kanguru makes the claim "No application or data file is too large for the Kanguru e-Flash to handle!" Of course with an $85 (US) price tag it better not be shy on performance.
See the product page here.
One end supports high speed, powered eSATA (3Gb/s connectivity, 5 times faster than a standard USB 2.0 drive) and the other end supports USB 2.0. The ultra-fast transfer speed, high capacity and small size makes it a great replacement for a bulky external Hard Drive.
Dual ended eSATA AND USB connections
• Requires no external power
• High strength aluminum housing
• Large capacities
• Includes Powered eSATA bracket + Cable for PC connectivity
• Includes Hotswap! software for trouble-free eSATA Plug-n-Play
• Engraving available
• e-Flash Drive
• Power + eSATA PC Bracket
• Power + eSATA Extension Cable
• Hotswap! Software (Pre-loaded)
• Drivers CD
If you have been following the SSD game, the one thing that tends to turn most people off from (aside from the ridiculous prices) is capacity. Considering we have games in that take up tens of Gigabytes along with ripped movies and MP3 collections of vast sizes the 40, 80 and 128GB SSDs do not have enough room to make them worth the cost.
But Samsung wants to change all of that. Today they announced the release of a 256GB SSD drive that not only outpaces all other available SSDs on the market in terms of size, but (if Samsung is to be believed) can outperform the others too.
TechPowerUp has the scoop here.
The new 256GB SSD more than doubles the performance rates of Samsung 64GB and 128GB SSDs to become the SSD with the highest overall performance in the personal computer industry, combining sequential read rates of 220MB/s (megabytes per second) with sequential write rates of 200MB/s. This sharply narrows the performance gap between read and write operations to only 10 percent, compared to a read-write speed difference of between 20 and 70 percent for other SSDs. In addition, erase cycles are a rapid 100GBs per minute, allowing the entire drive to be re-written much faster, when needed.
"While SSD's have always been touted for their performance, Samsung is turning the storage industry upside down now with an SSD that delivers truly disruptive performance," said Jim Elliott, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Getting our exceptionally high performing 256GB SSD in a notebook is analogous to having a 15,000rpm drive, without all of its size, noise, power and heating drawbacks.".
Seagate has today announced that it has started shipping a new family of Momentus series 2.5-inch hard disks. What's mostly different about these particular drives is that they are self-encrypting and offer an added level of security to notebooks. Seagate has chosen to join forces with McAfee who supply the client side encryption management software that interacts with the embedded hardware encryption on the drives.
There are four drives announced today, with bigger capacity models in the works for early next year. These drives comprise both 5400 and 7200RPM models, both in capacities of 160 and 320GB. The 5400RPM drives have 8MB of cache whilst the 7200RPM drives have 16.
You can learn more about the new Momentus 5400 FDE.3 and 7200 FDE (full-disk encryption) hard disks within Seagate's official announcement here folks.
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.-November 10, 2008-Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today announced sweeping advances in its global push to help secure notebook computer information from theft or loss. To combat growing threats to mobile information, Seagate, the world leader in storage solutions, is now shipping its groundbreaking, self-encrypting notebook PC hard drives, now with up to 320GB of capacity, to the worldwide distribution channel, with 500GB models coming soon. Additionally, Dell is now shipping a notebook with a 160GB self-encrypting hard drive. McAfee (NYSE:MFE) is set to provide software for the enterprise-wide management of notebooks with Seagate Secure™ hard drives.
SSDs seem all the rage today everyone is talking about them. We hear how they are the future, how they are bad, and how ridiculously expensive they are!
After the news that MS is going to put optimizations for SSDs into Seven we find out that SanDisk is going to put in some optimizations right into the drives themselves.
This will show up as Extreme FFS (Flash File Management System) which is a page-based algorithm to speed up random reads and writes (up to 100 time for random writes according to SanDisk)
Read more here
To maximize random write performance, SanDisk developed the ExtremeFFS flash file management system. This operates on a page-based algorithm, which means there is no fixed coupling between physical and logical location. When a sector of data is written, the SSD puts it where it is most convenient and efficient. The result is an improvement in random write performance - by up to 100 times - as well as in overall endurance.
ExtremeFFS incorporates a fully non-blocking architecture in which all of the NAND channels can behave independently, with some reading while others are writing and garbage collecting. Another key element of ExtremeFFS is usage-based content localization, which allows the advanced flash management system to "learn" user patterns and over time localize data to maximize the product's performance and endurance. "This feature might not show up in benchmarks, but we believe it is the right thing to do for end-users," Heye said.
We keep hearing that Solid State Drives are the future with performance estimates to match the claims. The problem is that when people try and put them to the test we do not see the huge leap we should.
Much of this is due to bandwidth limitations of the SATA 3G transfer standard. According to CNET Microsoft sees another area of concern inside the OS itself. To improve on this Redmond is going to be adding in code to ID your SSD and optimize performance for this
Read more here
In a conference abstract titled "Windows 7 Enhancements for Solid-State Drives," Microsoft states that "PC systems that have solid-state drives are shipping in increasing volumes" and that it is planning "Windows enhancements that take advantage of the latest updates to standardized command sets, such as ATA."
"Windows7 will be able to identify a SSD uniquely," according to Gregory Wong of Forward Insights. Certain ATA commands will improve the speed that solid state drives write to disk, Wong said.
ATA is most commonly associated with Serial ATA, or SATA, technology, which is the most popular data transfer standard for PC storage devices. Most new hard drives use the SATA-2 standard, and the newest solid-state drives are based on this standard also.
Until recently, solid-state drives used an older--and theoretically slower--PATA (Parallel ATA) standard. But the newest drives shipping with, for example, the Dell Latitude E4200 and HP EliteBook 2530p ultraportable laptops, use SATA-2.
Fudzilla reports, courtesy of an image from watch.impress.co.jp, that OCZ is hard at work on the third iteration of its Core SSD line-up.
It is believed that OCZ's new SSD will boast read speeds of up to 235.1 MB/s, with write speeds coming in at up to 160.8 MB/s. In the random read/write speeds category, figures of 102.1 and 23.5 MB/s, respectively, are ballpark figures.
Further to this, it is claimed that OCZ is adopting a new controller for these parts, yet details are scarce at the moment. Still, it is surmised that the developments and presumed speed increases are exciting stuff.
Even though we saw a brief look at this product a little while ago, Sharkoon has just officially announced its 2.5-inch sized Flexi-Drive S2S, which is a DIY SDHC based SSD.
This SATA I and SATA II device supports up to six 32GB SDHC flash cards using either MLC or SLC memory. That means it will create a drive capable of 192GB, but for best performance, RAID 0 is used and that will halve the maximum capacity to 96GB.
Sharkoon is now introducing an alternative that allows users to build a Notebook SSD themselves. The Sharkoon Flexi-Drive S2S is an SSD adaptor with the size and connections of a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive. The necessary flash memory is provided by the up to six SDHC cards that can be installed in the enclosure. Users can select the manufacturer, number, chip type (SLC or MLC) and capacity of the memory cards according to their needs. As the installed memory cards use Raid-0, the performance and capacity of all installed cards should be the same. At this time the maximum available SDHC capacity is 32GB, allowing for a maximum of 192GB to be installed in the Flexi-Drive S2S. Testing with HD-Tune, six 8GB SDHC memory cards with Class 6 speed ratings had a read speed of 140 MB/s and a write speed of 115 MB/s.
The press release we received claimed HD-Tune read speeds of 140MB/s and write speeds of 115MB/s. It will be very interesting to see how the Flexi-Drive S2S performs in our labs - we will endeavor to get one in for testing soon.
You can find more information on the product over at this website.
Seagate has made a big step forward in the enterprise storage market today, launching the world's fastest hard drive under its Savvio series.
The Savvio 15K.2 uses a SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) 2.0 interface and runs at a spindle speed of 15,000RPM. Whilst being incredibly fast, the inclusion of new proprietory power saving technologies from Seagate are used to make the 2.5-inch 15K.2 an extremely efficient drive that uses up to 70% less power than competing 3.5-inch models.
Capacities come in at 146 and 73GB and with the help of the SAS 2.0 interface's 6Gb/s throughput on tap, these drives are highly suited to RAID configurations.
For further information on the new Savvio 15K.2 series, click here.
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - November 3, 2008 - Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today introduced the world's fastest and greenest drive - the Savvio 15K.2 HDD, the new 15K-rpm addition to the Savvio family of 2.5-inch SAS 2.0 enterprise solutions. Savvio 15K.2 HDD delivers the industry's highest hard drive performance and reliability as well as adding a self-encrypting drive option, all while maintaining Seagate's industry leading, record low power consumption. The Savvio 15K.2 hard drive and the previously-announced Savvio 10K.3 hard drive are both part of Seagate's new Unified Storage™ architecture which converges disk drive interfaces, form factors, and security features into a common best-of-breed platform for powerful, yet simple storage solutions. Together, Seagate's Unified Storage architecture and the Savvio hard drive family improve manageability, integration, security and performance benefits for IT departments while ensuring business continuity with no compromise.
The folks over at Patriot Memory are the latest company to join the 64GB pen drive party.
Today the growing memory company launched its latest extreme performance pen drive, the Xporter Magnum. Its 64GB of flash memory is said to work at a wicked hot fast 210x and without too much surprise, it also comes with official support and is Microsoft certified for Windows Vista ReadyBoost.
"We are excited to offer the fastest 64GB USB flash drive on the market," says Meng Jay, Flash Product Manager for Patriot Memory. "Patriot's 64GB Xporter Magnum's speed and capacity is perfect for consumers who need to transport and share large files. Having Microsoft's® certification, consumers are also assured of maximizing their Windows Vista™ experience."
If anyone from Patriot is reading this, please don't feel bad about offering me one of these pen drives - an old 8GB pen drive met its death tonight with bent USB pins.
You can read more on the product over at the press release, which we uploaded here.
Jason Cross and the crew over at Extreme Tech have recently posted up a piece explaining how they installed a new Intel X-25 solid state drive into a PlayStation 3 gaming console.
The article offers a look into the future at what upcoming consoles might use in terms of storage. Intel X-25 is screaming fast - there are no doubts about that - however, it is still limited by the slow Blu-ray drive when installing games.
However, when it comes to starting and loading various points in a range of games (Mercenaries 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, Devil May Cry 4 and Grand Turismo 5 Prologue), the different is quite significant. Of course, a rather big difference was noted when installing games that were downloaded directly to the drive.
For instance, Devil May Cry 4 with the normal hard drive installed takes 50 seconds to load from the PlayStation menu into the title screen. Whack in an Intel SSD and that time drops right down to 36 seconds.
If you can afford the $600 USD or so for the SSD, check out all the SSD PS3 craziness over here.
Intel announced just recently that it has started shipping the 32GB version of its X-25E Extreme SATA 2.5-inch form factor SSD.
The X-25E is the most expensive of Intel's line of solid-state drives using high-speed SLC (single level cell) memory. Intel claims its drive is capable of up to 250MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 170MB/s sequential write speeds.
Intel achieves this breakthrough performance through innovations such as 10-channel NAND architecture with Native Command Queuing, proprietary controller and firmware efficient in advanced wear-leveling and low write amplification. The 32GB X25-E is capable of writing up to 4 petabytes (PB) of data over three-year period (3.7 TB/day), and double that for the 64GB version - delivering outstanding data reliability.
Intel says that the 32GB capacity drive is in production now with a price of $695 each for quantities up to 1,000. Furthermore, the 64GB version is expected to sample in the fourth quarter with production estimated in Q1 2009.
You can get the full run-down at the press release we uploaded here.
During Apple's launch of the new MacBook Pro 2008 edition, they surprised many by announcing that the MacBook Air would also get a bit of a refresh with the inclusion of the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU.
Not only that, the storage gets bumped up to a 120GB HDD and on the most expensive model, you can get the Air fitted out with a 128GB SSD.
Additionally, the microDVI port is out and has been replaced by a mini DisplayPort, as with all the new models that have so far been spoken about today during the event being held at the Apple HQ, which is not yet over.
The lower-end Air will set you back $1799 USD with 13.3" backlit LCD display, 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo with 6MB L2 cache, 2GB DDR3-1066 memory and a 120GB HDD.
The higher-end model will set you back $2499 USD and you get the same as just mentioned except a faster CPU running at 1.86GHz and a spiffier 128GB SSD.
Read on as the live blogging coverage continues over at Engadget. BTW, lovely work guys!