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Google has been leading the way with cloud-based productivity apps such as Google Docs and and the rest of the Google Apps suite. The one thing Google hasn't provided though, is a competitor to Dropbox and other online cloud storage services. This seems like one of the areas Google could excel in, especially with how many servers the search giant has.
Rumors have been floating around regarding Google Drive for years. They first emerged in 2006, and have come and gone since. Sources are now saying that the official announcement is due in the first week of April. Sources say that the free service will offer 1GB of online storage with charges for more. In comparison, Dropbox offers 2GB free and you can get more through referrals and promotions.
It reportedly will come with a desktop client and a web interface similar to Google Docs. Additionally, the sources are saying that Google has built an API around the service which could theoretically be used in conjunction with Android Apps. This comes at a time when mobile phones are doing more than ever, storing video, music, and pictures. Being able to offload them to online storage would reduce the need for high capacity phones.
Following on the heels on its SSD 520 release, Intel is rumored to be getting ready to unveil a couple more drives in May. Rumor has it that the company will introduce a new 300 Series model (codenamed Maple Crest) for the mainstream consumer market and a 720 Series (codenamed Ramsdale) for enterprise applications.
The rumor lacks some detail, such as what storage size it will be available in, what controller it will use, or what interface it will use. Its predecessor uses SATA 3Gbps and is available in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB sizes, so I would imagine that would be a safe guess that it will at least meet these, if not exceed.
Beyond the rumored May relase, Intel is set to transition to 20nm NAND flash in Q3 and will most likely release a brand new 500 Series solid-state drive codenamed King Crest. Q4 should bring updates to the 700 Series with larger sizes and higher performance. It'll be interesting how the other SSD manufacturers counter these releases.
With SSDs seeming to become the norm with Ultrabooks and the like, it makes sense that more and more people will need a portable hard drive that has vast amounts of storage. Previously, you would only a thumb drive to move small files from one computer to another, but since SSDs are expensive for any sort of storage, our needs have become increasingly large to the point where thumb drives can't keep up. Let me introduce you to the Western Digital's next-generation My Passport.
Before this launch, 2TB drives relied on the larger 3.5-inch drive. These larger drives require more power than a 2.5-inch drive and often couldn't be powered solely over a USB port. To achieve this, the size of the device is up slightly to a total thickness of 21mm versus the 19mm of the 1TB and 750GB models, and the 15 mm of the 500GB model. No performance numbers have been quoted regarding the new drives, but it features USB 3.0 and the case comes in a range of colors as long as you don't want the 2TB model, which seems to be limited to black. It comes with a suggested retail price of $250 for the 2TB model. The 500GB-1TB flavors will ring up between $130 and $200, according to WD.
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Seagate has achieved quite the storage milestone, bu hitting a storage density of 1 terabit per square inch, roughly 55-percent more than today's 620 gigabits per square inch. Seagate have compared this to our Milky Way galaxy, comparing the number of stars, which astronomers estimate we have between 200 and 400 billion. Seagate say that their 1 terabits per square inch, has more bits per square inch than our entire Milky Way galaxy!
Currently, 620 gigabits per square inch provides us with current 3TB capacity in 3.5-inch disks, 2.5-inch disks max out at 750GB. This new technology from Seagate should double this to 6TB and 2TB for 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives, respectively. Seagate say this technology will arrive "later this decade", and will drive hard disk drive sizes right up to 60TB over the following 10 years. Seagate hit the milestone by using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which they hail as the next-generation successor to 2006's perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR).
PMR should hit a peak of approximately 1Tb per square inch in the next few years, which should be the starting density of the new HAMR-based drives. Seagate explain in their press releases:
The technology offers a scale of capacity growth never before possible, with a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch -- 30TB to 60TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10TB to 20TB for 2.5-inch drives.
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Marvell have just announced their third-generation SSD which has gone into mass deployment, the Marvel 88SS9187 SATA controller is powered by high-performance embedded processor technology and sports a 6Gbps SATA III interface.
Marvell have said that a number of high-profile SSD manufacturers are set to deploy Marvell's 88SS9187 controller immediately, with more partners to jump on board over time. Marvell's latest and greatest technology offers an open, world-class architecture that supports industry-standard, high-speed NAND flash interface with up to 200MB/sec per channel.
The new Marvell 88SS9187 controller also offers something new, a ground-breaking correction capability thanks to its high-performance ECC engine with Adaptive Read and Write Scheme and on-chip RAID functionality to allow use of the latest generation of NAND flash devices in the fast-growing SSD markets.
Thecus sent us over a video they made unboxing the new N2200EVO and N4100EVO NAS devices which have only just been released onto the market recently.
The Thecus rep on the video above tells us that "EVO" stands for evolution and is what these devices stand for with plenty of new features. The N4100EVO supports up to four 3TB drives providing a brilliant 12TB of storage to store all of your
po... sensitive data, videos and so on. Soon Thecus will begin supporting new 4TB drives hence providing a maximum capacity of 16TB, which is surely going to last even the most extreme downloader quite some time.
The N2200EVO is a cut-down version compared to the bigger N4100EVO NAS and it supports two hard drives with up to 6TB of storage capacity. Thecus claim that the N2200EVO is completely silent, which is something pretty major for a NAS device, as most tend to make quite an audible amount of noise.
We should have both these new NAS devices in for review soon where Chris Ramseyer will put them through their paces in a full TweakTown review.
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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.