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A fresh roadmap looking deep into 2012 reveals that Intel is planning to hit the SSD market harder than ever with new series' on the horizon that will cover pretty much all major market segments.
We've already seen some refreshments in their SSD product range recently, and more to follow before the year is out. These include the SSD 520 "Cherryville", SSD 710 "Lyndonville", SSD 720 "Ramsdale", and "Hawley Creek" mSATA SSDs. These will maintain the lead into the first quarter of 2012, and as the second quarter comes around Intel will introduce its "Ramsdale MLC" and "King Crest" families to market.
But the biggest changes are to be seen into the third quarter of 2012 when "Taylorsville" hits the scene. This is said to be a successor to SSD 710 "Lyndonville" and will bring significant capacity increases going as large as 800GB.
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Plextor has hit up the ever growing SSD market with a new line of SATA 6Gbps drives in regular 2.5-inch form. There are currently two drives in the new lineup, the 128GB PX-128M2P and 256GB PX-256M2P, both of which depend on Marvell's 88SS9174 controller together with Toshiba TH58TV68D2FDA88 MLC 34nm NAND flash.
With 512MB DDR3 cache on the 256GB model and half that (256MB) on the 128GB, sequential write speeds vary between the two with Plextor promising write rates of 440MB/sec and 320MB/sec on the 256 and 128GB drives, respectively. Read rates, however, are equal at up to 500MB/sec.
Fusion-io have today announced the next evolution of their ioMemory platform for powering application acceleration and data center optimization. Fusion-io previously broke performance barriers when they released their first enterprise MLC products which dramatically enhanced reliability metrics for enterprise flash, and redefined server-side flash have done it again by introducing their new ioDrive2 and ioDrive2 Duo.
David Flynn, Fusion-io CEO and Chairman says:
Customers have grown to expect nothing but groundbreaking products from Fusion-io. Today, we are proud to raise the bar once more with the ioDrive2. Just as many competitors gauge success by Fusion-io performance standards, we developed the ioDrive2 to outperform the original ioDrive on all measures. Companies around the world trust ioMemory to supply critical data to their trading platforms, ERP systems, virtual environments, enterprise applications and databases, and now, they can rely on the ioDrive2 to accelerate even more of the data that powers our information economy.
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QNAP have announced three new Turbo NAS models, with a four-bay, dual-bay and single-bay solution available. The models are TS-419P II, TS219P II and TS-119P II which are all aimed at corporate workgroups, SOHO and home users who are after a budget-friendly solution for backup and file sharing. No pricing has been announced from QNAP, so we don't know how "budget-friendly" they really are. But, the models closest to them (which sport 1.2GHz chips instead of the included 2GHz chips) are very decently priced.
The new models look virtually identical to the predecessors, but they sport upgraded chips tech. QNAP have used a 2.0GHz Marvell CPU and also included 512MB of DDR3 memory which is a bit quicker than the 1.2 and 1.6GHz Marvell CPUs used in previous models. QNAP also say the added speed will enable Windows-based file transfers of up to 109MB/sec. QNAP claim idle power consumption is as low as four watts.
I-O Data has just unveiled its latest portable Blu-ray drive, the BRP-U6XE which at first may not seem like anything special at all considering there's quite a number of these portable Blu-ray drives on the market these days.
However, there is in fact quite the stand-out feature with this one; it is capable of writing in the new BDXL format, meaning up to 100GB of data can be placed on supporting discs with this drive.
On the downside, the drive only has USB 2.0 connectivity. Considering the drive has BDXL support, I would have thought USB 3.0 would have been the more sensible, ideal interface with its much more accomodating bandwidth for such large amounts of data.
Helping fill the void between expensive, large capacity SSDs and slow, but cheap high capacity mechanical drives, OCZ has just outed a new range of cache happy SSDs it calls the Synapse Cache. The new series includes two capacity drives of 64 and 128GB, certainly more than enough for caching purposes.
The Synapse Cache drives include Dataplex cache software from NVELO which will dynamically cache the most recently, and frequently accessed files from your large capacity platter drive to the SSD; thus increasing overall performance in accessing those files thereon. It's essentially how Intel's Smart Response Technology works, but in this case it's all handled via the SSD combined with the Dataplex cache software as opposed to the motherboard chipset, meaning you are not limited to Z68 for this type of setup.
Other World Computing have announced the launch of the 6G Mercury Aura Pro Express (say that 3 times fast), which is a replacement SSD for the 2011 MacBook Air. The new drive fully utilizes the SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface and is available in both 120 and 240GB capacities.
The drive sports the SandForce 2200-series controller with Tier 1/Grade A NAND memory which pumps along at 507MB/sec read, 454MB/sec write speeds which is roughly twice as fast as the stock SSD in the MBA.
Apple's MacBook Air ships with SATA 3Gbps SSDs even though the hardware inside is capable of SATA 6Gbps. But, the MBA uses a non-standard SSD form factor, which means the usual 2.5-inch SSDs on the market can't be used as a replacement. OWC says that the Aura Pro Express 6G SSD is the first and only 6Gbps SSD designed to work with both the 11.1-inch and 13.3-inch models of the new MacBook Air.
SanDisk is making an effort to keep the most paranoid folks at bay when it comes to the backing up of precious storage with the launch of its new "Memory Vault" which utilizes NAND Flash memory along with Chronolock technology to help ensure that all data on the device will be preserved for what they can somehow promise at this time to be up to 100 years.
The vault uses a somewhat ruggedized looking outer metallic casing, relying on typical USB 2.0 connectivty and is offered in two capacity sizes at this time; 8GB and 16GB, and priced at $49.99 and $89.99, respectively. SanDisk feels confident the Memory Vault will not let you down, giving it a lifetime warranty.
SanDisk already offers great image-capture products, and we've built upon that expertise to create a new category of image-preservation products," said Tim Sutton, senior product marketing manager, SanDisk. "The Memory Vault allows parents to preserve photos of their daughter's first steps alongside videos from her wedding and then pass those images down for generations to come.