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Computex 2012 - Our first stop for Computex 2012 was at the Intel Thunderbolt event where Intel had walls full of Thunderbolt based products on displays from its partners.
We saw a full wall of storage based products that support the fast 10Gbit interface that is slowly but surely gaining more and more market adoption. Judging by the amount of products on display at the Intel event, the market is going to get somewhat flooded with new Thunderbolt toys soon.
Also on display were a range of Z77 based motherboards that support the Thunderbolt interface from companies such as MSI, GIGABYTE, ASUS and more. Intel also had some Ultrabook's and other laptops on display that support Thunderbolt. For a close up look at some of these products, hit the play button on the video above.
Solid state drives are becoming a dime a dozen as more manufacturers intro models at lower and lower prices. These drives often don't sacrifice any performance to save costs. Today OCZ has introduced a new set of Agility 4 SSDs "for Mainstream Users Requiring the Best Price-to-Performance Ratio." We haven't tested that claim quite yet.
The newest line of solid state drives by OCZ is powered by an Everest 2 controller platform and "excels in real-world compressible and incompressible workload performance." OCZ is claiming the drives consistently exceed transfer rates of up to 400MB/s, and up to 85,000 random write IOPS. The press release says: "The dual core controller architecture also includes an advanced error correction code (ECC) engine, dynamic wear-leveling, auto encryption, and Indilinx Ndurance 2.0 technology that addresses and overcomes specific shortcomings of NAND flash memory to extend flash life well beyond the manufacturer's rated program and erase cycle specifications."
"For mainstream storage applications, there is no product better suited in the industry than our Agility 4 SSDs, providing the ultimate in access speed, application performance, endurance and reliability, at price points that most cost-conscious users will find appealing," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology.
Some of the hardware in the Apple MacBook Air is designed specifically for the MacBook Air so that everything would fit inside that tiny chassis. An example of that is the solid state drive which doesn't follow a traditional 2.5-inch form factor. Thankfully there are companies out there like RunCore who will build to such a niche market.
The drive itself is small. According to the RunCore press release it is "almost a half-size of conventional 2.5" SSDs without case." Usually when a device is shrunk down performance and storage capabilities take a hit, but that is not the case here. In this instance, this SSD offers up to 4 times the original storage amount of the MacBook Air.
It manages to have all that storage while performing better. Testing shows that the SSD is capable of over 500MB/s transfer thanks to its SATA III interface. It also offers Tier 1 Toggle Synchronous NAND which adds to its performance. The key features, as RunCore says, are as follows:
- Compatible with Late-2011 MacBook Air perfectly
- SATA III interface and Tier 1 Toggle Synchronous NAND
- Data Encryption: 128-bit AES-compliant
- ECC: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
- Wear Leveling: Enhanced endurance by dynamic/static wear-leveling
- Trim supported
- Dimension: 108.9(L) x 24(W) x 3.2(T) mm
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The Computex news train continues to roll as bits and pieces of exciting new hardware comes in.
KingSpec, a SandForce partner is getting a new PCIe product ready for the show. Coming from the new Multicore Series, this PCIe solution has four SandForce SF-2281 controllers and four mSATA slots that may be used to expand the capacity size and controller count.
The details are thin now, but we do know that the maximum capacity is 2TB and the PCIe configuration is 8 lanes. The high number of PCIe lanes will let this product really stretch its legs.
We've reviewed several OCZ RevoDrive products and they were limited by the PCIe 4 lane interface. In theory, the new KingSpec Multicore PCIe could double the performance of the RevoDrive 3!
Corsair has announced the availability of its new SSD notebook upgrade kits which aid a user in transitioning to a solid state drive. The purpose of changing over to a solid state drive is the better performance and battery life offered by one. They are quite a bit better than their mechanical alternatives, so having an easy upgrade path should help more users transition.
The kits are available in both a 120GB version and a 240GB version and have an MSRP of $139.99 and $259.99 respectively. The kit includes an easy-to-use USB-to-SATA cable and software which help with the data migration. The software is capable of transferring the operating system, program files, and data files to the new drive.
"Laptop owners have become more aware of the performance, power efficiency, and reliability of SSDs but many have been put off by the complexity of moving their existing data," said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair. "The new Force Series 3 SSD Notebook Upgrade Kits simplify the data migration process, making upgrading to an SSD easier than ever."
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Sick of your current multi-HDD, RAID, NAS or other storage method you're using? Well, according to the latest IHS iSuppli storage space market report, we could be looking at maximum areal densities of hard disk drives to double by 2016.
Seagate has also predicted a doubling in drive density, which can only lead to great things for the storage industry. What technology would be required to head toward 60TB 3.5-inch drives? Well, we're looking at heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented back in 2006. Seagate have previously stated they could produce a 60TB 3.5-inch HDD by 2016.
What of laptop drives? Well, we could be looking at 10-20TB by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. According to IHS iSuppli, areal densities are looking to climb up to a maximum of 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch from 2011. This year, hard drive areal densities are looking to hit 780 Gbits per square inch per platter, with next year reaching 900 Gbits.
But, could it all be wasted? We're seeing more and more of a push toward the cloud... could internal HDDs not be so important in the coming years, I would be inclined to say yes.
Apparently a self-destructing SSD wasn't enough protection for RunCore as they have just announced the global availability of their new Xapear solid state drive. The new Xapear features some even more innovative features to protect a user's data than just self-destructing. It provides both remote data deletion and RFID protection.
The SSD uses a USB 2.0 interface for data transfer. The drive features two partitions: one freely accessible and one that is only accessible after applying a special RFID key. Xapear comes with two RFID keys that are initialized by the user. After initialization, users have two partitions which can be resized to user preference. One swipe of the RFID key and the hidden partition becomes visible and usable. Another swipe and it is gone.
The drive also features a GSM connection:
GSM communication is provided for by an integrated SIM card. User then can link this SIM card one specified and self-defined mobile phone. Only this pre-defined mobile phone will be able to detect drive access. Furthermore, the mobile phone can remotely send a data deletion command to the drive, telling it to overwrite all data, rendering it impossible to recover previous data.
These new data protection features come at a time when more and more sensitive data is being carried with a user. The number one cause of data compromise is physical loss of a device through theft or carelessness.
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