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Referring back to the recent acquisition of bigtime SSD controller maker SandForce by LSI, it looks like this was most probably a best case scenario being played out considering what could (and most likely would) have happened had LSI not swallowed them up.
It's been said that some of the other, much more aggressive, consumer focused mobs were really eyeing off SandForce as well; this including the likes of Intel, Micron, SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital. A piece written by Fuad of Fudzilla gives good insight to the (much uglier) scenario that would have likely taken place had one of these other mobs snapped up SF.
If one of these big boys had picked up Sand Force, a possible scenario was to push out Sand Force partners and use the technology only for their own drives. LSI will let the other players have it and OCZ Technologies told us this in a brief talk we had with some of the managers.
Seagate currently have their GoFlex external drives using the 1TB platter technology, but they feature 5400 RPM and are not as fast as the usual 7200 RPM drives. But, with 7200 RPM drives, there's usually less GB per platter. Seagate don't want this, and neither do we.
Seagate will now intro a bunch of new drives sporting the 7200 RPM spindle rate, with 1TB platters on a SATA 6Gbps interface. The new drives will have a model number ending in M00x which represents the new drive and its 7200 RPM speed.
Tech wise, platter capacity plays quite a big role in just how much storage a hard drive can hold, but it can also impact performance. Areal density is key, which is a measurement of how many bits are squeezed into each square inch. The more bits per square inch, the more data passes under the drive head with each revolution of the platter.
QNAP Systems, Inc. have extended the number of compatible peripherals for their Network Attached Storage line up of products, the Turbo NAS range. They now include two external storage devices, two 3.5-inch hard drives, four IP cameras, and three third-party backup applications.
The Turbo NAS series models are now compatible with the Astone RD-230 Dual Bay and Tandberg Removable Cartridges (160 and 640GB) external hard drives and two models of Hitachi-branded 3.5-inch internal hard drives, Hitachi HUA723020ALA640 and HDS5C3030ALA630. On top of this, three new third-party backup applications from FarStone are now compatible with QNAP Turbo NAS models including Total Recovery Pro, Total Backup Recovery Advanced Server, and Total Backup Recovery Advanced Workstation.
IP camera options added to the compatibility list are: D-Link DCS-900(A) and DCS-900(B1/ B2), Panasonic BL-C111 and Vivotec IP 7330.
Jason Hsu, QNAP product manager says:
The QNAP development team works continuously to grow the range of peripheral compatibility and to ensure our users have flexible selections.
Intel has just released version 3.0 of its "SSD Toolbox" which sports an entirely new UI and rolls in a ton of new features.
The management and diagnostics of your Intel based SSD with this tool is now about as complete as could be with SMART status, Summary Drive Health and Estimated Life Remaining bars, used/unused capacity pie charts, diagnostics, system information summary and contextual help that integrates one-click same-page help pointers.
With SSDS typically having a limited rewrite cycle count (the amount of times data can be rewritten onto its NAND cells before it's game over and the SSD becomes a doorstep), while the cycle count equates to many, many years of use even for the all day every day user, it's still nice to have peace of mind about the rewrite cycle status.
For those of you who love your SSDs like me, you'll enjoy an interesting blog piece from Corsair. It's done by long time Corsair forum member Rafael Jaimes III, or by his forum name "Synbios". He sent Corsair some documentation of SSD life testing utilizing Corsair's Force F40-A SSDs.
The submission is quite long, so I won't go into it too much (and to avoid spoilers from the results), but it goes into a very lengthy discussion about the lifespan and the general users questions on how long it will be. Because SSDs are a very new technology when compared to the now ageing mechanical platter-based tech, the number of failures of SSDs are currently quite low. But because they haven't been around as long as their competition, its hard to get a handle on what type of return rate they have.
Kingston is starting to add a bunch more functionality to its flash drive lineups via the use of a new app it's now polished off.
Several of Kingston's DataTraveler models are now being pre-loaded with the new app called "urDrive", which provides security features, easier file management, multimedia functions and even a simple web browser that provides "kid-safe" browsing.
In its entirety, urDrive gives quick and easy access to a photo viewer, MP3 player,a PC Checkup tool from Norton to keep virus infections and performance issues at bay, a Maxthon 3 web browser, cloud-based backup service which includes super easy file sync'ing and the "Fooz kids" web browser. There's also a service that throws some entertainment into the mix, allowing access to the latest mini-game titles from EA Games and PopCop Games.
A-DATA has introduced a new family of USB 3.0 flash drives today comprising three models covering entry level, mid-range and high-end segments.
The entry level C103 model runs measurements of 68.6 (L) x 22.2 (W) x 8.5 (H) mm and uses a capless, all black design. Coming in 8 and 16GB capacities, A-DATA says it offers read and write rates of up to 90MB/sec and 10MB/sec respectively.
The mid-range S102 Pro model is 61.8 x 18.7 x 10.7 mm with a capped design and comes in capacities of 8, 16 and 32GB. Performance wise, A-DATA says it tops out at 100MB/sec read and 50MB/sec write rates.
Finally, there's the new top dog USB 3.0 flash drive offering from A-DATA in the N005 Pro, measuring 90 x 20.5 x 11.5 mm and also using a removable cap design. It comes in capacities ranging from 8 to 64GB and offers read and write rates of up to 180MB/sec and 90MB/sec respectively.
The C103, S102 Pro and N005 Pro USB 3.0 flash drives from A-DATA are all backed by lifetime warranties.
You'd think there's only so much that can be done with a desktop HDD docking station and if anyone has managed to provide a feature filled line of them that covers all bases, it's Sharkoon with their QuickPort series. But the company has just found reason to introduce yet another into its QuickPort family - the QuickPort Pro LAN Giga HDD/SSD Docking Station.
As the model name hints, the primary feature of this particular model launched today is its Gigabit ethernet port allowing it to be tied directly into a network for easy sharing between multiple computers. Of course, Sharkoon has included alternative choices for connectivity as well, with both USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces at its base (no doubt the next QuickPort will be both Gigabit and USB 3.0 equipped).
As per previous iterations of the QuickPort family of docking stations, the LAN Giga supports both 2.5 and 3.5-inch sized SSDs/HDDs. There's also a couple USB 2.0 ports easily accessible on the front of the base for plugging in additional flash drives or other storage devices and there's an SD/MMS/MS card reader resident as well.
Deal of the Day: 120GB Corsair CSSD-F120GBGT-BK Force GT Series Solid State Drive 2.5", SATA III, 6Gbps for $169.99 after Rebate
Our Deal of the Day today is the CompUSA - 120GB Corsair CSSD-F120GBGT-BK Force GT Series Solid State Drive 2.5", SATA III, 6Gbps for $169.99 after Rebate.
Offer: CompUSA has the 120GB Corsair CSSD-F120GBGT-BK Force GT Series Solid State Drive with up to 85,000 IOPS and read speeds of up to 555Mb/s and write speeds up to 515Mb/s for just $169.99 plus shipping after $30 mail in rebate (expiring 10/22/11).
After months of complaints from users worldwide, SandForce has duplicated, verified and provided a fix for the infamous BSOD/disconnect issue that affected SF-2200-based SSDs. What was the exact problem? Well, specifics are scarce, but it seems the root cause was a bug in the firmware. OCZ has been testing the fix in-house for the past three weeks and believes that it is fit for public release.
SandForce is also simultaneously releasing the new sturdy firmware to partners, so if you have a non-OCZ drive with these issues, you should contact your drive manufacturer for an availability update. The new OCZ firmware is version 2.15 and 3.3.2 for drives that use SF's standard numbering system. Of course, this is a bug to fix a specific issue, and might not fix all of issues on your drive.