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CES 2012 - Micron was at Storage Visions 2012 showing some hot new products they have lined up for 2012. We'll be showing several of these over the next few days. One display at their event caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you before running out of the door for another meeting.
In this display we see how many chips it took in 2006 to reach 16GB of capacity, eight. In 2010 IMFT released 25nm flash and the same 16GB of capacity was achieved in two chips. The next progression takes us to 20nm and 16GB is achieved in a single chip. It's really cool to see the progress of technology in a single display.
CES 2012 - Long before SandForce, Marvell or even Intel were churning out SSD controllers MemoRight was breaking new ground on the SSD frontier.
We've been reviewing their products for several years now and always found MemoRight SSDs to be of the highest quality no matter what controller was used.
A big reason for the high quality coming from MemoRight is their military division, products designed for use in aircraft, marine and in infantry platforms. Here we see a military class SSD with several surface mount capacitors. MemoRight explains this as like having a UPS built into each drive.
Alright, so our first video from Las Vegas this year at CES is from Storage Visions 2012 where we ran into Rob from Micron. He was a little reluctant at first, but we managed to get him on video to give us a little hands-on and some details about their newest product called the Crucial Adrenaline.
This is an SSD drive that will be coming out sometime soon (we are guessing late January to early February timeframe) and it will come with a capacity of 50GB. Why only 50GB? You shouldn't really think of this drive as a traditional SSD, it's a caching drive. It is designed to complement your existing system and introduce some of the performance benefits you can see from flash based storage.
It works in tandem with your current HDD setup and the Adrenaline caches the most common files that you use to provide an easy to install and afford boost to system performance. We've already been told we can expect a review sample in the next two weeks and you can probably expect to see it go on sale just a little after that based on previous products we have got in from Crucial to review.
CES 2012 - I've always wondered about how data recovery works with solid state drives. At Storage Visions 2012 we spoke with Drive Savers and found out exactly how the process unfolds and also learned about pricing for most cases.
I'll tell you that the cost is a bit prohibitive, it's pretty common to see bills getting into 2K USD but as you know, some data simply does not have a price.
Earlier this week we attended a Thecus lunch here in Taipei where we were served up an exclusive look at its upcoming N4800 NAS.
You can think of the N4800 as a refresher of the N4200 PRO NAS which did very well for Thecus this year. It has been upgraded with a faster Intel Atom processor that includes with it a faster GPU as well as chipset and USB 3.0.
Vincent from Thecus was kind enough to go on video as you can see above where he also introduced us to the dual bay N2800 NAS. Both new NAS as we've mentioned come with HDMI output which is able to output HD video at 1080p as well as allow you to use the NAS admin interface and other NAS applications directly on your television.
Thecus are also busy working on a new firmware which also adds in some really cool new features as well as apparently a vastly improved GUI. That should be coming out soon and the two above NAS devices should be coming out around the end of January.
Yesterday, we had Zalman enter the market with their F1-series of SSDs and today Galaxy have marked the SSD territory with the announcement of the Laser GT Series of SSDs. Galaxy, usually known for their NVIDIA GeForce range of GPUs, have now entered the SSD market.
The drive is built on the usual 2.5-inch SATA form-factor, using the SATA 6 Gb/s and are powered by the SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller. The drive offers maximum sequential transfer speeds of 550MB/sec read, 500MB/sec write, with 4k random performance of 30,000 IOPS reads, 41,000 IOPS writes.
It uses the MLC NAND flash with 5,000 rewrite cycle life. The 120GB model of Galaxy's Laser GT SSD should sell for around $221. It's interesting to see how many companies are launching SSDs, but this is only a good thing. With more competition, the price is going to come down much quicker, which is great.
It was only a few weeks ago that we reported that Zalman were entering the GPU market with some nice looking AMD Radeon GPUs, and now Zalman have entered into a new line of products: solid state drives. The new series is called the F1-series and they've already begun selling in Japan.
The new drives are the usual SandForce SF-2281 controller drives, backed up with MLC NAND flash memory. The F1-series will be available in three different sizes, 60, 120 and 240GB. The drives are priced at priced at 11,980 JPY (US $153), 19,800 JPY ($254), and 39,980 JPY ($513), respectively.
The Zalman F1-series of SSDs are capable of delivering read speeds of up to 560MB/sec, and up to 530MB/sec writes. Both the 60 and 120GB drives offer 4K random write performance of 30,000 IOPS while the 240GB drive ramps up a bit to 45,000 IOPS. It's good to see Zalman entering a new market, Corsair did the same a few years ago and look at them now. They're a forced to be reckoned with in a few different markets now, SSDs, cooling, cases, and power supplies.
The world's smallest USB memory stick is here, goes up to a wall and awaits the impending measuring contest
Dutch-based promotional product manufacturer, Deonet, who made the diamond-studded Golden USB memory stick and the FSC-certified maple-enclosed Eco Wood drive have just announced something quite special before the holidays: the world's smallest USB memory stick.
The USB memory stick measures in at just 19.5 x 14.5 x 2.9mm, which is thicker, but a fair bit shorter than the already small Kingmax Super Stick Mini. It comes in three sizes, 4, 8 and 16GB and will launch in January at PSI Düsseldorf. The drive is based on something called the Micro UDP chip, with the UDP standing for USB Disk In Package assembly process, which has the controller, flash IC, substrate and passive components molded into a very small, single package. This makes it less than half the physical size of other USB memory solutions.
The company says that once the drive is plugged in, it can hardly be seen coming out of the USB port itself. Impressively small. At the moment, Deonet has not revealed any pricing on the new world's smallest USB memory stick. Hopefully the price matches the small footprint of the drive.
WD have just cut their warranty on Blue and Green drives, and Seagate didn't want to be left behind so they've followed suite. Segate had just sent a letter to authorized distributors where they've said:
Effective December 31, 2011, Seagate will be changing its warranty policy from a 5 year to a 3 year warranty period for Nearline drives, 5 years to 1 year for certain Desktop and Notebook Bare Drives, 5 years to 3 years on Barracuda XT and Momentus XT, and from as much as 5 years to 2 years on Consumer Electronics.
Western Digital in a strange move, has cut the warranty of Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three to two years. Channel partners received a letter from SelectWD explaining the news, where it is said that Caviar Black and Scorpio Black drives will still receive five-year warranties.
The SelectWD letter says:
This new warranty policy will be effective for drives shipped from January 2nd, 2012. It is important that you take a moment to update your website(s) and collateral to reflect this change for effected drives shipped after January 1st, 2012.
All drives shipped to distributors prior to Jan. 2nd 2012 will retain the current warranty terms. Because of existing inventory in the distribution channel there will be a short period of time when some drives with a 3-year warranty will be sold at the same time as drives with a 2-year warranty.
If you have any doubt about the warranty of a drive you purchased, you can go to support.wdc.com, select Warranty and RMA Services and proceed to the Warranty Check page.