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OCZ Storage Solutions has seen their fair share of changes over the last few years, but have finally landed in calm waters at Toshiba with access to a mountain of flash and a wealth of engineering talent. They also recently launched the new OCZ Shop, an online portal that provides their customers direct access to great SSD deals.
In celebration of the new site OCZ is offering free shipping to the US on any order, a free T-Shirt, and Triple VIP reward points until 11/30/2014. There are sections for SATA, PCIe and consumer SSDs. Some of the SSD deals include free power packs and backpacks as well, but there is no clear indication if this is a limited time offer or not. There is also a clearance section which will likely host some great deals in the future.
SSDs are becoming cheaper every day, and a direct outlet might provide a portal for even lower prices. It will be interesting to see if other fab-enabled SSD manufactures follow suit. In the cut-throat SSD industry every competitive advantage is quickly addressed, but usually ends up being great for us consumers in the end.
HDD capacity increases weren't that common in recent years, but recently we have begun to see higher capacity HDD's enter the picture with more frequency. Today Toshiba joins the party with a release of 4TB and 5TB drives for the consumer market. Toshiba's new products will carry a three-year warranty.
Specifics are scant, but we know that they are 7,200 RPM drives based on the tried-and-true PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) technology. These SATA drives come in the typical 3.5" form factor, and have an MSRP of $299.00 and $399.00, respectively. There are further big capacity increases coming in the near future as new technologies, such as HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) make their debut.
Samsung has teased the 850 EVO since media met in South Korea for the 850 Pro launch. The company is eager to flex its V-NAND advantage in 3bits per cell form but retail availability has been quiet, until now.
Fry's Electronics just broke the 850 EVO cover and put the 1TB model up for preorder. Priced at $499.99 until 10/30/14, 850 EVO 1TB preorders are currently scheduled to ship on November 24.
Fry's Electronics also gave us our first look at the EVO with 3D V-NAND's specifications. 550 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write speeds. It should be noted this drive is marketed at 1TB and not 960GB, so there shouldn't be a large amount of overprovisioning. Samsung's 3D V-NAND uses a 3Xnm process and has enterprise level endurance ratings. Samsung shouldn't have to add overprovisioning to 850 EVO to extend the life of the flash or for increased performance.
WD has announced they are expanding the capacity of the WD Purple line of surveillance-class HDD's up to 6TB. WD Purples are purpose-built HDDs designed to specifically address video surveillance workloads. Video camera recording has unique requirements, and the enhancements in the Purple series reduce dropped frames and allow simultaneous recording of up to 32 high-definition cameras.
Security cameras continue to be used in more and more applications, and the advent of 4K high-definition models has created the need for more capacity. The WD Purple series is tested for broad compatibility with all of the leading video surveillance systems, and proprietary WD technologies boost performance and video recording accuracy.
- AllFrame - In conjunction with ATA streaming, AllFrame reduces video frame loss, improves playback and increases the number of drive bays supported. WD Purple includes exclusive firmware enhancements that enable improved playback and minimize interruptions within a surveillance system.
- IntelliSeek Technology - With low power consumption playing a crucial role in high-temperature always-on surveillance environments, IntelliSeek technology calculates the optimum seek speeds for the system workload, enabling lower power consumption and reducing noise and vibration.
Chris Ramseyer took a detailed look at the original Purple series in this review, and be sure to look to our storage areas for more detailed product analysis of everything storage in the consumer and enterprise segments. The new 6TB WD Purple has an MSRP of $329.99, and WD Purple's are available from 1TB to 6TB capacities.
Something that really piqued our interest at Computex this year was spotting G.SKILL's amazingly fast Phoenix Blade PCIe-based SSD, an SSD capable of pushing a massive 2GB/sec, has been officially released by the company.
G.SKILL reaches these speeds within the Phoenix Blade using four LSI SF-2281 SSD controllers in a RAID0 setup, splashed together with 480GB of MLC flash. This amplifies the bandwidth up over four times the normal SATA 3-based SSDs, thanks to it sitting on an x8 PCIe slot. We have up to 2GB/sec read/writes, and 245,000 IOPS to ensure super-fast transfers.
The Phoenix Blade also supports TRIM and SMART support, which provides users with piece of mind that their data should be safe. We also have CRC data protection, which prevents data from corrupting during file transfers, and a great 3-year warranty from G.SKILL with full technical support from their tech team.
We recently discovered a new SSD controller design company is forming and many of the names involved are familiar. The group is headed up by CEO and co-founder Mike Lee. Mr. Lee's former employer was SK Hynix, where he was the Director of SSD SOC Development for the Link A Media Devices team (LAMD).
At this time, details nearly nonexistent other than a few bits of information scattered around the web. The above image started our hunt for more information. Many in the photo are former SandForce, LSI and Skyera employees and all are now with Tidal Systems.
We've often wondered what affects SandForce ping pong would have on employees. SandForce was first acquired by LSI, then LSI was acquired by Avago and then SandForce was spun off to Seagate. SandForce founder, CMO and former NVIDIA nForce chipset architect Radoslav Danilak started Skyera to focus on all-flash enterprise storage a few years ago. At least a handful of the pre-LSI SandForce team went with him. Skyera already has two products on the market, skyHawk and skyEagle.
We did find a short description about Tidal Systems online:
Leveraging our Revolutionary DATA-Compression and Error-Correction (LDPC) Algorithms to create most Powerful System Controller (SoC) and related firmware/software systems solutions to address fast growing NAND Flash Memory based storage products, which is essential for Cloud Computing; Big Data Center; Smartphone, Tablet PC and all Ultra-Portable Computing Appliance.
In short, they will make flash controllers. We wish the team good luck and hope to be the first to test the new products when ready.
TDK was teasing its new heads for HDDs that support heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology last week, at the Ceatec trade show in Japan. These new heads could see the introduction of massive next-generation HDDs, that could see up to 15TB of storage on a single drive.
At the moment, current HDDs are held back by the physical size of "pitches" on the HDDs media that are required to store a single bit of information. HAMR on the other hand, records data on high-stability media, or iron platinum alloy, using laser thermal assistance to first heat up the material, which then paves the way to reduce the sizes of the required "pitches" without negative effects on readability, writability, and stability.
This means that HAMR-powered HDDs will be capable of storing massive amounts of data, multitudes more than even the biggest HDDs we can buy today. Futurezone spoke with TDK, with a TDK rep saying that the first commercial HAMR-powered drives could arrive by late 2015, or early 2016. We should expect the first HAMR drives to provide us with around 15TB of HDD space, which will truly be crazy. The first wave of HAMR drives will be setting their sights on near-line storage applications that require HDDs with maximum capacity, with consumer drives to eventually receive the HAMR tech, and massive 15TB+ capacities.
Today Samsung announced mass production of 3-bit per cell 3D vertical NAND (TLC V-NAND). This shouldn't come as a surprise since Samsung first started talking about the new TLC version just days after releasing the 850 Pro SSD with MLC V-NAND. Even though the surprise is lost, that doesn't mean this isn't a technical achievement that can profoundly impact the consumer and enterprise cold storage SSD markets.
The press release doesn't mention by name the long rumored 850 EVO SSD but does say that something, maybe even a couple of somethings are coming.
"With the addition of a whole new line of high density SSDs that is both performance- and value-driven, we believe the 3-bit V-NAND will accelerate the transition of data storage devices from hard disk drives to SSDs," said Jaesoo Han, Senior Vice President, Memory Sales & Marketing, Samsung Electronics. "The wider variety of SSDs will increase our product competitiveness as we further expand our rapidly growing SSD business."
In something that feels like it's right out of Hollywood, we now have self-destructing SSDs. SecureDrives has the technology, with four different SSDs on offer that provide 256-bit AES CBC hardware encryption, two-factor authentication, GSM command over encryption key flipping and physical fracturing of the NAND flash itself.
This kind of technology might not seem like something you or I might use, but for those with super-sensitive information on their notebooks that might get left behind, or stolen, this is perfect. The SecureDrive SSDs have a self-destruct mechanism which happens if someone attempts to physically open the drive, which will initiate the physical fracturing of the NAND flash.
Better yet, you can configure the SSD to self-destruct if it's removed from your SATA II connector. Other options include self-destruction if the internal battery runs completely empty, and the convenient ability to destroy the drive if an an SMS is sent from any phone.
Seagate's Twitter account just blasted something both truly exciting, and incredibly terrifying: the first real tease of the zettabyte. Seagate posted XO Communications' infographic on the Zettabyte, or ZB.
To put things into perspective, 1ZB is around 1.1 trillion GB - yes, 1.1 trillion gigabytes. The infographic, above, says that according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index, the "world will cross the Zettabyte threshold of data transferred annually via the Internet by the end of 2016". To put things into an even scarier perspective, 1PB (Petabyte) is 1024TB (Terabyte), and 1EX (Exabyte) is 1024PB, so 1ZB is an insane 1024EB, which is just scary.
What is driving this Zettabyte amount of data? Internet video, with around 55% of Internet video expected to chew up 99% of all Internet traffic in 2016. The remaining 44% is split between web/data with 23%, and file sharing with 21%.