Intel and Hitachi
Intel and Hitachi are teaming up to conquer; well, maybe just take a piece of the pie in the enterprise sector. At CES we visited Hitachi and caught a glimpse of this partnership in physical form. Above we see the Hitachi UltraStar SSD400S, a SAS 6G SSD that Hitachi claims delivers around 535MB/s read speed.
The Hitachi drive is SAS, so it's enterprise only, but that doesn't mean we have to live with Postville Refresh only for 2011.
On the consumer side of things Intel is only talking about X25-M G3, AKA Postville Refresh. The big news here is higher capacities thanks to IMFT 25nm flash. Still around are the 80 and 160GB units, but you can now add 300 and 600GB capacity sizes to the list. Intel's ten channel controller design means that even though Intel is keeping SATA 3G for now, the drive will be very fast in real world applications. Don't expect big benchmark numbers, but look for G3 to burn up real world tasks.
Looking beyond G3 I wouldn't be surprised to see the enterprise SATA 6G controller turned into a speedy consumer drive. This would likely happen in Q4, but we are keeping our fingers crossed for a surprise from blue and white.
X25-E will also get a facelift. SLC flash will pass and eMLC will be the new flavor for 2011. Code named Lyndonville, X25-E will move to 100, 200 and 400GB capacity. From the looks of it Intel will be able to compete with current SandForce drives, but until they get serious about SATA 6G their SSD products will fall a generation behind SandForce and Marvell.
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