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SSDs roll for servers, netbooks

Posted: 08 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SSD server netbook? storage enterprise? memory netbook?

Two companiesSamsung Electronics Co. Ltd and SanDisk Corp.have separately rolled out solid-state drives (SSDs) for use in opposite ends of the spectrum.

South Korean electronics giant Samsung said that it has developed a 100Gbit SSD designed to remove the performance bottleneck in enterprise storage applications. According to the company, the drive is suited for use in servers for applications such as video-on-demand, streaming media content delivery, Internet data centers, virtualization and online transaction processing.

Samsung said the 100Gbit enterprise SSD offers a 10X advantage in input/output per second (IOPS) capability compared with the fastest 15K rpm Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) HDD available for transactional data workloads, with a random read speed of 25K and random write speed of 6K.

Environment-friendly drives
The new drive can process as much as 100 times the number of IOPS per watt as a 15K rpm 2.5-inch SAS HDD in applications where higher performance and lower power consumption are both needed, according to Samsung.

Samsung said its enterprise SSD reads data sequentially at 2,300MBps and writes sequentially at 180MBps. Calling the drives the "most environmentally friendly drive for data centers today," Samsung said the enterprise SSDs use 1.9W of power in active mode and 0.6W in idle mode, minimizing power and heat loads. The company credited the 100Gbit SSD's performance to company-developed technology, including an 8-channel controller, improved NAND flash and special drive firmware.

Geared for netbooks
SanDisk also unveiled its next-generation SSDs, which are geared for the netbook and other markets. The new SanDisk pSSD-P2 and pSSD-S2 SSDs include a SATA interface and other features.

Available in capacities of 8-, 16-, 32- and 64Gbytes, SanDisk's SSDs are also aimed at POS terminals, printers, ATMs and other applications.

The prices claim to be on par with hard drives. For example, the 32Gbyte modular SSD is priced at parity with 2.5-inch hard drives in OEM quantities, according to SanDisk.

This is key in the emerging netbook market. "Netbooks represent the fastest growing PC segment in 2009 and 2010, yet widespread adoption of SSDs in netbooks has been limited by speed, capacity and cost constraints," said Rich Heye, senior VP and general manager of SSDs at SanDisk, in a statement. "With the significant improvements in performance, capacity and low pricing, these SSDs are a perfect fit for the exploding netbook market."

Netbooks as a category sold about half a million units in 2007, yet market researcher International Data Corp. recently hiked their projected worldwide sales to reach 11 million this year, growing to 41 million in 2012.

SanDisk's 2 pSSD drives, slated to be available in February 2009, are built using the company's 43nm multi-level cell flash memory. This technology is produced at fabrication plants in Yokkaichi, Japan, where SanDisk and its partner, Toshiba Corp., share the output.

- Mark LaPedus and Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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