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May 29, 2008

Samsung Unveils New 2.5-inch 256GB Solid State Drive

By Arvind Arora, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Samsung (News - Alert) Electronics, a company that specializes in advanced memory technology, announced the development of what it claims is the world’s fastest 2.5-inch, 256 Gigabyte (GB) multi-level cell (MLC) based solid state drive (SSD) using a SATA II interface. This new 256GB SSD, the company said, is the thinnest SATA interface drive with the largest capacity.

The MLC-based 2.5-inch 256GB drive by Samsung has a sequential read speed of 200 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write speed of 160MB/s, is only 9.5 millimeters (mm) thick, and measures 100.3x69.85 mm, and about 2.4 times faster than a typical HDD.
Density will be effectively eliminated as a barrier to SSD adoption in the consumer space with the introduction of this 256GB SSD.
Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, said that just as Sony Walkman evolved to become a NAND memory-based MP3 players, the development of the 256GB SSD represents an initial step in the shift to thinner, smaller SSD-based laptop computers with significantly improved performance and more than ample storage.
Samsung’s new MLC 256GB SSD is a result of major advancements in proprietary controller technology, and besides being comparable in speed to an SLC-based SSD, is also as reliable as SLC SSDs, with a mean time between failures (MTBF) of one million hours. Furthermore, it costs considerably less and consumes exceptionally low power at 0.9 watts in active mode.
The drive also offers an data encryption process that so that data stored on the SSD can't be accessed in an unauthorized manner, even after the SSD is removed from the PC.
It is being expected that after Samsung’s previously announced 128GB SSD and the new 256GB SSD are launched, the number of computing units offering SSDs will increase rapidly. Samsung is engaged designing in high-capacity SSD for various known PC and server manufacturers from the U.S., Asia, and Europe.
According to speculations, the mass production of the 2.5-inch, 256GB SSD by Samsung will begin by year end, and the customer samples will be available in September. By the fourth quarter of 2008, a 1.8-inch version of the 256GB SSD should be available.
Semiconductor market research firm iSuppli presented a first quarter 2008 report saying that the SSD market will see an annualized average growth of 124 percent during the four-year period from 2008 until 2012. According to a projection by this report, the SSD sales will increase by an additional 35 percent in 2009 over its last year projection, likewise by 51 percent more in 2010, and by 89 percent more in 2011.
Arvind Arora is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arvind’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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