Print 20 comment(s) - last by Das Capitolin.. on Jul 11 at 5:04 PM

Samsung MLC SSDs promise 20 times improvement in lifespan

Throw a rock in the tech world and it can’t help but hit a few research firms touting the fact that solid state drives (SSDs) will be replacing traditional HDDs in computers of the future. The SSD has some benefits, but for now the price and capacity of the SSD simply rule it out for enterprise and consumer use for the most part.

Samsung announced that its latest SSDs are now in volume production. The new SSDs will be available in 128GB and 64GB capacities. The capacity isn’t what sets these drives apart, rather it’s the multi-level cell (MLC) technology used in the Samsung SSDs.

According to Samsung the new MLC SSDs are capable of providing read speeds of 90MB/s and write speeds of 70MB/s -- performance on par with SSDs using single-level cell technology. The difference is that SSDs built on the MLC technology offer about a 20 times improvement in the typical 4-5 year lifespan of a PC hard drive. Power consumption is another big feature of the MLC SSDs with requirements for 0.2 watts in standby and 0.5 watts in active mode.

Jim Elliott, VP memory marketing for Samsung Semiconductor said in a statement, “With the 64 GB and 128 GB MLC SSDs, we are satisfying the density requirements of most business users and many PC enthusiasts, who will appreciate not only the performance gains and added reliability, but also the more attractive pricing.”

Samsung says that the MLC SSDs will use a 3 Gbps interface and that the 128GB uses 64 MLC NAND flash memory chips of 16 gigabits each and is enclosed in a brushed metallic casing measuring 100mm x 69.8mm and 9.5mm thick. Samsung declined to comment on the pricing of the SSDs.

Samsung first announced the 128GB MLC SSD in January and it is just now entering mass production.

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What ever happened to this?
By kenji4life on 7/9/2008 1:37:50 PM , Rating: 3

Both the size and the speed of this drive (also MLC) sounded much more impressive. But now that they are going into production it's another story?

Personally, I am waiting to jump on the SSD bandwagon until I can get a 250gb for <$250

That sounds silly now, but I hope in a year we can look back and laugh at people paying the current premiums and gloat in all of our cheap, fast, SSD glory.

RE: What ever happened to this?
By Screwballl on 7/9/2008 1:58:40 PM , Rating: 3
Personally, I am waiting to jump on the SSD bandwagon until I can get a 250gb for <$250

Yes, I think the $1 per GB level will be when it will start gaining widespread adoption at the consumer level. Especially when companies stop charging an extra $100 to replace your 80GB platter based laptop drive with an 8GB SSD flash drive...

RE: What ever happened to this?
By kamel5547 on 7/9/2008 4:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ. I think at $1 / GB we'll see adoption at the enterprise level and core enthusiast level. Basiaclly the same people who currently buy 10K hard drives now. I think widespread consumer adoption will take a far lower price point (.25-.5 per gigabyte), and then only if prices for HDD's do not keep improving.

Most people don't think about data safety until after they've lost their data, and others simply just want the lowest price.

RE: What ever happened to this?
By hadifa on 7/9/2008 7:00:58 PM , Rating: 4
And I beg to differ. The mass adoption will happen even before 1$/GB. A $64 64GB drive for a laptop is a steal as well as adequate for most people. for desktops, people will use two units.

For example having one $80 80GB SSD as the fast drive and one 1TB 7200rpm spinning HDD for mass storage of videos, music and all the other stuff that don't need to be speedy.

At least, that's how I see it.

RE: What ever happened to this?
By Clauzii on 7/9/2008 9:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, they can still make, since the original statement just said "later this year" :)

80-year lifespan?
By Suomynona on 7/9/2008 1:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
They're claiming a 20x increase in lifespan despite the fact that they're using MLC flash? I'm extremely skeptical...

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By PandaBear on 7/9/2008 1:54:19 PM , Rating: 1
Compare to mechanical hard drive. I think it is realistic depends on what is the wear leveling they use and the usage pattern.

Time will tell. Dell and HP usually have very heavy duty acceptance test that many failed design ends up in BestBuy and still are way more reliable than average users. If Dell accept the design I think it should be good indicators that it is reliable enough.

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By RU482 on 7/9/2008 11:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking this article is rather pointless without an explanation of the 20x increase and a price quote

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 2:35:17 AM , Rating: 2
"... offer about a 20 times improvement in the typical 4-5 year lifespan of a PC hard drive ... "

I think it clearly says that the SSD probably will outlast users since it's like up to a 100 years.

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By oTAL on 7/10/2008 10:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, if they use the common industry practice to calculate average lifetime, they'd put 100 devices running and wait for the first to break then they'd multiply the time it took for this to happen by 100 - if the first device only broke after a year, then the average lifetime is 100 years since (this is WAY overly simplified - they take statistics into account, but you get the point).

Still, at the end of the day you can expect SSDs to have a more predictable lifetime than HDDs and that's a very good thing. Furthermore, I wouldn't usually expect an SSD to fail catastrophically like HDDs too often do. I believe that, in the end, reliability and probability of lost data will improve and the end user will win.

They didn't talk about price...
By V3ctorPT on 7/9/2008 12:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
Is this coming as cheap as the OCZ drives?

RE: They didn't talk about price...
By Brandon Hill on 7/9/2008 12:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
I would hope they'd be even cheaper considering they're slower than the new OCZ Core SSDs.

RE: They didn't talk about price...
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 1:50:33 AM , Rating: 2
The case looks more shiny though ;)

By mmc4587 on 7/10/2008 3:15:43 AM , Rating: 2
According to Samsung the new MLC SSDs are capable of providing read speeds of 90MB/s and write speeds of 70MB/s

and my HD (which cost about $100 and has 10x the capacity) has both AVG read and AVG write speeds above 90MB/s!

HMM.. SSDs aren't over-hyped much are they? </sarcasm>

By Quiescent on 7/10/2008 10:12:14 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you do not understand SSDs.

Access timings are all across the board. Not slower in some places and faster in others. This means that you will have a constant 90mb/s speed. This isn't really the fastest SSD I've seen. I've seen one on newegg, I've been eying for months that is a 30GB Super Talent MLC for $235 (Was at $300 2 months ago) and it's speeds are 140mb/s max read speed and 40mb/s max write speed.

I've had my Eee 4G Surf for 6 months on a Windows installation, and there is no slow down. It boots up in 15 seconds, it shuts down in 5-10 depending on how many programs I have open. The quality of the read/write speeds have not decreased like many will experience with traditional hard drives as they fill them up and get super fragmented.

To really get an understanding of max read/write speeds and why it's not going to be that all the time: You don't always need the max read/write speed, and a like, if you have other programs running, they're going to use up some of that read/write speed too. So one program may be using up 30mb/s read speed, and thus if you were to use HDtune to figure out what your average read speed is, it may make it say 60mb/s.

Just my two cents.

By s12033722 on 7/10/2008 10:38:49 AM , Rating: 2
Access time and read speed are not related. Access time is how long it takes for the drive to find the bit of data and get ready to move it. Read speed is how fast the data comes out of the hard drive once the data has been found. Furthermore, there are really 4x types of read and write speed - random read, sequential read, random write, and sequential write, and those are all different. If you do some actual testing you will see that SSDs are very fast at small, random reads but often much worse that traditional hard drives at most other types of data transfer. Thus, the decision on whether an SSD is a good choice for your PC should be made based on what type of drive use you do. Lots of web surfing and office use? An SSD might not be a bad choice. Video editing? Bad choice. Video capture? Horrible, horrible choice. Basically, if you end up moving large blocks of data, especially writing large blocks of data, stay away from SSDs.

a GB is a GB !!
By richardh11 on 7/10/2008 1:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
One of my favorite things about SSDs is their sizes are quoted in "proper" GB, instead of that 1000 MB = 1 GB nonsense that always leaves you with a lower number capacity once it's formatted and running.

RE: a GB is a GB !!
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 2:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
Formating alone eats bytes. So do You mean that when it says 16GB that's what I'll see when I connect it for use?

Already tested.....
By Das Capitolin on 7/11/2008 5:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Benchmark Reviews has already tested the 64GB Samsung MLC SSD, and it's used in comparisons against their other SSDs. Take a look at results here:

For the record, the Samsung SSD is what OCZ uses in their second generation SSD products.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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