Print 26 comment(s) - last by pugster.. on Jun 28 at 5:54 PM

Samsung rolls out its highest capacity 1.8" flash SSD

Back in March, Samsung announced its 64GB flash Solid State Disk (SSD). The 1.8" unit promised read speeds of 65MB/sec and write speeds of 45MB/sec.

Samsung today revealed that it has started mass production of its new drive. The 64GB SSD uses 64 eight gigabit single-level cell (SLC) flash memory chips which are built on a 51 nanometer manufacturing process.

"We see sharply increasing interest in SSDs among OEMs worldwide amid a growing push to launch premium SSD-based notebooks, particularly in the ultra-mobile category," said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.

Samsung's 64GB SSD will likely appear at online retailers and inside ultra-portable notebooks (and UMPCs) within the coming weeks and months.

SSDs have the advantage of low power consumption, low weight, durability, silent operation and high performance. These advantages are expected to allow SSDs to account for 29 percent of ultra-portable notebooks and 25 percent of mainstream notebooks according to iSuppli.

The benefits afforded by SSDs are offset by one major deficit: pricing. 1.8" SSD are currently around five times more expensive than their 1.8" HDD counterparts. By the year 2010, that differential is expected to only drop to three times as expensive.

For those that simply can’t wait for the 1.8” 64GB SSDs to arrive, the older and slower 32GB version (53MB/sec reads, 30MB/sec writes) is available online for the princely sum of $529.

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Not for me
By FITCamaro on 6/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Not for me
By BladeVenom on 6/25/2007 10:45:43 AM , Rating: 5
Flash memory isn't anything new. The only thing keeping me from buying one right now is the price.

RE: Not for me
By codeThug on 6/25/2007 6:58:21 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Not for me
By Archmaille on 6/25/2007 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 3
That's what warranties are for... of course you probably won't get a 3 year warranty that will cover it fully, and you probably did something wrong during purchasing/installation that will void it anyways. But yeah I'm with you, I'd love to have SSD for my computer just not right now. I'll stick with a couple of RAIDed HDD's for now.

RE: Not for me
By therealnickdanger on 6/25/2007 10:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
One would hope that the same warranty periods apply to these as to the standard HDDs. As with everything: performance will go up, price will come down. I hope Intel fulfills their promise to release phase-change memory at the end of the year. Based upon what I've read so far, it looks like it may be a superior and less expensive alternative to flash. Time will tell.

In the mean time, I just picked up another 500GB HDD for $100 from Newegg. Very nice. :P

RE: Not for me
By TomZ on 6/25/2007 1:22:34 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see the point in waiting. IDE flash drives have been the primary drive for many embedded military and industrial applications for many years. The only thing new here is the size is larger and the cost/GB is smaller - other than that, it's just more of the same, nothing revolutionary.

RE: Not for me
By GoogleFreak on 6/25/2007 4:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Everett Rogers would be proud.

By irev210 on 6/25/2007 1:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would buy a 16GB SATA SSD if I could find one for under 300.

SSD definitely is the future.

By Brandon Hill on 6/25/2007 2:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops, I just noticed those are PATA and not SATA. I think they do make SATA versions though of at least the 2.5" model.

By Hydrofirex on 6/26/2007 9:37:00 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, would those things be worthwhile for a desktop user? Will a 64 Gb SSD like this be the next enthusiast level "Raptor" type main or gaming drive? Let alone multiple ones raided!?


A price problem
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/25/2007 4:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
A pitty the only problem I can think of, about this technology, is its price.
You get what you pay for: ultra fast access times, very low power, completely silent operation plus less generated heat.

I think we have to hope for early adopters to dry the market of these so production "feels forced" to increase and prices are driven down.
These drives are the future, the only bad thing is that such a future seems to me like being long years away (low capacity + high price = hardly massively adoptable).

A cheap 16gb SSD would make a great boot drive I guess, and at a price point of less than 100 usd I'd totally buy one even if it makes for a lacklustre price/storage ratio.

RE: A price problem
By TomZ on 6/25/2007 10:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
Flash has a long way to go to catch up with magnetic HDDs in terms of density and price, like 5-10x. That spread will narrow, but it will be with us for a long time still. I think in 10 years for example, you'll see some percentage of drives being SSD - like maybe 25 to 50% - but HDDs will still exist for the "big jobs."

RE: A price problem
By pugster on 6/28/2007 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
Figure that Samsung lost money selling ddr2 memory chips, now they are manufacturing more chips for these drives

Shouldn't it be??
By SpaceRanger on 6/25/2007 12:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
For those that simply can’t wait for the 1.8” 64GB SSDs to arrive, the older and slower 32GB version (53MB/sec writes, 30MB/sec reads) is available online for the princely sum of $529.

Shouldn't that read, 53MB/sec reads, 30MB/sec writes??

RE: Shouldn't it be??
By Brandon Hill on 6/25/2007 12:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. It's been corrected :)

By crystal clear on 6/26/2007 5:43:19 AM , Rating: 2
"We see sharply increasing interest in SSDs among OEMs worldwide amid a growing push to launch premium SSD-based notebooks, particularly in the ultra-mobile category," said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.

If you observe this product is mainly directed to OEMs.
Their(OEMs) orders are in bulk going into thousands,add all the orders from the large pool of OEMs,this amount into a huge production job.

The very fact they produce in large quantities,this enables
Samsung cut production cost substantially-a sizable cut indeed.
The lower productions cost enable them to sell to OEMS at very/extremely low rates/prices as they(OEMs) order in bulk.
They the OEMs pay extremely low prices than you the retail buyer.

I am quite sure Samsung has large confirmed orders from a large number of OEMs,this enables them to start production.

OEMs start their product planning statergies atleast a year + in advance(depends who it is).
For example-we are in 2007 but they the OEMs are talking/thinking/planning about 2008/9/10/+.

The motivating /driving force behind all these OEMs is Intel
with huge financial support/incentives/funding etc(call it what you like).Examples-

Quotes from D.T. article-

Working prototype Intel Ultra Mobile PC 2008 device running Windows XP

Intel Ultra Mobile PC 2007 platform to encompass both MIDs and UMPCs


"Today's environment is primed for a truly personal, mobile Internet experience and the Intel Ultra Mobile platform 2007 combines the flexibility of a PC with the mobility of a handheld device," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager for the Ultra Mobility Group. "But we will not stop here. In 2008, Intel will deliver an entirely new platform based on Intel’s 45nm low-power microarchitecture designed from the ground up to let people to carry their personal mobile Internet in their pocket."

Intel also announced that it has signed on Aigo, Asus, Fujitsu, Haier, HTC and Samsung for IUMPC2007. Intel also confirmed that the previously announced HTC Shift will use the platform.

Intel this week announced another major milestone for its ultra-mobile platform. Called Moorestown, Intel revealed that by roughly mid 2009, we will be able to see devices that consume 20 times less power than devices available in 2006. According to Intel roadmaps, Moorestown devices will be able to last a full day's of mixed productivity and leisure activities -- approximately 24 hours.

MIDs could be much more attractive for Intel than the UMPC.
By crystal clear on 6/9/07, Rating: 2
By crystal clear on 6/9/2007 12:40:43 AM , Rating: 2

Intel CEO: Silverthorne most important product since the introduction of the Pentium processor
Intel previously announced that Silverthorne will debut as part of the “McCaslin” platform in 2008.

You will notice behind all them is Intel & its financial support

Maybe later
By chick0n on 6/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: Maybe later
By TomZ on 6/25/2007 1:30:53 PM , Rating: 4
Something seems ironic to me about expressing concerns about the reliability of a solid-state drive and saying they are going to stick with their electro-mechanical drives. Did you know the MTBF is probably 10x higher on flash drives compared with magnetic hard drives?

RE: Maybe later
By Durrr on 6/25/2007 2:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the SSD is the fact that it has a definite number of writes when it will no longer be usable. Flash memory is the same way. For normal file storage, this is no big deal, however, when you get into using page files on the SSD, I can see this being a failure issue.

RE: Maybe later
By TomZ on 6/25/2007 2:54:29 PM , Rating: 5
1. Mechanical systems also wear out - for example, how many times can the read/write head move before it no longer works correctly, how long before the motor goes bad, etc.?

2. Existing electro-mechanical HDDs also develop bad sectors, and embedded in the drive's firmware is the ability to mark those as bad and store data elsewhere. The same reliability mechanism exists in SSDs.

3. As I pointed out in my post above, flash-based HDDs have been the primary HDDs in many hi-rel systems for many years, probably in the mainstream for 10 years, and in higher-value niche applications for even longer.

RE: Maybe later
By InternetGeek on 6/25/2007 10:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all in favor of diminishing the amount of moving parts, but not at the expense of lifetime. Harddrives, as any other electronic device, will eventually fail which renders the reliability rationale meaningless if it wasn't for the fact that, at the current state of the technology, SSDs will fail faster than electro-mechanical HDDs because they have a fixed read/write operations value. With HDDs you are guaranted that unless something goes really wrong the HDD is virtually unstoppable.

RE: Maybe later
By TomZ on 6/25/2007 10:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
SSDs will fail faster than electro-mechanical HDDs because they have a fixed read/write operations value

No, they don't. They have a rated minimum, typically 100,000 or 1,000,000 or 10,000,000 cycles. But they don't just "drop dead" at that threshold. It is more of a soft failure, like having a bad sector on a HDD.

Problem with a HDD is there are more things that could go wrong with the entire drive, e.g., motor fails. Flash is inherently more reliable.

RE: Maybe later
By InternetGeek on 6/26/2007 12:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
No, there's the chance you cannot recover your data at all. Which is not always the case with HDDs. I, myself, have recovered data by swapping a HDDs board with another of exactly the same make. That is not a possibility with SSDs. It's not even theoretically possible.

Until I can get at least 120Gb and 5year warranty on a SSD I'm not spending $500 on a SSD. Prices should be comparable, given that HDD do not fail as often as people are making them look. I haven't had a HDD die on me for at least 15 years, and I still have old HDDs (5meg, 10megs) working. Though just for fun to be honest.

RE: Maybe later
By OxBow on 6/26/2007 3:39:08 PM , Rating: 3
Probably later since I'm not in the market for storage right now, but...

$500 to $2000 for one of these drives seems a tych excessive, but there are some out there who'll pony up that kind of cash for the bleeding edge. That's why they call it the bleeding edge. As for the OEM's, they're buying most of these in bulk for 4q'08 devices and very few of these drives will trickle into the open market for at least another couple quarters. That's not to say this goodness isn't coming to retail, but whether I buy now or "maybe later" is really moot, since "later" is really your only choice.

That's not saying I wouldn't love to have one of these, but there are a lot of things I'd love to have and don't, so...

I'd really like to see these soldered into motherboards right in line with the BUS and cutting out the IDE, SATA or Raid interfaces. Put a flash hard drive clocked at the same BUS speed as the rest of the system and use it for boot/OS jobs. This would speed up most computers beyond belief. Add in a second 15k low gig hard drive for apps and a whopping 1tb drive for storage. That'd be worth all the hype.

RE: Maybe later
By SmokeRngs on 6/26/2007 6:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
Something seems ironic to me about expressing concerns about the reliability of a solid-state drive and saying they are going to stick with their electro-mechanical drives.

Actually, the ironic part is that he's running RAID 0 and talking about reliability.

The other interesting point is that he's comparing RAID 0 with an SSD. He obviously has no clue what the differences between RAID 0 and an SSD are.

RAID 0 does nothing but allow for increased sustained sequential reads and writes of large files. At the same time, access speeds worsen. Small file transfers can also be slower than with a single drive.

SSDs generally have lower or similar read/write speeds compared to mechanical hard drives while having much lower access times. It doesn't take nearly as long to reach the information off the drive. For accessing files like those your OS uses, it's much faster.

Throughput is rarely a bottleneck except when reading or writing large numbers of smaller files or single large files.

Other than updates and pagefiles, most OSes and programs do not do much writing after initial installation and reads do not appreciably affect SSDs. Writes are what can "wear" out an SSD.

Also, SSDs have leveling implemented to spread out the writes over as much of the drive as possible to lengthen the life of the drive. As long as you aren't writing and erasing the same sectors constantly, the drive will have a long life. While I'm not a fan of MTBF ratings, most SSDs have an MTBF rating much higher than mechanical hard drives from what I've read.

I'd love to get my hands on a 64 gig SSD for an OS drive. At this time, there is no way I'm going to be forking out the money they cost, though. For me, the price is way too high for the advantages it has. Then again, I would pay a price premium for a good SSD over something like a WD Raptor since I see the SSD with more positives than the Raptor.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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