Print 29 comment(s) - last by xphile.. on Jan 4 at 9:00 PM

SanDisk joins the Flash SSD arena

DailyTech reported yesterday that Samsung developed a new 50 nanometer 16Gb NAND flash memory chips that provide 100% faster read speeds and 150% faster write speeds. The announcement sparked a lot of interest from consumers looking for larger and faster offerings than Samsung's current 32GB Flash SSD drive.

SanDisk today entered the SSD fray with a 32GB drive of its own. The 1.8" SanDisk SSD Ultra ATA 5000 drive uses patented TrueFFS flash management technology and has a 2 million hour MTBF. The drive has no moving parts, so it is completely silent and weighs less than traditional 1.8" mobile hard drives. The drive also consumes 0.4W of power when active, versus 1.0W for a traditional mobile hard drive.

When it comes to performance, the SanDisk SSD Ultra ATA 5000 offers sustained reads of 62MB/sec and can complete random reads at 7300 IOPS (512-byte file size). The drive can boot Windows Vista Enterprise on a notebook in 35 seconds and has an average access time of 0.12 ms.

“Once we begin shipping the 32GB SSD for notebook PCs, we expect to see its increasing adoption in the coming years as we continue to reduce the cost of flash memory.  When these SSD devices become more affordable, we expect that their superior features over rotating disk drives will create a new consumer category for our retail sales channels worldwide,” said SanDisk CEO Eli Harari.

SanDisk leveraged technology from its acquisition of M-Systems in developing its new SSD drive. SanDisk gained a wide portfolio of 1.8", 2.5" and 3.5" SSD drives when it acquired M-Systems.

SanDisk’s new SSD Ultra ATA 5000 drive is currently available to OEMs and is expected to add $600 to the price of a new notebook computer in the first half of 2007. That figure is expected to drop as the year progresses.

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By MatthewAC on 1/4/2007 12:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Harddrives shall die, muahahahah!.

I see this will definetly replace raid setups, people will sstill use large HDDs for mass storage until they come out with a 100 gig version.

RE: Muahahahha!
By leidegre on 1/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Muahahahha!
By s12033722 on 1/4/2007 12:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, performance on these is on par for read, worse for write, and much better on seek time. I wouldn't call them a big step forward in terms of performance at all, just a sidestep. As for combining system memory with a hard drive, system memory reads and writes at a minimum of 50x the speed of this drive. Slow down your RAM that much and you will simply castrate your system.

RE: Muahahahha!
By leidegre on 1/4/2007 2:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
The diffrence is that much then...

Then it's a waiting game, let's se what happens. research and improvments are always comming...

RE: Muahahahha!
By bpurkapi on 1/4/2007 2:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, 35 seconds to boot windows is not overly impressive, my computer can do it in around 40 seconds, and I have 2gb ram and a 250GB sata3 hard drive. But I guess in the notebook realm performance is taken with a grain of salt. It is the lack of moving parts which reduces noise and energy use, which is what researchers were aiming for in the end. Personally I can stand waiting a few more seconds on my laptop if the battery life is better.

RE: Muahahahha!
By Korvon on 1/4/2007 4:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
and I have 2gb ram and a 250GB sata3 hard drive.

SATA...3??? And where did you get this hard drive?

RE: Muahahahha!
By sdsdv10 on 1/4/2007 4:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think what he meant was SATA 3.0Gb/sec or the newer SATA version, to differential it from the older SATA 150 (or 1.5Gb/sec). This is how the drive interface is listed at Newegg

RE: Muahahahha!
By xphile on 1/4/2007 9:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not according to this on Playfuls regarding this drive. I think performance issues are rapidly increasing as the size gets bigger, the die gets smaller, and the power requirements get smaller. These things are getting damn fast which is why the hybrid drives are manufactured by Samsung.

The SanDisk SSD announced today achieves a sustained read rate of 62 megabytes (MB) per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transferiii – more than 100 times faster than most hard disk drives. Taking advantage of this performance, a laptop PC equipped with SanDisk SSD can boot Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise in as little as 35 seconds. It also can achieve an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 55 seconds and 19 milliseconds, respectively, for a laptop PC with a hard disk drive.

RE: Muahahahha!
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/4/2007 4:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
On the bright side though, A SSD (Solid State Disk) as so much better performance that if you start to replace the main operating hard drive with SSD you will get a lot more out of your PC.

I think you are referring to SSDs that use regular system ram. These do have fantastic performance, but need a constant power supply. The only consumer lever Dram SSD released was gigabyte's iRAM, and it never made the splash people thought it would. (having a price 3 times higher then they said didn't help)

RE: Muahahahha!
By FITCamaro on 1/4/2007 7:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Where you buying drives. You can get 500GB drives for $150.

to each their own
By lufoxe on 1/4/2007 12:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think this will be the end all for platter based hard drives... look how long it's taking to phase out the floppy (which still isn't gone yet). I think where this will make it's big advancement is in the realm of notebooks, and let's not forget our handy dandy MP3 players. Imagine a flash based Zen Vision, instead of a HDD based. As for the advances... I hope they keep it up, and try to get the write speed faster, then it will be a no brainer.

RE: to each their own
By Brandon Hill on 1/4/2007 1:38:46 PM , Rating: 2
Still isn't gone? How many OEM computers/notebooks come standard with a floppy?

I haven't used a floppy in at least 4 years...probably longer

RE: to each their own
By Spivonious on 1/4/2007 1:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
I keep my floppy drive around in case I need to transfer some documents to a computer that's not on my network. I just don't see the point in getting a 512MB flash drive to store a file that's 300K.

And pretty much all office computers still come with floppy drives.

RE: to each their own
By Brandon Hill on 1/4/2007 2:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a 1GB flash drive for free after rebate these days. 2GB flash drives are easily $15 - $20 after rebate.

They're easier to transport and everyone uses them.

RE: to each their own
By ninjit on 1/4/2007 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say a USB port is more ubiquitous than than a floppy drive these days.

And even for a tiny 300kb file, transfer to a USB stick is faster and simpler than using a floppy

RE: to each their own
By namechamps on 1/4/2007 3:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
You keep floppy disc around plus include a floppy drive on each PC just to avoid having to use a $10 USB drive?

Since every single PC today has USB wouldn't using a cheap drive make a lot more sense than keeping floppy drives plus buying ancient media and worrying about that media dieing at random times?

RE: to each their own
By sdsdv10 on 1/4/2007 4:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a 30GB Creative Zen Vision:M for ~$200-220 total, or a 30GB Apple iPod for ~$240. That means the 30GB HDD is adding what, maybe $40-60 US to that price of the unit. Do you really think that 32GB flash drives will be down to this price range anytime soon? I don't, so for large capacity players standard harddrives will be the order of the day for at least another one to two year.

By Enoch2001 on 1/4/2007 1:45:56 PM , Rating: 3
I'll tell you one thing, a 2,000,000 hour MTBW rating is pretty damn good for flash-based "hard drives". Standard flash media usually averages a 10-year warranty.

2 million hours is 228 years - quite impressive.

By Chillin1248 on 1/4/2007 2:39:31 PM , Rating: 3
I never understood how they tests these things out, I mean in 227 years will they refund me if it fails or can I leverage a class action lawsuit against them? :-)

I also learned something new recently, you can recover deleted files from Flash based drives. I deleted some important files that were priceless, after a hour of googling I found a free program that actually can find and restore deleted media on Flash, something I would not have thought possible with electric media.


By Chillin1248 on 1/4/2007 2:53:18 PM , Rating: 3
Oops, link was left out of last post.

Here is the free Flash recovery program:


3.5" capacity
By phil126 on 1/4/2007 12:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
What would be the capacity if they increased the form factor to 3.5"? Media PC's could remove another source of noise.

RE: 3.5" capacity
By Suomynona on 1/4/2007 1:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think right now cost is a much bigger factor than size. It's not like the actual memory takes up much space, there's just not much of a consumer market for $1000 hard disks.

RE: 3.5" capacity
By bunnyfubbles on 1/4/2007 2:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
Even if capacity were 10x as large for 3.5" drives, you'd only have ~320GB and a drive sure to cost in the thousands. Simply not worth it for a Media PC where space should actually be an issue more so than noise generated by a HDD, certainly with HD content on the rise.

You can have TBs of storage for a fraction of the cost of SSDs and the noise should be negligible from where you're sitting from your HTPC if you get decent HDD(s)

35 secs?
By edge929 on 1/4/2007 12:40:19 PM , Rating: 1
35 seconds for a Vista bootup kinda sucks for a desktop, unless they're referring to a laptop setup here. My current Vista bootup on a 3Ghz Opteron, 2GB RAM, nForce4, 74GB Raptor is about half that. I realize those times will come down but even the average flash memory is faster than any current HDD.

Am I missing something?

RE: 35 secs?
By ksherman on 1/4/2007 12:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
says it was done with a notebook...

RE: 35 secs?
By therealnickdanger on 1/4/2007 12:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
Even my e1705 with 5400RPM HDD was faster than that with Vista Beta.

Where SSD should shine is going in and out of Stand By mode, not that HDD are slow, but SSD should be much quicker and use less power.

That's pretty cool
By shaw on 1/4/2007 3:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
Does anybody know is it possible to purchase SSD from a distributor now?

35 second boot times is kinda length, but that's what hibernate is for so you don't have to power down your notebook all the time.

By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/4/2007 4:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
A few of these in a RAID 0 might be nice.

By Timberbarn on 1/4/2007 8:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
The use of flash-based storage has many interesting ideas.

In a media-center PC, the flash storage can easily be used for the operating system adn application storage while permitting a disk-based storage to be used for storing the media files. The advantage of this is that a 5400RPM drive can easily beused that will produce less noise, vibration and heat while using less energy. All of this while providing more than acceptable performance. The slower speeds,an less heat generation should generally lead to increased reliability at the same cost, or the same reliability at lower costs. The advantages that mechanical drives have interms of sequential throughput are best optimized. When not needed for straming input or output, the drive is turned off, reducing energy, noise, and wear.

In a business server situation, the flash-based storage produces far lower access times and substantially improved random reads and writes. This would be excellent in a transaction server where large nmbers of small reads adn writes are common. The lower energy usage and small size, would make for ideal use in blade systems and rack installations. I could easily see many such drives inside a 1U rack server while running RAID5 or RAID6.

At current prices, These are probably not significantly more expensive than simple SCSI or SAS raid systems that may be used for server operating systems. With far greater reliability, I could see them used in small, remote locations where basic functions are needed. Sometimes, costs are not so easily identified, and simple may be worth a small initial cost.

What other ideas do some of you have?

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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