Print 17 comment(s) - last by highlandsun.. on Sep 19 at 4:25 PM

TDK's solid state hard drive
Mainstream solid state drives not far away

TDK announced this week that it has developed the smallest in its class solid state NAND flash memory drive. The drive is roughly the size of a typical notebook hard drive but does not rely on mechanical rotating platters and read/write heads for operation. Instead, the tiny drive uses high-speed NAND flash memory and can store up to 32GB of data using sixteen 16 gigabit chips.

According to TDK, the drive is 20% smaller than 2.5.-inch notebook drives. It also consumes less power and isn't prone to the same failure factors as traditional drives.  TDK's Japanese press release claims:

Along with TDK's "GBDriver RA5" NAND flash memory control LSI, this semiconductor disc features four super capacitors (optional) for the power supply interruption assist circuit and a 2.5-inch ATA interface. The GBDriver RA5 supports "UltraDMA mode2" data transmission mode that boasts a maximum data rate of 33.3 MB per second.

TDK isn't the only company looking to flash technology. DailyTech previously reported that Toshiba was also on the road to releasing its own line of solid state disk drives. The technology overall has progressed significantly over the past several years, with prices falling from the thousands of dollars for a 1GB solid state drive to much more consumer affordable prices. Samsung is also hard at work on solid state drives as well. No release dates have been set however.

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Total size
By raisinbrainMMM on 9/14/2006 5:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
"32GB of data using sixteen 16 gigabit chips"

lol thats confusing...i stumbled there for a second until I saw "bit"

RE: Total size
By PrinceGaz on 9/14/2006 6:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
It all makes sense so long as you keep your bits well away from your bytes. It can be quite painful when your bytes get mixed up with your bits.

RE: Total size
By nyte on 9/14/2006 7:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
"with prices falling frmo" should that be "from" ^_^ just a heads up

RE: Total size
By Samus on 9/14/2006 8:51:29 PM , Rating: 4
too slow, even the interface has a burst of 33.3MBps

RE: Total size
By highlandsun on 9/15/2006 12:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The supercapacitors are a nice touch. Aside from that, this is nothing compared to Samsung's 64GB CF card. If Samsung can cram 64GB into a single CF card, they should easily put a few hundred GB into a 2.5" form factor, running at maximum PATA or SATA speed.

RE: Total size
By bunnyfubbles on 9/15/2006 3:22:49 AM , Rating: 1
A. Samsung is still working on that technology
B. Speed might not be the same (memory cards aren't hard drives)
C. Cost is easily going to be much higher per GB when in card form

RE: Total size
By highlandsun on 9/19/2006 4:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sandisk already has 40MB/sec CF cards out (their Extreme IV product line) up to 8GB per card. Any new SSD product being introduced at slower than 40MB/sec just isn't even worth bothering.

As for cost being higher in card form - somewhat tangential. The point is there's no excuse for it to cost so much in drive form, and if you can already cram 8GB into the space of a CF card (36.4mm x 42.8mm x 3.3mm = 5141.136mm^3) then you can surely cram a whole lot more into the space of a 2.5" HDD (9.5x69.85x100.2mm = 66490.215mm^3).

RE: Total size
By Ealdric on 9/14/2006 10:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
It all makes sense so long as you keep your bits well away from your bytes. It can be quite painful when your bytes get mixed up with your bits.

Not to mention the occaisional nybble here and there.
Anybody remember that one? :-)

RE: Total size
By mcphailvdoulton on 9/15/2006 2:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the occaisional nybble here and there

That would be nibble :). Half a byte, or 4 bits. Quite a sense of humour the computer people had in those days. :P

RE: Total size
By lemonadesoda on 9/15/2006 6:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
4 nibbles = 2 bytes = 1 mouthful
My new GPU has 1 mega nibbles
sip, swallow, gulp? Any takers?

RE: Total size
By Ealdric on 9/15/2006 7:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
That would be nibble

I learned it (as a computer term) with a "y" to match byte. :-)
In other usage the i is of course correct.

Not that it matters in these more sophisticated times.

Hard drives days are numbered.
By casket on 9/14/2006 10:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
A recent article shows that Hard Drives are 50 years old. I'd say sometime in the next 10 years, they will be replaced by a new technology. Solid-State Flash Drives are a possibility.

Flash seems to follow moores law.... every 18 months, capacity doubles.
3 years - 122 GB
6 years - 488 GB (probably big enough)
9 years - 2 TB

Flash seems to have grown in speed and capacity faster than HD technology over the last 5 years. I think it will eventually take over.

By Missing Ghost on 9/14/2006 11:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
HDDs will still be used for tens of years I think. Now that we are just starting to use the first generation of perpendicularly recording drives, we are not even close to the maximum density hdds will have in the next years. We should see 1TB single drive within a month for <500$. It will take a lot of years before you can see a similar product that uses flash.

By ChugokuOtaku on 9/15/2006 7:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
doubt that'll ever happen.
these flash based drives are designed for performance, NOT for storage. Your OS can only take up so much space, and flash drives have enough capacity to compensate those demands. But if you're talking data storage, harddrives are gonna be here to stay for a while, until another high capacity storage medium becomes standardized.

Samsung's one is faster
By Goi on 9/15/2006 11:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
This is is limited to UDMA2 while Samsung does UDMA4. Some others already do UDMA5 and have even higher transfer rates, but I guess for laptop/ipod usage this TDK one is good enough.

RE: Samsung's one is faster
By smokenjoe on 9/16/2006 4:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
This is is limited to UDMA2 while Samsung does UDMA4. Some others already do UDMA5 and have even higher transfer rates, but I guess for laptop/ipod usage this TDK one is good enough.

And this is only a start you can expect multi channel memory to grow to speeds able to saturate SATAII with ease soon if it or a competing format becomes popular. Hopfully people will start intigrating a higher speed lower latency interface for these as they develope.

Internal RAID
By PAPutzback on 9/18/2006 10:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't they create some kind of RAID controller that exists inside the drive to put the chips in a RAID 0 array.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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