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BiTMICRO promises super-capacity solid-state disk for Q3 2008

No, you didn't just misread the title to this article. BiTMICRO Networks is moving forward with plans to announce an 832GB SATA 2.5" solid-state disk (SSD) at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

The new 832GB SSD is a part of BiTMICRO's E-Disk Altima family and uses multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory to increase storage densities. BiTMICRO claims that the drive will "deliver sustained rates of up to 100 MB per second and up to 20,000 I/O operations per second."

"This latest product pre-announcement seeks to establish BiTMICRO’s commitment to deliver solid state storage in all market applications," said Rudy Bruce, BiTMICRO's Executive VP for Marketing and Sales. "We are excited to offer E-Disk Altima SATA flash solid state drive as a PC and enterprise storage alternative offering the best-in-class capacity, performance and reliability."

The 416GB counterpart to BiTMICRO's newest SSD entry was announced in early September 2007. At that time, BiTMICRO said that samples of its E-Disk Altima family would ship in Q1 2008 with production availability coming in March 2008.

BiTMICRO has since revised that forecast and projects that samples of the E-Disk Altima will be available during Q2 2008 with production models ranging from 32GB to 832GB coming in Q3 2008.

Pricing hasn't been announced for the massive 832GB drive, but expect to pay a pretty penny. Considering that 128GB SSDs can hover around the $4,000 USD mark, it's not too far-fetched to project that an 832GB SSD could be had for the price of a BMW 1-Series.



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Exabtye
By Alphafox78 on 1/4/2008 2:39:20 PM , Rating: 5
I am personally holding out for the exabyte model, coming Q4 2012.




RE: Exabtye
By SpaceRanger on 1/4/2008 2:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
They will probably announce it on Dec. 20th, 2012.. 1 Day before the "End of the World..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012 (Just do a find for End of the World within the page)


RE: Exabtye
By Shwanzig on 1/4/2008 3:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wow..
to both, that price is gonna be ROFL$$

and wow to I can't believe people still think the world is gonna end in 2012


RE: Exabtye
By SpaceRanger on 1/4/2008 3:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe in it.. I find it funny actually..


RE: Exabtye
By retrospooty on 1/4/2008 10:24:22 PM , Rating: 1
What will be funny is to see all these arse-wipes on Dec 21st thinking "dang, now I have to pay off all these credit cards I ran up".


RE: Exabtye
By CryptoQuick on 1/5/2008 2:29:13 PM , Rating: 5
You all are going to be sorry when the world ends and all you've done is pay your credit card bills.


RE: Exabtye
By Samus on 1/25/2008 5:14:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and wow to I can't believe people still think the world is gonna end in 2012


December 20 2012 huh?

Sweet, sounds liek that night will be a sure thang'


RE: Exabtye
By TomCorelis on 1/4/2008 7:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I love how people equate numeric patterns with the apocalypse...


RE: Exabtye
By murphyslabrat on 1/6/2008 12:05:07 AM , Rating: 3
You know, if the bible says that no one knows the time of His coming; then, by extension, any predicted time is wrong...start predicting the end for every second, and it will never come. Expect every day to be your last, and it won't be!

Something to be said about taking scripture out of context, huh?


RE: Exabtye
By xphile on 1/6/2008 8:49:40 PM , Rating: 3
Ah so this is where Charlie Crews goes when he isn't on the set due to the writers strike... damn that was deep!


RE: Exabtye
By FNG on 1/6/2008 12:17:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and they are man made patterns too. I do not think the earth, solar system or cosmos has an awareness of 12/20/2012 or 20/12/2012 however one chooses to write it.


We don't need capacity from SSD...
By bunnyfubbles on 1/4/2008 9:56:29 PM , Rating: 3
Not yet at least. Standard hard disk drives will more than suffice for vast storage, what we need SSD for is for faster performance for our OS and programs. Get respectable capacity (~100GB) and killer speed along with reasonable price and people will eat these up for their boot drives much like they currently do with the Raptor. Can always have the HDDs for mass storage until they make SSD feasible for such purposes.




RE: We don't need capacity from SSD...
By amanojaku on 1/4/2008 10:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
The WD Raptor is a great drive but has a piss-poor GB/price ratio and as a result hasn't seen significant adoption. I would rather have a storage medium that can do everything and doesn't skimp on the necessities.

On the high side:
Capacity, performance, and reliability.

On the low side:
Energy usage, heat generation, footprint and price.

With all of the above (and any other positive I've missed) everyone would be happy. So bring on the capacity and lower the prices!


RE: We don't need capacity from SSD...
By Jedi2155 on 1/5/2008 4:15:25 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 160 GB raptor and I'm getting strained by its size limits. I could RAID it but i'm not a fan of RAID anymore. A 300+ GB SSD at a affordable price range (I'd say between $1.50-2.50 per GB is what i'm willing to pay), and i'd go straight for it.


RE: We don't need capacity from SSD...
By ikkeman on 1/9/2008 1:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
you'd pay $1000 for an HD?


By chance1138 on 1/10/2008 10:08:41 AM , Rating: 2
No, he would pay $750.


RE: We don't need capacity from SSD...
By awer26 on 1/5/2008 11:11:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's a performance drive, so of course it's going to have a low GB/price ratio - it's called the law of diminishing returns.

As soon as they make 500GB drives with the same performance as the Raptor, people will stop buying the Raptor. At this point, someone will have to release an even faster HDD, which will of course have a low size/price ratio, and then the cycle repeats


By Crystalysis on 1/10/2008 10:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still happy storing data on my punch cards.


By bunnyfubbles on 1/5/2008 1:56:12 PM , Rating: 3
Right, the Raptor's performance doesn't necessarily justify its increased cost, however SSD has true potential of actually offering fairly insane performance benefits... for example...

http://www.fusionio.com/iodrivedata.pdf

700MB/sec read, 600MB/sec write, all with the insane access times of flash drives...

Right now the cost of such a drive keeps it pretty much exclusively aimed at enterprise solutions, however the minute they (or someone else with a similar product) can get even their meager 80GB model into a price range that is the lesser half of a grand, I think we'll start to see a whole bunch of enthusiasts snatch them up.

For those of you with Raptors having problems involving running out of space, you have too much crap installed to it. You put your OS and most important apps/games on it, everything else goes on much larger and cost effective drives. The same holds true for such a performance oriented solid state drive.


HOW MUCH????
By Combatcolin on 1/4/2008 2:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
832GB?

832GB....?

(walks downstairs for a cup of tea)

832GB.........?

Sorry, my brain can't compute that about!!!




RE: HOW MUCH????
By Kaldskryke on 1/4/2008 2:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry, MLC NAND is wayyy cheaper than SLC NAND. I'd wager a price between 2-5 $/GB So if we're unlucky it would be a good $5k, but possibly much less. Personally I'll stick to using hard disks for storage but for a main system drive I would not mind spending $500 for high-performance. Heck I spend that much on video cards.


Jozy wants:
By Joz on 1/4/2008 5:31:53 PM , Rating: 4
Cheap SSD's (4-16GB) that I can RAID 0 and use for my windows and games startup.

If I want mass storage Ill buy 500GB drives and a few cheap raid cards.

Its much cheaper that way.




oops
By OxBow on 1/4/2008 2:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
I drooled on my keyboard.




By Polynikes on 1/4/2008 3:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
price inflates to $94,000.




Nice but...
By cane on 1/4/2008 6:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
Sure SSD is nice and have a lot of potential... but they should (the industry in general) work on utilizing all of the SATA bandwidth.

We all know that the HDDs in todays computers are the weak link that slows everything down. Bring forth RamSan-400 (http://www.superssd.com/products/ramsan-400/) and similar solutions!




Fast now yet unaffordable...
By wingless on 1/5/2008 8:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
This technology is fast in today's world and it would be marvelous if we could have these type of drives on our home PC's in 2008. Unfortunately by the time these drives become affordable they will simply bottleneck the ultra fast computers we will run in 2012+. Their capacities will probably be well behind magnetic (or optical crystalline quantum matrix) drives of the day so these announcements only pain us more...

Now if the only reason the prices are high is high production costs due to low demand, that would change in an instant if they released these at a fairly reasonable price. They would sell so many they could afford to bring costs down(real economics is a bit more complicated).




One question
By FITCamaro on 1/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question
By elpresidente2075 on 1/4/2008 2:20:00 PM , Rating: 3
The point is that this product will drive prices for smaller capacities down. Hopefully...


RE: One question
By othercents on 1/4/2008 2:23:37 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah they sell one of those babies and BiTMICRO would have met their sales quota for the year.

Other


RE: One question
By gradoman on 1/4/2008 2:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
$100,000,000 dollars!! Okay, well not that much, but jeezus h. christ, it's gotta be in the 10s of thousand of dollars range.

Nice capacity though...


RE: One question
By Cygni on 1/4/2008 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 4
SSD's arent just for laptops. An 832GB SSD would be incredible for the server market... an area thats desperately been requesting higher density SSD drives.


RE: One question
By keiclone on 1/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/4/2008 2:32:25 PM , Rating: 5
2.5" drives are also used in the enterprise market.


RE: One question
By Rolphus on 1/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: One question
By Rolphus on 1/4/2008 3:12:39 PM , Rating: 1
Current server lineup, that is.


RE: One question
By GaryJohnson on 1/5/2008 10:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
Confusion.

Is HP's server lineup not part of the enterprise market?


RE: One question
By 16nm on 1/4/2008 5:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, they are standard now on pretty much all server platforms from all server vendors. Their performance, efficiency AND operating temp. is superior to 3.5" SAS drives.


RE: One question
By cyclosarin on 1/4/2008 2:42:09 PM , Rating: 5
Why put it in a larger form factor when you can put it in a 2.5 and use it in pretty much anything you want? You can always mount a smaller device in a larger bay, you can't go the other way.


RE: One question
By mindless1 on 1/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question
By mindless1 on 1/5/2008 4:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
Since someone who is cluesss downrated my post, I should elaborate.

IF it weren't for the volume limitations of the case size, it wouldn't have to use MLC chips to achieve this capacity.

What does that mean? It means not only higher write speeds, it typically means 10X the write cycles. If you're spending several thousand dollars, this seems not so great a demand.


RE: One question
By Lonyo on 1/5/2008 6:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
But who would buy a 3.5" SSD?
3.5" SSD's would be even less competitive in terms of price on the desktop, they would have narrower compatibility, and they offer little benefit to desktops (you don't need to be an concerned about power consumption etc in a desktop computer since it doesn't run on batteries).

I think they're probably using 2.5" drives because that's the way to get most demand for this type of product while costs remain high.


RE: One question
By mindless1 on 1/7/2008 4:12:17 AM , Rating: 2
Would would buy - anyone who wants most capacity possible

Less Competitive - Completely non-applicable, the idea of price competition has no merit since it costs so much more than anything else

Benefit - Same as in a laptop, higher speed, reliability, less prone to mechanical crashes. The idea that a benefit is lower power is mostly wishful thinking, in a laptop the HDD is only a minor consumer of power.

I'm not saying they should do away with 2.5". Not at all, if you reread what I wrote I am saying that for this price they should be making products for MORE form factors than just 2.5".

For example, today you could have had a 2TB SLC chipped SSD in a 3.5" form factor. When thinking of mechanical HDDs, the internal data transfer rates were a limitation due to the platter, but with SSD and SATA300 plus the low latency you don't need as many *drives* to reach a performance level, or in this volume, the capacity.

Who would buy it is anyone that isn't thinking the same as you that it needs to be smaller than the available space to mount it. Solid state drives are the future of PCs as well as laptops!


RE: One question
By mobutu on 1/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: One question
By fifolo on 1/4/2008 8:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I still can't fire out how to get one of those 3.5 inch floppies in the 5.25 inch bays in may case....


RE: One question
By fifolo on 1/4/2008 10:26:59 PM , Rating: 4
note to self:
always proofread cheap attempts at sarcasm


RE: One question
By JakLee on 1/4/2008 2:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
I for one can't wait til the price on the SSD's becomes reasonable for desktop users to take advantage of their speed. Laptops are great (& I own 2) but I would really like to have a pair of 200+gig in a raid array as my primary boot drive.


RE: One question
By Ammohunt on 1/4/2008 2:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yep a small array of ssd's for enterprise wide Oracle transaction logs.


RE: One question
By littlebitstrouds on 1/4/2008 2:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
Same people who filled up their 40mb hardrives 15 years ago... it's progress, who cares. No doubt we'll be there at some point. Personally I've filled my 160gb notebook drive many times and had to back stuff up on an external, I welcome the extra space.


RE: One question
By FITCamaro on 1/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: One question
By elpresidente2075 on 1/4/2008 3:04:59 PM , Rating: 5
Congratulations.


RE: One question
By diego10arg on 1/4/2008 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
You should think getting an eee ;)


RE: One question
By elpresidente2075 on 1/5/2008 1:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
Buying one in August.


RE: One question
By psypher on 1/4/2008 3:40:04 PM , Rating: 1
30gb free? I don't have that much space free on my zune... My laptop has 370gb of storage and my desktop has 2.5tb of storage. My laptop has a lot of database files and my desktop has my dvd's, music and photos on it. i think i have about 150 gigs free on my laptop and about 800gigs on my desktop.

Now if i could have a pair of these drives in my laptop, i would love to house almost my entire media collection for on the road viewing... i travel more than i would like to, so that would be sweet.


RE: One question
By kalak on 1/7/2008 8:28:42 AM , Rating: 1
Congratulations, Goofy...


RE: One question
By ksherman on 1/4/2008 2:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
I for one would LOVE that much storage on my laptop. Its my only computer, and I too have filled it many times. My external stores a ton too, but is far to inconvenient to have to carry around. Plus this drive is most likely faster than my 5400rpm drive.


RE: One question
By MrBungle on 1/4/2008 3:11:45 PM , Rating: 5
Two words: HD porn.


RE: One question
By BruceLeet on 1/4/2008 8:11:04 PM , Rating: 5
Thats three words


RE: One question
By xsilver on 1/6/2008 3:07:27 AM , Rating: 1
you'll get a nice surprise then when he says its 9 inches


RE: One question
By Souka on 1/4/2008 3:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Who in their right mind needs an 832GB drive in their laptop? "

Welcome to the world of business....

video editing and VM images....especially with VISTA taking multi-gigabyte just for the base install....


RE: One question
By amanojaku on 1/4/2008 3:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
There are at least two areas that can use a drive like this.

The first is the server world, which has been transitioning from 3.5" drives to 2.5" drives for the past few years. The SSD would compete with the vaunted SAS drives, which are default storage devices in some HP and Dell servers. SAS drives offer significant performance improvements when compared to SCSI and have a smaller footprint. As a result, you find SAS drives in standard servers and blade servers. Hell, HP even has a 6-drive SAS blade!

The second area is the extremely small bleeding edge crowd looking for desktop or server performance in a laptop. When you consider the use of virtualization (for instance, VMware) it's not uncommon to see storage needs increase. With 832GB sales people could demo a multi-tiered application on many virtual machines, and the performance of an SSD would make that system perform as well as a desktop.

But let's not forget those with money to burn and the need to be the first one on the block with a shiny new SSD! I just wish I was one of the lucky bastards... :-(


RE: One question
By 16nm on 1/4/2008 5:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SAS drives offer significant performance improvements when compared to SCSI and have a smaller footprint.


FYI, SAS is SCSI. SAS == Serial Attached SCSI . 2.5" drives have a smaller foot print than 3.5" ones because they are an inch less. It has nothing to do with SAS.


RE: One question
By amanojaku on 1/4/2008 8:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I should have clarified that SAS performance is largely due to the serial design rather than the old SCSI shared bus design. They're both SCSI, but SAS has a dedicated bus, yielding a minimum theoretical disk-to-host transfer of 150Gbits/sec per drive.

The 2.5" drive design was used by SAS and (to my knowledge) never by SCSI. As a result of the smaller form factor you do see performance gains compared to 3.5" drives. But you are correct in that SCSI drives would also see performance improvements if they were switched to 2.5" form factors. A smaller drive size = less power used and less heat generated, both of which increase the performance of a drive.

The final two improvements of SAS over SCSI are elimination of clock skew and terminators. All electrical devices communicate via timed signals. If both ends of the communications path are clock synced they can communicate at their greatest rate. If they are not synced (they are skewed) they must compensate for the lost signal clock, which introduces delay.

The lack of terminators means there is no signal reflection in the SAS communications patch. Signal reflection also lowers the speed of a link by forcing both ends to determine if signals were duplicated. No duplication means simpler logic at each end and faster processing overall.

With the use of the SAS interface any drive will see performance improvements as long as data can be sent and received from the internal storage medium to the transfer interface fast enough. SSDs should see the use of SAS in the future.


RE: One question
By Some1ne on 1/4/2008 3:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who in their right mind needs an 832GB drive in their laptop?


People looking to completely replace their desktop with a laptop?


RE: One question
By 16nm on 1/4/2008 5:31:45 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Who in their right mind needs an 832GB drive in their laptop?


Hmm, someone with 832 GB of data??? :)


RE: One question
By Oroka on 1/4/2008 5:58:52 PM , Rating: 3
For the price, no one NEEDS it. For raw storage SSD will not be economical for the better part of a decade. A 1TB external HDD would be a much better solution. You dont need crazy speed for storage.

This product is more of a 'I was there first' offering, I doubt it is even ment to be pratical, just generate media attention. Untill this article, I had never even heard of BiTMICRO... so even if they dont sell a single unit, they have acheived thier goal IMO.


RE: One question
By mindless1 on 1/4/2008 11:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
On a positive note, they're developing tech that will help improve performance and reliability of future generations, while flash price:capacity will continue to fall.

All we need is to remember what 4GB of flash cost in 1998 compared to now, and be a little patient about the future. No matter how much capacity or how fast it was, you'd get used to it and still just want more, by you I mean everyone, we like to see advancements.


RE: One question
By FredEx on 1/5/2008 9:00:32 AM , Rating: 2
Somebody always has to be, 'I was there first'. That is part of advancing ahead. BitMicro has been around for about 8 years doing work in this same field. I'll predict solid state storage will be economical far less than a decade from now. Possibly as soon as 2010.


RE: One question
By The Boston Dangler on 1/4/2008 6:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
bitmicro has been cranking out ssd's for a while now, mostly for specialized industrial applications.

when a military pilot hops out of his plane, he takes with him a lunchbox-sized flight data recorder. do you think conventional hard drives are used? no, sir.


RE: One question
By rdeegvainl on 1/5/2008 9:50:08 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, with amazingly small capacity for a drive of that size, they really need to upgrade.


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