The solid state disk (SSD) market is really starting to heat up as more player enter the market and NAND flash memory/controller technology improves. A few weeks ago, Super Talent dazzled consumers with a new "budget" line of SSDs which offered surprisingly large storage capacities at relatively affordable levels.
Samsung today is taking tackling the opposite end of the pricing spectrum with its new 256GB SSDs which it plans to introduce later this year. Samsung's new SATA II SSD should obliterate the competition with read speeds of 200MB/sec and write speeds of an amazing 160MB/sec. This compares to 120MB/sec and 40MB/sec respectively for Super Talents latest SSDs. Even Mtron falls far behind Samsung's new 256GB SSD with read speeds of 120MB/sec and write speeds of 100MB/sec.
Most would take a guess that Samsung is using single-level cell (SLC) NAND chips to achieve these unheard of performance figures, however, the company instead settled on cheaper multi-level cell (MLC) NAND chips.
"With development of the 256GB SSD, the notebook PC is on the brink of a second stage of evolution," said Samsung Memory Marketing VP Jim Elliott. "This change is comparable to the evolution from the Sony Walkman to NAND memory-based MP3 players, representing an initial step in the shift to thinner, smaller SSD-based notebooks with significantly improved performance and more than ample storage."
Given the wide performance delta between Samsung's new 256GB SSD and lesser rivals, the drive will likely come to the market with a price tag that pushing into the multi-thousand dollar range. With a price tag that high, the SSD will likely be relegated to high-end business use and for consumer with plenty of money to burn.
However, as the technology matures, we can expect to see prices drop as we have seen with the offerings from Super Talent. And if Intel has anything to say about it, it will offer SSD performance that will rival all contenders and likely will use its girth to push pricing further down to “mere mortal” levels.