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Samsung MLC SSDs promise 20 times improvement in lifespan

Throw a rock in the tech world and it can’t help but hit a few research firms touting the fact that solid state drives (SSDs) will be replacing traditional HDDs in computers of the future. The SSD has some benefits, but for now the price and capacity of the SSD simply rule it out for enterprise and consumer use for the most part.

Samsung announced that its latest SSDs are now in volume production. The new SSDs will be available in 128GB and 64GB capacities. The capacity isn’t what sets these drives apart, rather it’s the multi-level cell (MLC) technology used in the Samsung SSDs.

According to Samsung the new MLC SSDs are capable of providing read speeds of 90MB/s and write speeds of 70MB/s -- performance on par with SSDs using single-level cell technology. The difference is that SSDs built on the MLC technology offer about a 20 times improvement in the typical 4-5 year lifespan of a PC hard drive. Power consumption is another big feature of the MLC SSDs with requirements for 0.2 watts in standby and 0.5 watts in active mode.

Jim Elliott, VP memory marketing for Samsung Semiconductor said in a statement, “With the 64 GB and 128 GB MLC SSDs, we are satisfying the density requirements of most business users and many PC enthusiasts, who will appreciate not only the performance gains and added reliability, but also the more attractive pricing.”

Samsung says that the MLC SSDs will use a 3 Gbps interface and that the 128GB uses 64 MLC NAND flash memory chips of 16 gigabits each and is enclosed in a brushed metallic casing measuring 100mm x 69.8mm and 9.5mm thick. Samsung declined to comment on the pricing of the SSDs.

Samsung first announced the 128GB MLC SSD in January and it is just now entering mass production.

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80-year lifespan?
By Suomynona on 7/9/2008 1:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
They're claiming a 20x increase in lifespan despite the fact that they're using MLC flash? I'm extremely skeptical...

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By PandaBear on 7/9/2008 1:54:19 PM , Rating: 1
Compare to mechanical hard drive. I think it is realistic depends on what is the wear leveling they use and the usage pattern.

Time will tell. Dell and HP usually have very heavy duty acceptance test that many failed design ends up in BestBuy and still are way more reliable than average users. If Dell accept the design I think it should be good indicators that it is reliable enough.

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By RU482 on 7/9/2008 11:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking this article is rather pointless without an explanation of the 20x increase and a price quote

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By Clauzii on 7/10/2008 2:35:17 AM , Rating: 2
"... offer about a 20 times improvement in the typical 4-5 year lifespan of a PC hard drive ... "

I think it clearly says that the SSD probably will outlast users since it's like up to a 100 years.

RE: 80-year lifespan?
By oTAL on 7/10/2008 10:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, if they use the common industry practice to calculate average lifetime, they'd put 100 devices running and wait for the first to break then they'd multiply the time it took for this to happen by 100 - if the first device only broke after a year, then the average lifetime is 100 years since (this is WAY overly simplified - they take statistics into account, but you get the point).

Still, at the end of the day you can expect SSDs to have a more predictable lifetime than HDDs and that's a very good thing. Furthermore, I wouldn't usually expect an SSD to fail catastrophically like HDDs too often do. I believe that, in the end, reliability and probability of lost data will improve and the end user will win.

"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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