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Samsung's 32GB Flash-SSD is official

We reported earlier this month that Samsung had shown off a prototype of its new 32GB solid-state hard drive at CeBIT. Samsung has now announced that it has officially introduced the drives for the mobile sector.

According to Samsung, the 32GB Flash-SSD weighs half as much as a comparable disk-based dives and reads data three times faster and writes 1.5 times faster. It also uses roughly 5% of the electricity needed to run a comparable mobile hard drive. It is also completely silent and free of moving parts.

The commercialization of Samsung's 32GB Flash-SSD is a historic milestone for storage devices as it marks the initial entry of NAND flash memory in the mass mobile PC market. Samsung sees the overall global SSD market surging from US$540 million in 2006 to US$4.5 billion by 2010.

Pricing and availability have not yet been announced for the new drive.



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are they really faster?
By Visual on 3/22/2006 11:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
i can't imagine these would be faster than HDDs.
if they can beat the raptors in performance, they can sell millions in the first month :p i can see it selling perfectly well even at absurd prices like $150 (twice the raptors)
someone gotta make some reviews, fast. raid performance is something that should be checked too. will it be hotswappable?

an mp3 player that uses these discs (but easily changeable, just like some humongous flash card) will be great too




RE: are they really faster?
By Motley on 3/22/2006 11:12:29 AM , Rating: 2
You are right about the "absurd" price, but your guess is off a little.
quote:
would cost about $960 for the memory alone



RE: are they really faster?
By TomZ on 3/22/2006 11:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
When writing, flash based SSD is a little faster, and when reading, SSD is much faster, like 100x.


RE: are they really faster?
By ksherman on 3/22/2006 11:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
The target for these is not to replace or even compare to the WD Raptors. These are for laptops and other mobile devices. The HD performance in that sector/market is a bit worse than most-all Desktop HDs... Now with these SSDs being so small, most laptop manufacturs could probably cram two of them into a laptop, and run them in a RAID configuration... sweet stuff on the Horizon, too bad these are bloody expensive right now...

and my question is, since when were SSDs so small? [/Darth Vaders Theme Song] ;-)


RE: are they really faster?
By Cincybeck on 3/22/2006 11:41:31 AM , Rating: 1
"i can't imagine these would be faster than HDDs. if they can beat the raptors in performance"

These are going to be hell of alot faster then any hard disc drive because, there are no moving parts, it's NAND Flash Memory...I believe they'll be limited by the ATA interface whether it's SATA or SATA 2.

And as for the $960 I think you're quoting the price of the memory needed for I-RAM drive reviewed on anandtech, once again this is NAND Flash Memory not DRRAM...

NAND Flash memory is exciting but I would like to see it incorprated into a new interface other then SATA, which I believe slows it down. The ultimate imho would be to connect it directly to AMD's Hypertransport..


RE: are they really faster?
By Cincybeck on 3/22/2006 12:14:56 PM , Rating: 1
I'm going to stick my my foot in my mouth now. Found an article and the read and write speeds are 12MB/sec for read and 9MB/sec for the latter. Sequntial read access time is 30ns. At least for this particular controller chip.


RE: are they really faster?
By rrsurfer1 on 3/22/2006 3:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
Some new controllers feature much faster data throughput. The true increase in speed would be seen in the seek time, on the ns scale instead of like 12 ms for HDs. That means the data is there when the processor needs it. Even if throughput isn't as high, the processor will have more time to work with the data instead of waiting for the hard drive to spin up and find what it needs.


RE: are they really faster?
By sh7e95 bdy on 3/22/2006 3:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the much faster response times will be a great benefit, but I'd hold out for the benchmarks before passing judgement on how fast those response times are.

The lower power requirements and silent operation are quite appealing.


RE: are they really faster?
By Zoomer on 3/22/2006 10:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that approaching pc100 latencies? 8ms vs 12ms.

Quite an improvement over 12ms. :)


RE: are they really faster?
By sh7e95 bdy on 3/22/2006 3:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These are going to be hell of alot faster then any hard disc drive because, there are no moving parts, it's NAND Flash Memory...I believe they'll be limited by the ATA interface whether it's SATA or SATA 2.


Samsung was using a slow 1.8” 30 GB drive to compare against the flash drive. That hard disk doesn’t even come clost to Raptor speeds. When the flash drive is compared to a 36 GB Raptor, throughput is about the same. Granted, random I/O should be faster on the flash drive, but overall I’m not impressed with flash performance.

The interface won't even come close to limiting this flash drive. Read speed for the flash drive is 57 MB/s.

quote:
And as for the $960 I think you're quoting the price of the memory needed for I-RAM drive reviewed on anandtech, once again this is NAND Flash Memory not DRRAM...


Also, the drive really is priced at $960. http://dailytech.com/article.aspx? newsid=1196

quote:
NAND Flash memory is exciting but I would like to see it incorprated into a new interface other then SATA, which I believe slows it down. The ultimate imho would be to connect it directly to AMD's Hypertransport..


I do like the idea of using Hypertransport for end devices, but it isn't likely with the advent of PCI express and SAS. Not to mention, SATA is more than enough for flash or future hard disk drives.


RE: are they really faster?
By Xenoterranos on 3/22/2006 12:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting a raptor for $75! I'll buy 2 from you!


RE: are they really faster?
By SunAngel on 3/22/2006 4:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
ebay


Would not mind having this
By creathir on 3/22/2006 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
I would love to see some info on how it handles load times and some good performance specs on it. Hopefully Anandtech will review it soon.
- Creathir




RE: Would not mind having this
By Oderus on 3/22/2006 11:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
Anandtech actually had a similar benchmark test for Gigabyte's Flash-PCI card which used older DDR memory to make one static partition. The results were good but not revolutionary. As this article states, it's much faster reading, a little faster writing and very quiet. I'm sure the performance will be similar to the gigabyte device.


RE: Would not mind having this
By TomZ on 3/22/2006 11:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anandtech actually had a similar benchmark test for Gigabyte's Flash-PCI card which used older DDR memory to make one static partition.

Are you talking about their their i-RAM or a different Gigabyte product that uses flash memory?


RE: Would not mind having this
By creathir on 3/22/2006 3:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
I did see that...
I suppose the greatest performance hurdle is not the actual memory itself, but the interface. If I remember correctly, that card kicked the data out to a SATA connector. What really needs to be done is for a HIGH SPEED connection to be made between the north bridge and the the storage device. Had the card gone directly through the PCI slot (instead of just getting power off of that slot) it would have had some serious bandwidth between the south bridge and the PCI card. Then I would think you would see some serious benefits performance wise.
- Creathir


RE: Would not mind having this
By Zoomer on 3/22/2006 10:43:53 PM , Rating: 2
They should make it for a PCIe x8 slot. Woohoo! Now you're talking! :)

Given the deluge of mobos that have these stupid 2nd physical x16 (electrical x4 or x8) slots, it'll be a blast.

Having more dimms slots would be good too. Why can't they fit 5 slots on both sides of the card? 1GB x 10 = 10GB. It'll be a great device to load all your games up to and be the 1ST to load any map. :p


RE: Would not mind having this
By FearaFox on 3/22/2006 7:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
what will be the most useful for mobile users is the amount of power needed to run the device. that combined with the increase read and writing performance (no matter how negligable) is just a win-win situation.

only problme will most likely be the price and capacity, but those will get better with time


Interface
By HDBanger on 3/22/2006 10:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
Will these be sata2 interface or ide?




RE: Interface
By oTAL on 3/22/2006 10:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
I dont' think they could make an IDE interface for a 1.8" drive... even if they did one, it would be so small it would look serial =p
All joking aside, any new products coming out will mostly feature serial connections. I'm guessing this one isn't an exception. So it'll be sata or something similar.


RE: Interface
By Eug on 3/22/2006 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
Current 1.8" drives are generally IDE.


RE: Interface
By TomZ on 3/22/2006 12:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
The updated picture makes it clear that it is an IDE interface. Too bad.


RE: Interface
By Jedi2155 on 3/22/2006 4:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
ATA5 is the IDE 66 MB/sec spec. So these will probably be slower than our typical hard drives base on the interface itself. So these won't be as fast as we hope unless they move them to a SATA interface. Or even the ATA-7 spec.


Looks like a good drive for an HTPC
By clemedia1 on 3/22/2006 12:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I might have to pick this drive up for my HTPC. Right now my hard drive is the only thing making noise that I can hear. (My comp has 2(exhaust and cpu) 3-volted 12 cm fans in it that make just about no noise, and those are my only moving parts besides the HD in there now. Video card is running fanless, power supply is fanless). I don't really need speed and I don't really need all that much more than enough to store the OS. All my other storage is in a disk server with a few TB. Just need to pick up one of those laptop -> desktop conversion kits (that include power in the data cable like laptop drives do)




By clemedia1 on 3/22/2006 12:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
^^oops fans are running on 5v not 3v


By y2chuck on 3/22/2006 1:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
what's the rest of your specs? I'm in process of specing out mine. don't care what it looks like, just want quiet.


MP3 Players
By ohnnyj on 3/22/2006 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 3
Would it be possible to use these in an MP3 player, perhaps a 32GB+ iPod nano?




RE: MP3 Players
By rrsurfer1 on 3/22/2006 3:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yup :)


Power issues?
By Nocturnal on 3/22/2006 1:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
Does this device have the same type of power issues in that if it is not powered for several hours it loses everything on the memory? I'm guessing not since it uses flash and my iPod nano doesn't lose its songs... but this was an issue that cropped up with the i-Ram that Anandtech reviewed. Anandtech/DT, lets see a review for this bad-boy!




RE: Power issues?
By rrsurfer1 on 3/22/2006 3:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Your guess is correct, flash doesn't lose data when power is lost. The iRam used standard RAM which requires power to mantain the data.


RE: Power issues?
By osalcido on 3/22/06, Rating: 0
missing the point...
By soydeedo on 3/22/2006 7:11:54 PM , Rating: 3
why are people even worried about if it's faster or not? this product really only needs to equal the performance of current 1.8 drives to be competetive.
quote:
It also uses roughly 5% of the electricity needed to run a comparable mobile hard drive. It is also completely silent and free of moving parts.
this particular device is pretty much only for the mobile sector; 5% of the electricity needed for normal drives? c'mon, that's an astounding decrease leading to more mobility. also without moving parts if you drop your laptop you don't have to fear data loss anywhere near as much. that's the real value of these new storage solutions, not speed.




Sweet!
By theubergeek on 3/22/2006 10:50:14 AM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to get my hands on one of these babies!




By obeseotron on 3/22/2006 11:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think they are claiming to be faster than a 3.5" drive, just a 1.8" drive. Most of these little drives have the 1-2 punch of a lower rotational speed and a slower speed reading from the outer part of the disk which does not spin as fast as the outer part of a disk with the same rotational speed, but larger diameter. Put an iPod in disk mode if you're curious to see how they perform, I have a 60GB 5G iPod, and it's pretty quick for what it is, but it's not half as fast as a 7200RPM desktop drive. This drive is probably primarily for high end thin and light notebooks, and will probably cost in excess of $1000.




Pricing and Availability
By mpc7488 on 3/22/2006 12:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
As an aside:

"The Seoul, Korea-based company did not release pricing for the device, but a spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that the company expects it to sell for $200 to $250 in 2008."

http://www.reed-electronics.com/el ectronicnews/art...

The big market I see for these is military (very low power, high battery life, high shock/vibe tolerance compared to mechanical hard drives).




Increaseing bandwidth...
By Bladen on 4/14/2006 5:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's fairly easy for manufacturers to incorporate an extra chip that can "dual/multi channel" or "RAID" this memory to increase read and write speeds isn't it?

This probably will increase latency, but by less than a milisecond I pressume.




Thank the Lord Jesus Christ
By SunAngel on 3/22/06, Rating: 0
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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