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HDD maker WD launches new line of SSDs

Western Digital today launched its SiliconDrive III solid state drive storage products, with technology based from its acquisition of SiliconSystems in March.

WD will release 2.5-inch SATA and PATA and a 1.8" Micro SATA that have read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds up to 80MB/s, with storage capacities up to 120GB.

The SSDs are being targeted for the enterprise market, though it's likely WD will release SSDs designed more for home PC users.  Pricing and availability remain unknown for the SiliconDrive III line.

"SiliconDrive III is the first example of how WD plans to productize solid state technology developed by SiliconSystems," WD SSD business unit vice president Michael Hajeck said in a statement.  "The launch of SiliconDrive III will also enable WD to leverage its global sales and distribution channels to accelerate the adoption of SSD technology beyond SiliconSystems' traditional embedded systems OEM customer base into data streaming applications such as multimedia content delivery systems and data center media appliances."

SSDs remain more expensive than traditional hard disk drives, but are growing in popularity as the storage capacity and price per gigabyte continues to drop.  The lack of moving parts means they are more stable and also run cooler than regular HDDs, which make them ideal in the data center.



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Lifetime? Latency?
By guacamojo on 6/17/2009 10:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, hopefully these aren't dumb questions, but here goes:
Are SSD's based on flash technology? Doesn't flash have lifetime limits on write cycles?

Obviously you can do some cool swapping locations around algorithm in the background to balance cell usage, but over time, wouldn't these drives lose capacity as cells become unreliable? With modern OS page file usage, I'd think that that time could come sooner rather than later. Is that the case?

Of course, HDD's don't last forever either, but how do SSD's compare? Embedded systems often don't have to write as much information as a general purpose OS, and have more strict power/noise/heat/shock requirements.




RE: Lifetime? Latency?
By guacamojo on 6/17/2009 10:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
Oops, forgot part 2 of the question:

Read/write bandwidth looks good, but how does latency compare? Better than HDD's, I assume?


RE: Lifetime? Latency?
By Headfoot on 6/17/2009 3:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Lifetime? Latency?
By rudolphna on 6/17/2009 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, on all counts. But with wear levelling SSDs have projected lifespans far in excess of even the best mechanical harddrive. As for capacity, dont you find it odd that it has an even 120GB instead of 128? That extra 8GB is used to replace damaged and worn out cells. It is all done automatically so the user doesnt even know its happening. As for performance, flash has a <1 ms access time due to its lack of mechanical components.


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