Print 49 comment(s) - last by initialised.. on Jun 19 at 9:01 PM

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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RE: They need to bring the facts.
By nubie on 6/17/2009 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
As I said, they provide no useful specifications (except for those moving large contiguous files, a ridiculous performance metric for a 30-120GB drive).

Table 1: System Performance
Read Transfer Rate Up to 100MBps
Write Transfer Rate Up to 80MBps
Burst Transfer Rate 3.0Gbps

They need maximum random read and write latency on seasoned drives.

The worst thing possible is for the system partition to be on a drive that will freeze solid for .5 - 3 seconds, rendering the entire system stuck. Especially when that happens with a large read or write queue, so it will freeze up again continuously for several minutes.

Such a drive would be useless, so a wise person would seek (yes it is a pun) to purchase a drive that won't do that. Since WD is not providing the specs you tend to be suspicious.

RE: They need to bring the facts.
By erple2 on 6/17/2009 4:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree with everything you've said. However, the read and write transfer rates are pretty "low" - From that Anandtech article, I understand that there are optimizations that you can do for one particular aspect. Optimizing for very high sequential reads or writes (>200 MB/s) tends to make your random read/write performance horrifying (though intel's X-25E series appears to have overcome this). I wonder if you can infer that the random read/write performance of these drives is actually better than the non-Intel garbage that's out there? Did they heavily optimize for the random read/write case to such an extent that sequential read and write speeds are so low?

Who knows? At this point, we can only speculate.

However, I notice that all of their other products appear to be Compact Flash devices, so I wonder if that's all these drives are - parallel CF drives stuffed together. In which case the random read/write performance will also be sub-par...

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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