Micron might not be the first name you
think of when you consider SSDs, but the company is announcing its
new RealSSD C300. It is the first to use a native 6Gbps SATA
interface and also first to use ONFI
2.1 high-speed synchronous NAND, making it the fastest SATA-based
SSD for notebook and desktop personal computers.
SSD not only delivers on all the inherent advantages of SSDs –
improved reliability and lower power use – but also leverages a
finely tuned architecture and high-speed ONFI 2.1 NAND to provide a
whole new level of performance,” said Dean Klein, Vice President of
Memory System Development for Micron.
The new drive is capable
of read speeds of up to 355 MB/s and write speeds of up to 215MB/s.
No random read/write performance figures are available yet. The C300
SSD turns in a score of 45,000 from PC Mark Vantage's HDD Suite. A
competitive performance benchmark video is available at
drives gain little performance advantage when using SATA 6Gb/s
because of mechanical limitations,” said Klein. “As a developer
of leading-edge NAND technology, along with our sophisticated
controller and firmware innovations, Micron is well positioned to
tune our drives to take full advantage of the faster speeds achieved
using the SATA 6Gb/s interface. The combination of these technology
advancements has enabled the RealSSD C300 drive to far outshine the
The C300 is built using 34nm
MLC NAND flash from IM Flash Tech, Micron's joint venture with
Intel. It uses a new proprietary NAND flash controller and firmware that was designed in partnership with the Marvell Technology Group.
The new drive is backwards compatible with SATA
II motherboards, and will be available in
128GB and 256GB
capacities, as well as 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors. Micron is
currently sampling the C300 SSD in limited quantities and expects to
enter mass production in the first quarter of next year. First
availability of the drive will likely be through subsidiary
Crucial.com, which sells SSD and memory products made by Micron to consumers.
C300 is expected to be just the first of many new SSDs in the new
year. New NAND flash controller chips from Samsung, SandForce, and
Indilinx are expected to provide 6Gbps SATA support, while new high
speed DDR NAND flash chips will test their limits.
Update: Micron has confirmed that the C300 uses a new proprietary controller and firmware that was designed in partnership with the Marvell Technology Group. It also uses 2Gb of DDR3 DRAM as cache.