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Samsung solid-state NAND hard drives will be cheaper than reported, more versatile

Earlier today Samsung announced its 4GB solid-state NAND hard drives. The 1.8" and 2.5" devices will primarily be marketed for enthusiast and high-end desktops supporting Microsoft Windows Vista's ReadyBoost feature.

A DailyTech competitor claims "Samsung confirmed to TG Daily that the SSD is likely to be priced below $200," implying the price of the drive would be just under $200.  In fact, when DailyTech talked to Samsung the company confirmed that the device will cost significantly less than that, perhaps as much as $100 less. The company has not released pricing on the drive yet, but current prices on the NAND spot market quote 4GB of flash memory between $62 and $70.  Samsung Semiconductor's Director of Flash Marketing, Don Barnetson, was able to confirm that a slight premium on these prices was more in line with real pricing of the drives.

Samsung clarified during our conversation that the initial versions of the SSD will feature a Parallel ATA interface as opposed to the newer Serial ATA interface use in notebooks and PCs. Additionally, many of the chipsets Intel is releasing do not support the PATA interface so Samsung will definitely need to think about switching to SATA sooner than later. The SSD drives can be mounted in a PC using mechanical mounts or a 2.5-inch slot.

According to Samsung, the 4GB SSD should be ready to ship in time for the Vista launch, and features 57MBps read speeds and 31MBps write speeds and up to 5,000 operations per second.

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RE: Lifetime?
By kingpotnoodle on 7/26/2006 10:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
I assume Samsung have solved the issues of flash memory degrading over time?

Am I wrong in remembering a time when flash cards were limited to around 1000 re-writes before needing replacement?

RE: Lifetime?
By peternelson on 7/27/2006 10:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think with an optimised wear-levelling algorithm such as Sandisk use in their flash, it's longer than that.

Something like 100,000, maybe even a million writes.

But if some malware was written to specifically write to it repeatedly, I'd say it could burn through that number pretty quickly and you'd need to buy a new one.

I'd rather be able to decide myself what goes on it, and that only. I would not want to allow my OS to write to this drive arbitrarily, particularly not logs or swapfiles.

RE: Lifetime?
By TomZ on 7/27/2006 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
But if some malware was written to specifically write to it repeatedly, I'd say it could burn through that number pretty quickly and you'd need to buy a new one.

Very unlikely, since the selection of the physical sectors is done by the drive's firmware, not by anything on the other side of the IDE cable. The malware would have to be at the drive firmware level.

RE: Lifetime?
By surt on 7/27/2006 10:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
The rewrites on newer devices are up in the > 1 million write range now.

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