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Ritek to unleash 16GB and 32GB Flash SSD drives in Q2

Samsung has really been on the ball with the advancement of Flash Solid-State Disk (Flash SSD) drives. SanDisk recently decided to throw its hat into the ring, too. Not to be left out, Ritek has decided to join the party as well.

The company announced that it will deliver RiDATA branded SSDs with capacities of 16GB and 32GB in Q2 2007. The drives will be available in 1.8" and 2.5" form-factors with ATA and IDE interfaces.

Ritek also stated that it will be looking to OEMs and channel customers for distribution of its SSDs. SanDisk, on the other hand, is looking to limit distribution of its drives to notebook OEMs.

Ritek has confirmed Samsung will likely be the primary manufacturer for its solid-state drive. If Samsung does indeed provide the memory chips, it would likely be the new 50 nanometer multi-level cell (MLC) chips with vastly improved read/write performance.

As for pricing, Riteks’s new drives will be ultra competitive with existing solutions. The 16GB version will have an MSRP of $265 USD for the 1.8” version and $270 USD for the 2.5” version. Pricing for the 32GB version was not released, but it likely will easily undercut the $600 premium commanded by the 32GB SanDisk SSD Ultra ATA 5000.

A 64GB version of the drive is also due to be released later this year. We will bring you more information as soon as it is available.

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Performance not only factor
By Mudvillager on 1/10/2007 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 4
There are other advantages over standard HDDs:

1. No moving parts

2. No noise (unless it makes some squeaky noise which is quite commonplace today)

3. Smaller power consumption

Flash SSD WILL become faster than standard HDDs in all aspects. I'm guessing in a year or so.

RE: Performance not only factor
By Alpha4 on 1/10/2007 12:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Another factor to consider is that HDD space is far less critical today. Once upon a time over 10% of total harddrive space in the average computer was reserved for critical system files, however maybe 2% off HDD space is allocated for the same amount of data today. I'm not sure how much of an impact Vista may have on that, but I'm sure its not substantial.

RE: Performance not only factor
By walk2k on 1/10/2007 12:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Are you nuts? People are already filling up their 500GB hard drives with downloaded movies, high definition games, etc...

These will NOT replace HDDs any time in the forseable future until capacities and $$/megabyte and transfer rate catches up. I'll stick to my 500GB SATAs for $150 each thanks anyway.....

RE: Performance not only factor
By Axbattler on 1/10/2007 1:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Alpha4 did say system files. And personally, I prefer to keep system and data drives separate (within reason). It's not just a case of reliability (I can restore my OS far faster than I can recover the heaps of CDs I've ripped and encoded into FLAC - which mean that I keep a backup copy of my music) but also performance. Frankly speaking if they make a 1TB 5400 RPM drives as reliable as current 500GB 7200RPM drive and the same cost, I would definitely pick one for data backup. But not for the OS drive.

That's presumably why there are Raptor users out there. They are willing to pay the premium for a faster drive. And I would imagine that they would primarily use it for system/apps rather than multimedia. And I think it is this market segment those drives may compete in, if a high performance 3.5" drive is made.

RE: Performance not only factor
By Digobick on 1/10/2007 1:49:20 PM , Rating: 5
Why not do a 32+ GB SSD drive for your OS, and then regular HDDs for all your storage?

RE: Performance not only factor
By ninjit on 1/10/2007 3:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
I already do this with a small fast HDD for the OS, and a large slower one for media.

Once the price of SSDs drop, I'll replace the OS drive with one.

Flash drives really shine in random read/writes, which is precisely what happens on the system drive - loading device drivers, starting programs, paging in/out of virtual memory.

For media, most operations are pretty sequential, reading/writing large movie or song files. The only exception to that is pictures, which tend to be smaller and people often jump around from picture to picture when viewing, resulting in a more random read/write pattern.

RE: Performance not only factor
By walk2k on 1/10/2007 5:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you move up to the 10k and 15k drives, there really isn't that much performance difference between a "small fast" HDD and a "large slow" one. In fact, the larger ones often tend to be faster than their smaller cousins, due to the higher data density.

I agree that partitioning a drive, or even having a seperate drive for your OS is a good thing. However personally, I would use the fastest drive for your data since that is stuff is going to be accessed much more frequently than the OS data, which is mostly just loaded at startup.

RE: Performance not only factor
By bobm on 1/10/2007 1:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Won't IBM's Millipede once it comes to market do just about everything this does with a huge increase in capacity and if IBM is to be believed at a much lower cost?

RE: Performance not only factor
By Lazarus Dark on 1/10/2007 6:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
Now what I'd like to see is even smaller form factor as I am fairly certain they could fit 16GB in a 1" drive. And then we will need some sort of new plug and play standard for removable flash ssd's with full sata bandwidth so we can move them from laptop to desktop to school/work whatever and use virtualization to run our personal os and applications wherever we go. That would be ideal. That way I don't have to download and install firefox on every damn computer I come across before I can go on the web- I'm not touching IE ever again accept to go straight to the getfirefox website and back out.

RE: Performance not only factor
By mindless1 on 1/11/2007 10:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
You have fallen into the "oh, if only it were (a little faster, smaller, and the other is usually cheaper)" false premise.

No matter how fast it were, people would still do the same thing, wishing for it smaller and faster and trying to justify holding out till some particular point.

The particular point is already past. There is no new plug and play standard needed. There is no need for full SATA bandwidth to do as you described. Virtualization to just run apps from a flash disk was already here years ago, the only major limit was capacity per $ which is here yesterday.

The only real limitation in what you want to do is that you're not doing it, by choice. All the tech was sufficient already even before they started bundling flash chips into a pseudo-HDD case, and CF had ATA interface even CF3 ATA66 speed, along with the USB2 support for a thumbdrive or CF reader, there is no new use opened up by removable SDD with SATA, it would just get a little faster but then everything gets a little faster and we didn't hold off on mechanical HDD till SATA either.

AData goes one up ...
By harshw on 1/10/2007 8:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
AData has a 128GB 2.5" S-ATA part. This is more like it. No mention of pricing though.

RE: AData goes one up ...
By therealnickdanger on 1/10/2007 11:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
That is f***ing awesome. The hidden price and the lack of performance numbers makes me anxious, but just the fact that they have a 128GB flash drive is so awesome. SSD really seems to be catching up quickly to HDD. I mean, we're not at 750GB SSD yet, but we've gone from 4GB to 128GB a lot faster than HDDs did. If this pace continues, 512GB or even 1024GB SSD is probably going to appear at CES 2008...

RE: AData goes one up ...
By leidegre on 1/11/2007 3:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
Suppy & Demand,

The demand for a larger storage device has not been that great in the past, (size mattered, but little was requiered), today, SSD enter at the absolut minimum of an MP3 player, and has to compete with over 10 years of HD storage. It's like Moore's law, except 10 times faster.

Now I probably would cool off a bit, and see if it's possible to get good read/write performance from a SSD device in the near Q3/Q4. No moving parts, less power, less heat, that's simply fantastic, but I want read/write performance to.

RE: AData goes one up ...
By codeThug on 1/11/2007 10:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
yah and they better have really cool blinky led's and stuff on 'em too.

RE: AData goes one up ...
By therealnickdanger on 1/11/2007 10:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, true, everything is cooler with blinking LEDs.

RE: AData goes one up ...
By highlandsun on 1/15/2007 6:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
This is the one I'm waiting for. Although I need a PATA interface for my current laptops. And there's been no mention of the transfer rate for these units, let alone the price. Still, with a 128GB SSD, I could retire my 100GB Hitachi 7k100 and have a fast, silent laptop with even more battery life. Who wouldn't want that?

By Hyperlite on 1/10/2007 7:39:48 AM , Rating: 2
Why in the world would they not come out of the gate with a SATA part?

By ET on 1/10/2007 7:59:10 AM , Rating: 2
They are. Why do you think they aren't?

By ET on 1/10/2007 8:01:12 AM , Rating: 2
Although I agree it's strange that they're only offering 2.5" for SATA.

By leidegre on 1/11/2007 3:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
They dont have to be any larger?

So why bother? 2.5" fir just as well in a nootbook as in a desktop computer 3.5" does not.

(The article doesn't say anything about SATA if that is not covered in ATA)

why the price and size increase
By robert5c on 1/10/2007 6:31:46 AM , Rating: 3
at 16GB i would think the smaller 1.8" drive would be more expensive then its 2.5" variation, are you sure you have the pricing in the correct order?

RE: why the price and size increase
By wien on 1/10/2007 8:29:18 AM , Rating: 2
The memory chip would fit comfortably inside both drives, so the only difference in cost would be in the actual casing. Bigger casing = more materials = more dollars. This unlike actual hard drives that require higher density platters to give you the same number of GBs at a smaller size.

By Furen on 1/10/2007 12:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the 2.5" part has a 32GB capacity, so you have a bigger casing but also twice the amount of chips.

Why would you buy a 2.5?
By ATWindsor on 1/10/2007 6:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
Why would you buy a 2.5 when its more expensive? The flash-drive is pretty solid anyway, you can just tape it anywhere in your box, seems abit strange to take more money for a physically bigger drive

By therealnickdanger on 1/10/2007 8:43:32 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Why would you buy a 2.5?
By PrimarchLion on 1/10/2007 6:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
True. With no significant heat generated or vibration, it would probably be a better idea to pick up the 1.8" one if the interface is the same. I don't really know much about laptops...would you still be able to use SATA data and power(or molex for power).

Market penetration = falling prices
By Hulk on 1/10/2007 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
As we've all seen in happen time and time again in the electronics industry one significant market penetration occurs prices generally plummet.

The prices on these drives aren't bad so I'm sure quite a few people will give them a try. By this time next year the prices will be half what they are now and capacities will be greater. It's just been amazing how memory card prices have dropped over the last few years and the technology is basically the same.

RE: Market penetration = falling prices
By Lazarus Dark on 1/10/2007 6:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
well, I haven't seen much market pentration, but I think what we are seeing is competition. more competition= lowered prices and I think lower prices is what will bring the market penetration.

By mindless1 on 1/11/2007 10:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
What you're really seeing is that Sandisk et al. were doing what they practically always do - grossly overprice their flash. It was expected that 2nd tier products would drastically undercut, and this $170 isn't the end either, it's the equivalent of seeing something with SRP of $200 that we end up buying for $120 AR.

Oh joy!
By edge929 on 1/10/2007 10:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, the days of waiting for SSDs are over. Ever since I bought my first USB thumb drive I've said to myself "you know, it'd be awesome if we had these as our main hard drives". They are better in every way. Can't wait to grab a 2.5" 16GB drive and throw Windows/Linux on it. It'll be like going from a PII to a C2D in real-world speed.

I think I need a moment. Talk amongst yourselves.

RE: Oh joy!
By sprockkets on 1/10/2007 12:29:21 PM , Rating: 1
Didn't you forget, I think I'm overclempt!

I'll give you a topic. The thigh master is neither a thigh nor a master. Discuss!

RE: Oh joy!
By SexyK on 1/10/2007 1:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, these drives have lower access times, but also much lower read and write speeds than modern 7200RMP hard disks. I doubt the performance will be that impressive for these first gen drives.

By wht1986 on 1/10/2007 10:14:14 AM , Rating: 2
I would imagine these are fast enough to really help with Vista's ReadyBoost feature.

RE: ReadyBoost?
By Alpha4 on 1/10/2007 10:30:23 AM , Rating: 3
Sadly the only thing I think of is the advantage this drive will provide me in Battlefield 2 when I load maps 5 seconds faster and whore all the aircraft. ;)

By s12033722 on 1/10/2007 1:08:18 PM , Rating: 3
Flash is slow stuff. So far, the transfer rates for these drives are either slower or about the same as normal hard drives (30-60 MB/sec). Seek times improve greatly, but don't expect a massive performance boost from these.

By borowki on 1/10/2007 1:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine the flash memory set up so that multiple reads/writes can occur simultaneously. Parallelism could compensate for a lower data rate.

By sandytheguy on 1/10/2007 6:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
Just give me a 32GB for $100 and I'll take it.

RE: Nice...
By Furen on 1/10/2007 6:22:09 AM , Rating: 2
Just give me something that has a significant performance advantage over regular HDs at that price and I'll take it. It's not just about seek-time, since any solid-state drive has an advantage in that regard, but also transfer rate.

That said, the 16GB part looks mighty-tempting, though I'd wait for it to come out in SATA.

I'm looking forward to this
By Polynikes on 1/10/2007 1:32:29 PM , Rating: 1
As soon as this tech matures (ie, gets 3.5" form factor, sata, etc) I will definitely be replacing my Raptor RAID 0 setup with one of these... or perhaps two. :)

RE: I'm looking forward to this
By Polynikes on 1/11/2007 1:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ooh look, I've got mod points, I'm gonna mod random posts down for no apparent reason. Thanks a lot.

$170 is an amazing price
By Doormat on 1/10/2007 2:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
And 16GB is enough for a boot drive. Not a whole lot of applications, you'd probably need 32GB for that.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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