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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.

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