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SanDisk uSSD 5000  (Source: SanDisk)
SanDisk looks to low-cost PCs with new solid state disks

Solid state drives (SSDs) are clearly the wave of the future for mobile devices. The drives are faster, lighter, cooler-running and more power efficient than their traditional hard disk drive (HDD) counterparts. The two dings in SSD's armor currently are the comparatively low storage capacities and high cost of entry.

In the case of Samsung's 32GB SSDs, the 1.8" variety will cost you $434 while the 2.5" version will rings up at $699. Stepping up to Samsung's 2.5" 64GB SSD will set you back a whopping $1,299.

SanDisk is looking to drop the price of SSDs for the entry-level market with its new uSSD 5000 SSD series. The USB-based drives will be used in sub-$250 PCs and will be embedded directly onto motherboards.

"The low-cost educational PC category is an emerging market for flash storage where low cost, ruggedness and low power consumption will be the primary factors for broad-based adoption," said SanDisk general manager Greg Rhine. "At 2GB, the uSSD 5000 solid state drive delivers the necessary storage capacity for low-cost PCs at significantly less cost than conventional hard drives, while meeting performance and reliability requirements for this market."

The uSSD 5000 packaging measures just 27mm x 38mm and is roughly one-fourth the size of a traditional 1.8" HDDs used in mobile applications.

SanDisk will begin sampling the uSSD 5000 within the next month and it will be available in sizes ranging from 1GB to 8GB.



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not so cheap
By DeepBlue1975 on 8/31/2007 1:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
This: 8gb = $250 = $31/GB
Samsung 32gb = $434 = $14/GB

I'd get the smaller samsung over this one any day if I were seriously set to buy an SSD drive right now.
Nevertheless, by the time being I wouldn't find justifiable to spend so much many for such a little space.
I hope that changes in 2-3 years, I would undoubtedly prefer paying 2x or even 3x the price of a normal HDD for an equally sized SSD drive, but something like the fifty-fold difference between a normal 80gb drive and a 64gb ssd is way too much for me.




RE: not so cheap
By bdewong on 8/31/2007 2:17:10 PM , Rating: 4
This: 8gb = less than $250. It is just meant for sub $250 computers. But I wonder if this is just the same thing as a usb flash drive. Being that, it will probably be slow. Can't wait to see more specs on this.


RE: not so cheap
By rlandess on 8/31/2007 2:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, people need to read carefully or consider citing sources.

This sounds a lot like a usb flash drive mounted on the motherboard. I'd much rather buy a motherboard with a CF card reader mounted in the back panel so I could just use any CF card I can find. ($120 16GB CF 233x, newegg.) Or even sdhc cards. Is there any reson to be making new formats? (other than in this case to cut manufacturing costs of motherboard makers.)


RE: not so cheap
By DeepBlue1975 on 8/31/2007 3:58:57 PM , Rating: 3
Ups. Misread that one... Sorry.

BTW, being a usb flash drive doesn't mean it should be slow. Usb 2.0 high speed = 480mbits/s = 60mbybtes/s (yeah, shared between all of the devices you could be using at the same time, and most of those devices aren't much of a bandwidth hog).


RE: not so cheap
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect, in practice we already see that USB interface IS SLOW. No point in citing only one max theoretical bus potential on paper instead of seeing that real devices are quite bottlenecked by USB already - let alone future devices with higher performance potential.


RE: not so cheap
By kenji4life on 9/1/2007 1:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by mindless1 on August 31, 2007 at 8:48 PM

Incorrect, in practice we already see that USB interface IS SLOW. No point in citing only one max theoretical bus potential on paper instead of seeing that real devices are quite bottlenecked by USB already - let alone future devices with higher performance potential.


from cluboc.net:
"USB and 1394 external drives are ATA drives with a bridge chip that translates from the ATA protocol to USB or 1394 protocol used for the connection. These interfaces require en-capsulation or conversion of the transmit data and then de-capsulation after the data is received. This protocol overhead reduces the efficiency of these host buses, increases the host CPU utilization or requires a special chip to off-load the host."

This bottleneck would be reduced by integrating onto the motherboard. It's completely amazing to me that they are unable to achieve better speeds when reducing said bottleneck.
from sandisk's site:
"An advanced controller, representing the company’s years of expertise with the USB interface, enables uSSD™ 5000 solid state drive to achieve a sustained read speed as high as 31.6 Mbytes/sec and a sustained write speed of up to 24.8 Mbytes/sec with single-level cell (SLC) technology.*"

They claim this device to be even slower than some of their own USB flash drives. They must really be saving a lot by going this route. Lack of R&D is my guess.
They are obviously completely unconcerned with performance.

Sub-250 dollars is cheap and all, but for about 300 I can get a Dell and the 'old' hard disk drive (which seriously outperforms and outstores this one).


RE: not so cheap
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/3/2007 3:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, yes, sequential transfer rates are nothing to write home about, but what about access time figures?

Even then, I don't find those sequential figures bad at all taking in count how cheap this is going to be.

Your average new HDD can go much further than that as for what STR goes, but not always better STR equates to a proportionally equal better "real world" performance.
If access times are low enough, it can compete with a normal hard drive while making no noise, drawing less power, and heating less. Though, size still is a very serious limitation to this kind of drives.


RE: not so cheap
By jedisoulfly on 8/31/2007 2:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
its $250 for the computer the SSD is going in. if I understand it correctly its basicly a USB flash drive hard wired to the MOBO?


RE: not so cheap
By PrinceGaz on 8/31/2007 3:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have thought it was a USB flash-drive designed to be plugged directly into the internal USB headers on the mobo, instead of an external USB socket. Not exactly hard-wired to the mobo, but mounted on it nontheless.


RE: not so cheap
By GreenEnvt on 8/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: not so cheap
By elpresidente2075 on 8/31/2007 4:58:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The USB-based drives will be used in sub-$250 PCs and will be embedded directly onto motherboards.


End of the third paragraph


I can see best buy....
By Gekko on 8/31/2007 1:49:06 PM , Rating: 3
selling these $200 pc's with vista on a 2 gig drive lol




By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/31/2007 2:32:29 PM , Rating: 1
won't fly. Vista requires about 7 GB for a standard installation, mine took up 11 with Vista Ultimate.


RE: I can see best buy....
By phaxmohdem on 8/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: I can see best buy....
By Slaimus on 8/31/2007 3:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is more for OLPC clones than a full featured computer.


RE: I can see best buy....
By daftrok on 8/31/2007 3:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
Linux Ubuntu! w00t!


RE: I can see best buy....
By Webreviews on 8/31/2007 11:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Linux Ubuntu! w00t!


I second that: w00t! w00t!

I just took an old HP laptop that was creaking under Windows and installed Kubuntu 7.10 tribe 5 and I was A-M-A-Z-E-D at how responsive its (not to mention it looks great). I got Kubuntu to run everything, including Real streaming media so I could listen to NPR. Runs blazingly great on the old hardware.

I'm really looking forward to these super cheap laptops so I can just tote one wherever I go and have no fear that I'm going to destroy a spendy laptop.


Stupid Idea
By mindless1 on 8/31/2007 8:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
A motherboard manufacturer has no need for this specialized "drive" when it's embedded on the mainboard. They can just get the flash chips and controller chip separately, just like you now see on any USB based MP3 player, etc. Sandisk wants to try to market something finished, for new products that still have orders of magnitude more design necessary. Unless it is very cheap, and installs end-wise with a 10 pin socket straight onto a USB pin header, I see no point to the product.

As another poster mentioned, a better alternative would be non-USB based like a PATA or SATA bridged controller, whether that be embedded on the mainboard or only a slot for a removable card (preferribly SD card instead of Compact Flash, when talking about the 32GB and lower capacity this shouldn't take much longer to fit into an SD card form factor with stacked die tech).




EXPRESS Cards
By Quryous on 9/11/2007 4:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wish they would come out with a form 54 Express Card at REALLY nice high speed reads and writes at reasonable prices and sizes. That field is RIPE, with the introduction of Sony's new SERIES of solid state HD Video Camcorders like the PMW-EX1 and its kin to follow. Sony charges two arms and 3 legs for 8GB and 16GB cards, in a time when I would expect the smallest size to be 64GB at more reasonable cost. Come on guys, give'em some competition. I know LOTS of cameramen who are dying to get cheaper cards. Your current cards are just not up to par.




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