We can make it cheaper! Intel's new Ultrabook SSD

Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2012 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, ssd, msata

Many avenues have been explored in an attempt to reduce the price of Ultrabooks, from lower cost CPUs to changes in the materials used in the construction of the chassis and Intel is now attempting to lower the cost of the SSD required to meet Ultrabook standards.  DigiTimes reports that Intel is partnering with Micron, Samsung and other flash memory manufacturers to create a new mSATA specification that they are calling the Next Generation Form Factor.  Hopefully with a new unified standard, the production costs of these mSATA SSDs will drop in price over time, as standards do tend to lower manufacturing costs.  That is not the only reason that they are looking for a new standard, they are also looking towards the future storage needs of users that want more than 512GB of storage space.  The current standard can have a maximum of 5 flash chips, which makes scaling to larger sized SSDs very difficult.  Keep your eye out for more discussions on this new standard as they finalize the new specifications.

msata.jpg

"Intel is looking to unify specifications for mSATA SSDs targeted at ultrabook applications, and is seeking cooperation with PC vendors and NAND flash companies. Details regarding the new SSD specs for ultrabooks will likely be finalized in September, according to sources at memory makers.

The new SSD specification is expected to be fully adopted into ultrabooks in 2013, but whether it will become a standard specification for traditional notebooks will depend on PC brand vendors' attitudes."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Drobo releases new Thunderbolt + USB 3.0 '5D' and 'Mini' - both mSATA SSD accelerated

Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 06:06 AM |
Tagged: ssd, msata, drobo

I have a warm spot in my heart for Drobo products ever since I spent months trying to break one (unsuccessfully). With that I am now pleased to report on their announcement of two new products.

Drobo 5D - Right Front-.jpg

First is the Drobo 5D, which is basically a 5-bay Drobo S on steroids. It updates the interface to USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt and speeds up IOPS and multi-stream performance by way of an mSATA SSD. The SSD does not take up a drive bay as it is installed beneath a trap door un the bottom of the 5D:

Drobo 5D SSD Bay.png

Next up is the Drobo Mini. This little guy carries the same connectivity as the 5D, but is *much* smaller:

Drobo Mini Hand.png

The drop in size comes from a change in the form factor of installed storage. It takes up to 4 2.5" form factor drives. Performance should be similar to that of the 5D, primarily based on it also sporting that integrated mSATA port. I suspect the mini will go over very well with the mobile / MacBook / Ultrabook crowd, as being able to carry a small box with large redundant storage is a great idea for mobile workstations.

Drobo Mini Drive Insert.jpg

More to follow as availability will be announced in July. Pricing is expected to be below $650 (thunderbolt cable *included*). Press blast after the break.

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard announced.

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | April 27, 2012 - 11:48 AM |
Tagged: Z77, msata, Ivy Bridge, asus

ASUS announces their upcoming P8Z77-V Premium flagship motherboard for Intel processors. Many features have been included such as 4-way SLi and onboard MSATA support with a 32GB MSATA SSD.

Does anyone know where I can get 4 GTX 680s?

In case you missed it, JJ from ASUS was recently at the PC Perspective offices to announce their Z77 lineup of motherboards. Lots of stuff was given away to live viewers. JJ stuck around after the live stream to record a couple of videos about overclocking Ivy Bridge and WiDi support which were released publicly earlier this week.

Now they reached out to us to announce their flagship P8Z77-V Premium Z77-based motherboard.

The upcoming ASUS flagship P8Z77-V PREMIUM.jpg

Two antennas, why-fi not?

The main features of the motherboard are as follows:

  • USB3 Boost support
  • USB Bios Flashback
  • Dual Intel Gigabit Nics featuring iNetwork Control Packet Priority
  • 4 way SLI and 4 way Crossfire support via a new PLX Gen 3 switch
  • Dual Band Wifi with BT 4.0 featuring WiFi Go! Software Suite ( for DLNA Streaming/Serving, Easy file transfer to android/iOS devices and remote desktop functionality )
  • Onboard MSATA support with 32GB MSATA SSD
  • Digi+ VRM with 3 way Digital power design ( CPU/VRM – DRAM – iGPU )
  • 9 SATA Ports
  • 6 4 Pin PWM Fan Headers featuring Fan Xpert 2 Fan Technology ( for advanced control in UEFI and OS as well as automatic fan calibration )

The feature which sticks out to me the most is the 32 GB mSATA SSD allegedly packaged with the motherboard. That would certainly be nothing to sneer at. Judging by the photos provided by Asus the flash cells appear to be produced by Toshiba.

mSATA based SSD onboard.JPG

Want to see half of a pegasus flashing?

Also visible on the MSATA drive is a chip produced by Nanya which is commonly known for producing RAM. I am, however, not Al and as such will not speculate further about the SSD -- except that my guess is the chip is probably cache. So unfortunately, I do not know which controller it will utilize.

The other feature which catches my eye is the support for 4-way SLi or Crossfire. Not much else to say about that except that knowing somewhere out there someone will be gaming with four GTX 680s and there better be more than a single 60hz 1080p monitor.

Some day.

Source: PCPer