Seagate Enters The SSD Market With The 600 and 600 Pro SSD Series

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600

Seagate has officially moved into the solid state drive (SSD) market with two new consumer drives: the 600 and 600 Pro series. The new drives come in capacities ranging from 100GB to 480GB. Both series utilize the Link A Media (LAMD) LM87800 SSD controller and 19nm 2-bit per cell MLC NAND flash from Toshiba. Seagate has not provided pricing or availability dates, but pricing should be in-line with existing drives, and reviews are already available around the Internet.

Seagate Logo.jpg

The Seagate 600 series is the lowest-tier solid state drive. It will be available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Seagate is using 128GB, 256, and 512GB of NAND flash on 2, 4, and 8 channels respectively. In addition to the LM87800 SSD controller (which features custom Seagate firmware) and NAND flash, Seagate is including 1MB of DDR2-800 DRAM per 1GB of NAND flash for a total of 128, 256, and 512MB of DRAM on the 120, 240, and 480GB capacity drives.

The 600 Series is rated at up to 500MB/s peak 128KB reads and 400MB/s writes (limited to 300MB/s on the lowest-capacity 120GB drive). Further, Seagate states that the 120GB drive is capable of 80,000 random read and 60,000 random write (4K) IOPS, while the 240GB and 480GB drives can reach up to 80,000 random read and 70,000 random write (4K) IOPS.
Also note that the 600 series comes in both 7mm and 5mm form factors, which makes it compatible with most laptops. Seagate provides a 3 year warranty on the 600 series.

The Seagate 600 Pro series steps things up a notch by adding overprovisioning, capacitors for power-loss protection, and a longer 5 year warranty. The 600 Pro series will come in 100, 120, 200, 240, 400, and 480GB capacities. The 100, 200, and 400GB versions of the SSD offer additional overprovisioning which gives the SSD controller more space to work with. The capacitores are intended to provide enough power in the event of a PC power loss to write all data to the NAND flash and prevent data loss.

The 600 Pro drives offer the same 6Gbps SATA interface, LM87800 controller, and 1MB-to-1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Pro drives do not come in the 5mm high form factor, so laptop compatibility is limited.

Further, the 600 Pro Seagate SSDs are faster drives. According to Seagate, the Pro series offers up to 85,000 and 30,000 random read and write (4K) IOPS on the overprovisioned drives and p to 85,000/11,000 random IOPS on the 240 and 480GB drives. The 100 and 120GB drives are slower than the other drives though due to less NAND flash and channels between the flash and controller. The chart below details the rated specifications for all of the announced drives.

Series 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 600 600
Capacity 100GB 120GB 200GB 240GB 400GB 480GB 120GB 240GB 480GB
Random 4K r/w KIOPS 80/20 80/8 85/30 85/11 85/30 85/11 80/60 80/70 80/70
128KB r/w sustained sequential             >500/>300 >500/>400 >500/>400
128KB peak sequential r/w 520/300 520/300 520/450 520/450 520/450 520/450      

Blank areas indicate that rated specifications were not available.

Fortunately, the reviews available online (such as AnandTech's) do seem to support the new drives as far as performance is concerned. The drives are stacking up nicely versus the competition, which is interesting given the controller choice. For example, the sequential read speed looks promising.

The 600 and 600 Pro drives are looking like solid drives so long as the pricing is competitive. I'm excited to see where Seagate goes from here.

Source: AnandTech

Corsair's Neutron drives get even more dense

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm

Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench.  The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price.  That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.

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"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Adding RAIDR PCI-E SSDs To Its ROG Lineup

Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 06:10 AM |
Tagged: trim, ssd, sandforce 2281, sandforce, ROG, raidr, raid, PCIe SSD, asus

ASUS is reportedly adding two new PCI-E Solid State Drives (SSD) to its Republic Of Gamers lineup. Dubbed RAIDR, the new PCI-E SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash driven by two SandForce 2281 controllers. In turn, the two SandForce drives are put into a hardware RAID 0 configuration for maximum speed. The RAIDR SSD internals are encased in a stylized EMI shield along with a ROG-branded back-plate. In all, ASUS’ RAIDR SSDs measure 157 x 120 x 20mm.

Asus RAIDR PCI-E SSD.jpg

The ASUS RAIDR drives show up as a single disk driven by a standard AHCI controller, which allows the two RAID 0 SSDs connected via the PCI-E bus to be boot-able and support the TRIM command. Both RAIDR solid state drives also support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), SMART, Secure Erase, Windows 8 Secure Boot.

According to specifications provided by Sweclockers, ASUS is launching 120GB and 240GB versions of the PCI-E SSDs. Both capacities feature 100,000 IOPS, 128-bit AES encryption, and 620,000 MTBF ratings.

ASUS RAIDR PCI-E SSD Backplate.jpg

The 120GB RAIDR SSD supports up to 765MB/s sequential reads and 775MB/s sequential write speeds. On the other hand, the 240GB RAIDR drive supports up to 830MB/s sequential reads and 810MB/s sequential writes.

Additionally, ASUS is bundling its RAIDR drives with Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 and a number of ASUS utilities (including SSD TweakIt). The drives should be available sometime next month, but pricing is still unknown. Adding PCI-E SSDs is an interesting move by ASUS that should help the company diversify and expand its ROG branding. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the drives stack up when they are released (and hopefully a PC Perspective review)!

Source: Sweclockers
Subject: Storage

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

A while back, we saw OCZ undergo a major restructuring. 150+ product SKUs were removed from their lineup, leaving a solid core group of products for the company to focus on. The Vertex and Agility lines were spared, and the Vector was introduced and well received by the community. With all of that product trimming, we were bound to see another release at some point:

ext-front.JPG

Today we see a branch from one of those tree limbs in the form of the Vertex 3.20. This is basically a Vertex 3, but with the 25nm IMFT Sync flash replaced by newer 20nm IMFT Sync flash. The drop to 20nm comes with a slight penalty in write endurance (3000 cycles, down from the 5000 rating of 25nm) for the gain of cheaper production cost (more dies per 300mm wafer).

imft 20 nm.jpg

IMFT has been cooking up 20nm flash for a while now, and it is becoming mature enough to enter the mainstream. The first entrant was Intel's own 335 Series, which debuted late last year. 20nm flash has no real groundbreaking improvements other than the reduced size, so the hope is that this shrink will translate to lower cost/GB to the end user. Let's see how the new Vertex shakes out.

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 120, 240GB
  • Sequential read:  550 MB/sec
  • Sequential write: 520 MB/sec
  • Random read IOPS (up to):  35 k-IOPS
  • Random write IOPS (up to):  65 k-IOPS

Packaging:

packaging.JPG

This simple plastic packaging does away with the 3.5" bracket previously included with all OCZ models.

Continue reading our review of the OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD!!

SuperSSpeed mixess Intel SSLC and SSandforce

Subject: Storage | March 28, 2013 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: SuperSSpeed, S301 Hyper Gold, ssd, slc, SandForce SF-2281

SuperSSpeed is mixing the performance and endurance of SLC flash storage with the lower cost of the SandForce SF-2281 in an attempt to bring the price of their SLC drive to an affordable level for the consumer.  The mix seems a good idea as the reduced write latency of SLC flash may help to overcome SandForce's weakness when writing incompressible data.  [H]ard|OCP's testing bears this out as the drive kept up with a larger Samsung 840 Pro, one of the current performance kings.  You will pay for the privilege however as the 128GB drive currently retails for $250 as SLC flash is not cheap.  Consider that in almost any casual usage scenario, you are never going to push this drive to its limits ... unless you are going to start your own Frame Rating machine.

H_SSS.jpg

"The SuperSSpeed S301 128GB SLC SSD brings SLC flash into the consumer market. The extreme endurance and excellent write performance makes for an interesting SSD powered by the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The Intel 25nm SLC NAND removes much of the Achilles heel of the SandForce processors, delivering consistent performance."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

DRAM makers emulate the HDD business by devouring the competition

Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: DRAM, micron, ssd, Samsung, Hynix

It is perhaps not obvious to many because of the huge number of DRAM resellers but there are only three major manufacturers of DRAM left at this point.  Apart from Micron, who claim top spot in this article on The Register, Samsung and Hynix are the only other big players left supplying DRAM.  Considering the instability of memory and SSD pricing it seems odd that it is a component with only three possible sources, the instability could be coming from the fact that many of the mergers are still rather recent or in the case of Elpida, not quite complete yet.  One very interesting comment from Kipp Bedard, Micron's investor relations VP, might also explain the volatilty of flash, "there simply isn't enough NAND fab capacity to store even 20 per cent of the data people are generating."   If demand outstrips supply by that order of magnitude you can dictate almost any price you wish.

micron-logo.png

"When I first started at Micron, there were about 40 to 50 DRAM companies in the space," said Bedard. "And we spent most of the '80s with the Japanese deciding they wanted to own the DRAM space which they went from 10 per cent market share to about 90 per cent, [and] took all of the US companies out except for two, us and Texas Instruments."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Need high volume SSD storage and can afford the price? Solidata has 2TB drives

Subject: Storage | March 18, 2013 - 04:23 PM |
Tagged: Solidata, K8 1920E 2TB, ssd, sf-1222, LSI, sandforce, Micron JMB393

We have seen some high capacity PCIe based SSDs but in the 2.5" form factor they have been few and far between.  This will soon change as Solidata will be releasing a 2 Terabyte SSD called the K8 1920E which will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5000 when it becomes available.  Each one of the flash storage chips you can see below is a 64GB chip and with 16 on each side you get a full 2048GB of storage.  It uses four of the LSI Sandforce SF-1222 controllers and a Micron JMB393 SATA II RAID-5 controller which is configured to act as a 4 port hub, treating each of the controllers as a separate 512GB SSD.  Once the SSD Review had formatted the drive for use there was a total of 1788GB available for storage which did not support TRIM as it is technically behind a RAID card.  The performance was on par with expectations, keeping in mind the difficulties that SandForce controllers have with incompressible data. This drive will be very expensive but it seems it will be the first product of its type available to be purchased.

SSDR_1920-PCB-Front.jpg

"Ever since SSDs were introduced to the retail market back in 07, one of the main complaints has always been capacity. After all, the first SSD releases were only 32 and 64GB. The hopes of one day seeing the performance of an SSD coupled with the capacity of a hard drive has grown and, too many, we think our analysis of the new Solidata K8-1920E 2TB SSD might be welcome news."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: SSD Review

Apacer Launches New PATA SSDs in 2.5" and 1.8" Form Factors

Subject: Storage | March 3, 2013 - 06:03 PM |
Tagged: ssd, pata, IDE, apacer

Apacer recently launched two new SSDs aimed at commercial and industrial applications. The drives will offer up either SLC or MLC NAND flash, but with a twist. The two drives feature the IDE / PATA interface instead of the newer SATA interface seen in today’s systems. Apacer is hoping its PATA SSDs will be used as an upgrade path when the hard drives currently used in industrial systems need replaced. The new Solid State Drives fall under the Apacer AFD 257 and AFD 187 series. The Apacer AFD-257 Premium is a 2.5" drive, and the AFD-187 Premium is a 1.8" drive.

 

Apacer 257.jpg

To accommodate the greater need to data protection in such systems, Apacer has built several security features into the drives. The new PATA SSDs include Full Erase, Destroy, and Write Protection features. Interestingly, those security features can be activated using software or via hardware connected to a small port on the drives via a cable that can be routed to a control panel on the external IO of a chassis.

The drives have up to 256 GB capacities and have standard features such as SMART, wear leveling, and ECC (72-bit). The IDE interface is rather antiquated, but Apacer at least supports the faster transfer modes including: DIO Mode-4, MWDMA Mode-2, and Ultra DMA-6. PATA SSDs were somewhat-rare when IDE was still the dominant consumer standard, so it is nice to see there are alternatives for replacement parts still available.

Apacer 187.jpg

Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing or availability. Transfer speeds are also unknown, but you can expect it to be bottle-necked by the IDE interface (though random access speeds should be a huge improvement over a hard drive, even with the slower PATA interface).

Source: Apacer

Micron SAS SSDs, solid state for the enterprise grows up

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2013 - 01:11 PM |
Tagged: ssd, enterprise ssd, SAS, micron, micron p410m

Micron has announced a new SSD, the P410 SSD which will use a Serial Attached SCSI interface, perfect for dropping into existing enterprise servers.  SATA is perfectly fine for SOHO users and enthusiasts but for large businesses with a need for extreme reliability, SAS has been the interface of choice.  Adoption of SSDs has been slowed in large businesses in part because it would require changing the existing architecture to SATA in order to incorporate SSDs into their systems.  With the new Micron drive that is no longer necessary, at 7mm it will support high density servers and with the 25nm MLC NAND it is expected to survive for five years of duty with 10 full drive fills every day.  Read more at DigiTimes.

DT_5439_r.jpg

"Micron Technology has announced another addition to its growing lineup of solid state drives (SSDs) targeted at data center appliances and enterprise storage platforms. The new Micron P410m SSD is a high-endurance, high reliability 6Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drive built to provide the performance necessary for mission-critical tier one storage applications that require uninterrupted, 24/7 data access."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

OCZ Technology to Showcase Next-Generation Enterprise Storage Solutions at CeBIT 2013

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | February 25, 2013 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: ocz, ssd, PCIe SSD, CeBIT 2013, ZD-XL Accelerator

SAN JOSE, CA—February 25, 2013—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced that it will preview a variety of enterprise storage solutions at next week’s CeBIT 2013 conference in Hannover, Germany. As a renowned global forum, CeBIT represents a great opportunity for attendees to be the first to see and experience the latest innovations in solid-state storage from an industry leader in enterprise SSDs, virtualization, and caching software. OCZ offers a complete suite of storage solutions that address VMware, Linux, and SQL Server platforms, and invites IT decision-makers who are evaluating or implementing solid-state storage in the data center to visit the Company’s exhibit in Hall 2, Stand E43, from March 5th through 9th.

ocz.jpg

OCZ will unveil the next-generation ZD-XL SQL Accelerator, a culmination of enterprise hardware and software converging as one tightly integrated and optimized solution. The ZD-XL Accelerator addresses SQL Server database applications to not only ensure that the data for this implementation is right, relevant, and readily available on SSD flash when the SQL Server needs it, but also that the data is accessed with the highest possible I/O performance. For simple deployment and ease of use, this tightly integrated, optimized solution features ‘implementation wizards’ to guide DBAs so they can optimally manage data cached to the flash. While showcasing the ZD-XL solution OCZ will invite enterprise customers to become beta testers for this exciting solution.

Also included in OCZ’s exhibition at CeBIT will be demonstrations to preview the upcoming VXL 1.3 Virtualization Software and LXL Acceleration Software with OCZ’s innovative Direct Pass Caching Technology, which not only addresses VMware but is also optimized for Linux applications. OCZ is one of the few SSD providers with a robust portfolio of virtualization and caching software that combine the power of flash acceleration with the power of storage virtualization. This enables multiple virtual server loads to run concurrently on a single physical host, not only increasing CPU and memory resource utilization, but also simplifying deployment, high availability (HA), and maintenance of the server loads.

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The next-generation of workstation PCI Express (PCIe)-based SSDs will also be available soon as part of the Company’s award-winning Vector Series. These drives reside directly on the PCIe bus and will support four PCIe Gen2 lanes providing lower latency to data, faster file transfers and system boot-ups, expanded storage capacities, and an even quicker, more responsive experience over the already blazingly fast SATA 3.0-based Vector Series. The Vector PCIe Series will feature an advanced suite of flash management tools that deliver enhanced drive endurance and data, making it ideally suited for power computing, content creation, and workstation applications.