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Friday, 09 January 2009 12:24

SanDisk unveils superfast solid-state drive family

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HTML clipboardSanDisk Corporation has announced its latest G3 family of solid-state drives, using multi-level cell flash memory technology to establish new benchmarks in performance in the SSD industry.

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08 January 2009 — SanDisk Corporation has announced its third-generation family of solid-state drives (SSDs). Using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory technology, SanDisk claims that the G3 Series establishes new benchmarks in performance and price-performance leadership in the SSD industry.

SanDisk, inventor and world’s largest supplier of flash storage cards, is a global leader in flash memory design and manufacture.

Their product portfolio includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders; digital audio/video players; USB flash drives for consumers and the enterprise; embedded memory for mobile devices; and solid state drives for computers. SanDisk Corporation is a Silicon Valley-based company, with more than half its sales outside the United States.

Designed as drop-in replacements for hard-disk drives (HDDs) in notebook PCs, the initial members in the SanDisk G3 family are SSD C25-G3 and SSD C18-G3 in the standard 2.5” and 1.8” form factors respectively, each available with a SATA-II interface and available in capacities of 60, 120 and 240GB.

The G3 SSDs are more than five times faster than the fastest 7,200 RPM HDDs and more than twice as fast as SSDs shipping in 2008, clocking in at 40,000 vRPM1 and anticipated sequential performance of 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write3. They provide a Longterm Data Endurance (LDE) of 160 terabytes written (TBW) for the 240GB version, sufficient for over 100 years of typical user usage.

“SanDisk’s G3 SSD has met the demand of a 120GB SSD at less than USD$250 with an exceptional user experience” said Rich Heye, senior VP and General Manager of SanDisk's Solid State Drives (SSD) business unit.

“Three key features developed by SanDisk enable this new design: a new SSD algorithm called ExtremeFFSTM allows random write performance to potentially improve by as much as 100 times over conventional algorithms; reliable 43nm multi-level cell (MLC) all bit-line (ABL) NAND flash; and SanDisk’s new SSD controller, which ties together the NAND and the algorithm.”

Heye explained: “With large capacities and aggressive pricing, SSDs are poised to enter mainstream corporate notebooks in 2009.”

“Given the current economic environment, corporate IT managers have also described a desire to extend the service life of existing notebooks. These notebooks are already maxed out on DRAM, and struggle to meet users’ performance expectations."

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"These existing WinXP notebooks can be upgraded to a 60GB SSD for USD$149," continued SanDisk's Rich Heye, "resulting in a system that frequently outperforms a new notebook with a HDD, thereby delaying the need for large capital purchases.”

“Web-Feet Research has tested the replacement of the HDDs in three year old Notebooks with SSDs and has found an improvement in boot times, application loading and general user responsiveness that, in many cases, exceeds what a new notebook with an HDD can deliver,” said Alan Niebel, Principal at Web-feet Research.

“In these challenging economic times," continued Niebel, "IT managers are looking for ways to reduce IT spending without adversely affecting their user base and the SanDisk G3 SSD solution extends the notebook replacement cycle an additional two years at minimal cost.”

The SanDiskG3 SSDs will be available to this market in mid 2009, in a 2.5” PATA configuration expressly for this purpose.

If you've slipped a tad behind in your recognition of acronyms, PATA stands for Parallel ATA, which is the new term for what a mere few years ago was named SATA (Serial ATA).

In addition, the SanDisk G3 SSDs will be available for do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts. “An SSD upgrade improves the user experience like nothing else you can do to a computer.” Heye concluded.

SanDisk’s flash technology is produced at fabrication plants in Yokkaichi, Japan, where SanDisk and its partner, Toshiba Corporation, share the output. The SSD controller and firmware were designed by SanDisk expressly for the G3 SSD.

You can find out more about flash memory technology, and the significant role that it plays inside laptops and other consumer electronic devices, from SanDisk’s SSD Academy.

There's a webcast of the SanDisk CES 2009 press conference at www.sandisk.com/ceswebcast

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Tony Austin

Worked at IBM from 1970, for a quarter century, then founded Asia/Pacific Computer Services to provide IT consulting and software development services (closed company at end of 2013). These says am still involved with IT as an observer and commentator, as well as attempting to understand cosmology, quantum mechanics and whatever else will keep my mind active and fend off deterioration of my grey matter.

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