Samsung Electronics, a leading maker of flash memory, has unveiled so far the world’s fastest solid state drive (SSD) with unprecedented read and write speeds. Samsung claims that its achievement is a result of advanced proprietary controller technology that not only brings performance to never-before-seen levels, but also ensures relatively low cost of the solution.
Samsung 256GB SSD in 2.5” form-factor boasts with 200MB/s read speed and 160MB/s write speed, which is considerably faster than 120MB/s read and 100MB/s write speeds of recently introduced SSDs from OCZ Technology Group. But what is, perhaps, more importantly, Samsung’s drive is based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, which usually does not set performance or reliability records, but features lower production costs compared to single-level cell (SLC) flash.
According to the manufacturer, a “proprietary controller technology” was utilized in the 256GB solid state drive, thanks to which the MLC-based SSD sports unprecedented speed as well as reliability equal to that of SLC SSDs, with a mean time between failures (MTBF) of one million hours. Still, one million hours is lower compared to high-quality hard disk drives, which feature of MTBF of 1.2 – 1.5 million hours.
In addition, the drive offers a data encryption process that prevents data stored on the SSD from being accessed in an unauthorized manner, even after the SSD is removed from the PC.
“With development of the 256GB SSD, the notebook PC is on the brink of a second stage of evolution. This change is comparable to the evolution from the Sony Walkman to NAND memory-based MP3 players, representing an initial step in the shift to thinner, smaller SSD-based notebooks with significantly improved performance and more than ample storage,” said Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Semiconductor.
Samsung is expected to begin mass producing the 2.5”, 256GB SSD by year end, with customer samples available in September. A 1.8” version of the 256GB SSD is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2008. No information about pricing has been released yet.
According to a Q1 2008 report by the semiconductor market research firm iSuppli, the SSD market will grow at an annualized average of 124% during the four-year period from 2008 until 2012. iSuppli projects SSD sales to increase by an additional 35% in 2009 over what it projected last year, 51% more in 2010, and 89% more in 2011, and continue to show substantial increases in subsequent years.