Micron Technology, a leading maker of NAND flash memory, and its subsidiary Crucial this week unveiled their new M500-series solid-state drive that use new-generation NAND flash memory and provide from 120GB to 960GB capacities. Micron M500 SSDs will be available in 2.5”, mSATA, and M.2 form factors for standard computing and next-generation ultrathin devices.
The M500 SSD are based on Marvell third-generation 88SS9187 controller (same silicon powers Plextor M5 Pro and other advanced SSDs) combined with Micron's custom firmware to deliver up to 80 000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). The drive's sequential read and write speeds reach up to 500MB/s and 400MB/s, respectively. The new M500-series SSDs also features hardware-based encryption (TCG Opal 2.0 + IEEE 1667), data protection against unexpected power loss, and an adaptive thermal monitoring system. The M500 SSD utilizes Micron's 20nm multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash to achieve terabyte-class capacity and enable a new level of SSD price competitiveness; the 960GB Crucial M500 SSD will be initially priced under $600, or at $0.625 per gigabyte.
The M500 SSD incorporates extended features important to ultrathin systems, such as device sleep (DEVSLP), which increases system battery life while maintaining system responsiveness. This feature enables the drive to draw less than 5 milliwatts of power while the system is in sleep mode, a 93% power improvement compared to previous-generation drives.
Micron's advanced NAND flash technology also provides more storage in a small footprint. Micron is the first manufacturer to pack nearly half a terabyte of storage onto an SSD module the size of a stick of gum (80mm*22mm). This new form factor, called M.2, along with the mSATA form factor, are key designs for current and next-generation ultrathin computers, including ultrabook devices, tablets and convertible PCs.
"The M500 SSD is a reliable storage solution featuring nearly instantaneous system response times and terabyte-class capacity - all at a competitive price point. For consumers, the Crucial M500 SSD is an easy, cost-effective solution for dramatically increasing system performance. For OEMs, we're ultrathin ready with the Micron M500 SSD – improved response times, lower power consumption, and trusted reliability – all in a design that's smaller than ever before," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND solutions group.
The Crucial M500 SSD is backed by a three-year limited warranty and is compatible with both PC and Mac systems. The 2.5” drive will be available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities. The smaller M.2 and mSATA form-factors will be available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. The 2.5” Crucial M500 SSD is expected to be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2013. The M.2 and mSATA form factors are expected in the second quarter of 2013.