Micron Technology, Inc. today introduced the M500 solid state drive (SSD), featuring terabyte-class capacity, new ultra-slim package designs, and increased response times at a more affordable price point. Available to consumers, businesses, and system builders under the Crucial brand, and to OEM customers under the Micron brand, the new M500 SSD is built start-to-finish by Micron, providing the quality and reliability that only a NAND flash memory and SSD manufacturer can provide. Watch this behind-the-scenes video to see how Micron designs and builds SSDs. Benefits of Advanced NAND Flash Technology The M500 SSD utilizes Micron's award-winning, 20-nanometer (nm) multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash to achieve terabyte-class capacity and enable a new level of SSD price competitiveness; the 960 GB Crucial M500 SSD will be initially priced under $600. 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 (80 mm x 22 mm). 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. Visit micron.com/ultrathin to discover how Micron SSDs can transform the ultrathin experience. SSD Performance Dramatically faster than a hard drive, the M500 SSD enables lightning fast boot-up, near instant wake from sleep, and fast application loading, creating a dynamic and engaging computing experience. The M500 SSD uses a SATA 6 Gb/s controller 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 500 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively. "The M500 SSD is a reliable storage solution featuring nearly instantaneous system response times and terabyte-class capacity—all at a competitive price point," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "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." Next-Generation Feature Set 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. The M500 SSD also incorporates the following specially designed features to provide users with peace of mind that their data is protected: - Hardware encryption technology (TCG Opal 2.0 + IEEE 1667) designed to maintain data security in the event of device theft or loss - Greater thermal management enables the drive to work with the host computer to dynamically adjust power consumption based on usage demands, helping designers face the challenges of ultra-small, thermally constrained systems - Expanded power-loss protection and advanced error recovery techniques deliver class-leading reliability. Data integrity is protected even during unexpected power loss Compatibility and Availability The Crucial M500 SSD is backed by a three-year limited warranty and is compatible with both PC and Mac systems. The 2.5-inch drive will be available in 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB and 960 GB capacities. The smaller M.2 and mSATA form factors will be available in 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB capacities. The 2.5-inch Crucial M500 SSD is expected to be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2013 through select global channel partners or direct through www.crucial.com. Micron will sell the M500 SSD direct to OEMs and through their distribution network. The M.2 and mSATA form factors are expected in the second quarter of 2013.