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KingFast Unveils C-Drive 1 TB SSD

Chinese flash memory specialist KingFast announced its take on high-capacity compound SSDs with the C-Drive 1 TB. The drive looks like any other 2.5-inch, 9.5 mm-thick SSD, but encloses two subunits striped in an internal RAID 0 configuration, that's abstract to the host, to which it connects over SATA 6 Gb/s. Each of the two 512 GB subunits is driven by an LSI-SandForce SF-2281 controller. KingFast didn't mention if the RAID controller lets the contraption retain support for the TRIM command, but unless they have something substantial like OCZ VCA, we suspect it doesn't. The SATA 6 Gb/s interface clearly bottlenecks the C-Drive, which offers sequential speeds of 559 MB/s reads with 532 MB/s writes, with 5~10% of the interface bandwidth being consumed by the various overheads.It's still the fastest sequential speeds advertised for a SATA 6 Gb/s drive.

Source: TweakTown

ADATA Shows Off SX2000 and SX1000 Enterprise SSDs

ADATA showed off a new high-performance server-grade SSD, the SX2000. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, this drive features a PCI-Express 2.0 x4 interface (a cable runs to a PCIe riser card). It is driven by an LSI-SandForce SF-8639 controller, which is a single-chip solution that connects to the host over PCI-Express, and appears to the operating system as ATA AHCI controller, with one drive connected to it. The chip features nearly more than double the ONFI channels as an SF-2281, which reflects on the drive's advertise performance numbers: up to 1,800 MB/s reads with up to 1,800 MB/s writes; up to 200,000 IOPS 4K random reads. The controller supports all modern enterprise SSD features, including TRIM, DEVSLP support, and SMART. It ships in 100 GB, 200 GB, 400 GB, 800 GB, and 1,600 GB variants. The latter was up on display.

ADATA also showed off its SX1000 enterprise SSD, which features a more modest SATA 6 Gb/s interface, an LSI SandForce SF-2500 or SF-2600 series controller, sequential performance numbers of up to 550 MB/s reads with up to 500 MB/s writes, up to 75,000 IOPS 4K random reads/writes, can work as DAS, and most modern enterprise features. This drive will be available in 100 GB, 200 GB, and 400 GB capacities, the 200 GB variant was on display. It's unclear which kind of NAND flash the two drives use, but we're guessing it's high-endurance MLC NAND. Both offer 5-year warranties.

Kingston Announces SSDNow KC300

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the latest addition to its SSDNow family, the KC300 solid-state drive. KC300 enables business, mobile and power users to be more productive as the drive maximizes power efficiencies in notebook PCs. KC300 provides advanced power management via an LSI SandForce second-generation SF-2281 processor, allowing users to do more from a single charge.

KC300 is the next-generation business drive, replacing the Kingston V+200 and KC100 SSDs. The drive features enterprise-grade SMART attributes, allowing IT departments to monitor wear range data, SSD life left, write amplification and total bytes written. KC300 comes equipped with Data Integrity Protection featuring DuraWrite technology to extend the life of the SSD by effectively and efficiently reducing the number of Flash writes via an intelligent compression engine without sacrificing data integrity. RAISE reduces the number of uncorrectable errors in the drive, over and above standard error code correction.

Samsung Announces Industry-First 45 nanometer Embedded Flash Logic Process

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the industry's first 45 nanometer (nm) embedded flash ("eFlash") logic process development. Samsung successfully implemented the new process into the smart card test chip, which means that this process technology fulfills the stringent quality requirements of the security solution market and can be successfully deployed on a commercial scale.

"Samsung's 45nm eFlash logic process has the potential to be broadly adopted into various components for security solutions and mobile devices, including smart card IC, NFC IC, eSE (embedded secure element) and TPM (Trusted platform module)," said Taehoon Kim, vice president of marketing, System LSI Business, Samsung Electronics. "The excellent performance from this smart card test chip will help solidify our leadership in the security IC market."

Intel Expands SSD 335 Series with 80 GB Variant

Intel expanded its performance-segment SSD 335 series with a new entry-level 80 GB variant (model: SSDSC2CT080AK5). It joins the 180 GB and 240 GB variants, and occupies a price-point around the 110€ mark (excl VAT), which makes it particularly pricey in comparison to 120 GB drives. SSD 335 combines an LSI-SandForce SF-2281 series controller with Intel-made 20 nm MLC NAND flash.

Intel didn't update the product sheet with details of the new 80 GB model, but its bigger siblings offer sequential speeds as high as 500 MB/s reads, with up to 450 MB/s writes. Built in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, SSD 335 features SATA 6 Gb/s interface, and supports most standard consumer SSD features, including TRIM and NCQ. The drive should begin showing up on online stores worldwide, in both OEM (drive-only) and retail (includes bay-adapters and data migration software) trims.

HGST Launches The Industry's First 12 Gb/s SAS Solid State Drives

HGST today announced the industry's fastest and most advanced enterprise-class, multi level cell (MLC) SAS SSD family – the Ultrastar SSD800MH, Ultrastar SSD800MM and Ultrastar SSD1000MR. From the market share leader in enterprise SAS/FC SSDs, these HGST drives are the first to double today's SAS interface speed.

Designed for the most demanding applications where "hot" data is accessed frequently, such as high-frequency trading, online banking, cloud computing, online gaming, and big data analytics, HGST's new 12 Gb/s SAS SSDs help increase input/output per second (IOPS) and improve response times to mission-critical data in cloud and traditional IT datacenters environments.

Intel SSD 335 Series Expanded with New 180 GB Model

Intel made an addition to its SSD 335 line of performance-segment consumer SSDs, which is currently available in just one capacity, 240 GB. The new 180 GB variant (SKU: SSDSC2CT180A4K5) retains the feature-set and rated speeds of its older sibling, boasting of up to 500 MB/s reads, up to 450 MB/s writes, and up to 52,000 IOPS 4K random write throughput. Based on the LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor, the drive features 20 nm MLC NAND flash chips by IMFlash Technologies (Intel, Micron JV).

In addition, Intel updated the drive body design, which will also apply to newer batches of the 240 GB variant. The new design consists of a brace running the perimeter of the drive (without affecting its 2.5-inch 9 mm-thick size compliance), and a "circuit board" print art. Backed by a 3-year warranty, the Intel SSD 335 180 GB is priced at US $179.99.

GIGABYTE Announces New Server and Workstation Motherboards

GIGABYTE is proud to announce two new models of workstation motherboards and one new model dedicated to mission critical server applications. All of them being based on the Intel Xeon processors E5-2600 product family, these new models are designed to answer demanding needs for computing resources across various usage models, form factors and scales. While these products have been naturally thought for scenarios requiring heavy computing power through GPUs or GPGPU / co-processors cards, from CAD/CAE to rendering, simulation and modeling, their most notable advantage relies in their unique memory performance capability. GIGABYTE motherboards support DDR3-1600 MHz speeds with 16 GB 1.35V RDIMMs.

Achieved through GIGABYTE's capabilities in design, PCB layout and BIOS fine-tuning, this feature will be most appreciated in the many workstation applications where improvements in memory frequency result in speeding up the user's productivity and in all the industries relying on server applications where each incremental improvement in memory performance results in significant benefits, such as in finance.

Intel SSD 525 Starts Selling in Japan

Intel's performance-segment mSATA SSDs, the SSD 525 series, started selling in Japan under OEM packaging, although freely available in ground stores (much like bare hard drives). Based on the LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor and Intel's own 25 nm MLC NAND flash chips, the SSD 525 is available in four capacities: 30 GB, 120 GB, 180 GB, and 240 GB. The 240 GB variant stands out, with speeds of up to 550 MB/s reads with 500 MB/s writes; while the others max out at 500 MB/s reads with 275 MB/s writes. The 30, 120, 180, and 240 GB variants are priced at 5,180¥ ($57), 14,480¥ ($160), 20,800¥ ($228), and 26,980¥ ($295), respectively.

Source: PC Watch

Intel SSD 525 mSATA SSD Pictured, Tested

Intel's SSD 525 line of performance mSATA SSDs may be slated for 2013, but made an early debut with the company's NUC (next unit of computing) desktop. A 180 GB variant of the drive was put to test by VR-Zone, which is driven by LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor, and features three Intel-made 20 nm MLC NAND flash chips (6-channels). The drive cracked Anvil Storage Utilities benchmark with 504 MB/s (compressible) and 463 MB/s (incompressible) sequential read speeds, 468 MB/s (compressible) and 240 MB/s (incompressible) sequential writes, and about 55,841 IOPS 4K random write (QD16) performance. The performance numbers make the drive appear nearly as fast as larger 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, and could be a boon for Ultrabook makers.

Source: VR-Zone

OWC Announces Industry's First SSD Upgrade for the New 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Other World Computing (OWC) www.macsales.com, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro is the industry's first high-performance Solid State Drive upgrade for the new 2012 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display (rMBP) computers introduced by Apple last week.

Available in 480 GB capacity for immediate ordering and with additional capacities to be announced in November, the 6G (6 Gb/s) SandForce Driven Mercury Aura Pro offers rMBP owners up to nearly 3x more storage and/or backup capacity than the factory 128 GB flash module.

LSI Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results

LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) today reported results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2012. "In the third quarter we delivered strong year-over-year growth in an environment with considerable macroeconomic uncertainty and with softness in several key markets. We are managing the elements within our control, and are pleased with the significant improvement in margin and earnings over last year," said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI's president and CEO. "Looking forward, our design win performance is ahead of expectations and we are benefiting from the rapid adoption of LSI's exciting new flash-based products and the penetration of LSI products into large web and cloud datacenters."

Third quarter 2012 revenues from continuing operations were $624 million, in line with guidance, compared to $547 million generated from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2011, and compared to $660 million generated from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2012.

ASRock Announces the Release of its Top Tier Z77 Extreme11 Motherboard

For those who haven't taken a leap to Intel's Z77 and Ivy Bridge combo yet, either you're cultivating self discipline or you're planning to prey upon something big. Well, now is the big moment, because ASRock is releasing its beastlike Z77 Extreme11!

This tiptop motherboard has 8 SAS2/SATA3 connectors supported by an LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 x8 controller. For extreme graphics, 3-Way SLI/4-Way CrossFireX is supported via a PLX PEX 8747 bridge. The LAN solution is also tempting. Two Intel LAN chips to support dual LAN and teaming, while there's also a 2T2R Dual Band WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 module and a bundled Wi-SB Box. Specially designed for computer enthusiasts, Z77 Extreme11 possesses unbeatable hardware and extreme powers waiting to be unleashed.

ARM Announces New High-Performance System IP

To address the significant increase in data over the next 10-15 years, and the demand for more energy-efficient network infrastructure and servers, ARM has announced the ARM CoreLink CCN-504 cache coherent network. This advanced system intellectual property (IP) can deliver up to one terabit of usable system bandwidth per second. It will enable SoC designers to provide high-performance, cache coherent interconnect for ‘many-core’ enterprise solutions built using the ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor and next-generation 64-bit processors.

LSI, a leading designer of intelligent semiconductors that accelerate storage, mobile networking and client computing, and Calxeda, an innovative supplier of disruptive SoC technology for the server market, are lead licensees for the CoreLink CCN-504 launch.

LSI Announces Nytro MegaRAID Acceleration Cards

LSI Corporation today announced worldwide channel availability of the PCIe flash LSI Nytro MegaRAID cards, providing simple, transparent and cost-effective application acceleration for direct-attached storage (DAS). Nytro MegaRAID cards uniquely integrate PCIe flash technology and intelligent caching software with enterprise RAID data protection using leading LSI dual-core RAID-on-Chip (ROC) technology.

The increased availability of the LSI Nytro MegaRAID product family coincides with a growing data deluge that is challenging data center managers to reassess ways to balance application performance, storage and data protection requirements in the most cost-effective way possible.

OWC Announces Mercury Aura Pro, First SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Other World Computing (OWC), a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro as the industry's first high-performance Solid State Drive upgrade for 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display (rMBP) computers. Available in 480 GB capacity, the 6G (6Gb/s) SandForce Driven Mercury Aura Pro offers rMBP owners 87.5 percent more capacity than the factory 256GB model. Additionally, customers buying the $579.99 MSRP Aura Pro direct from OWC until September 30, 2012, will later receive the OWC Envoy Pro USB 3.0 bus-powered portable enclosure (a $59.95 value) for re-tasking the rMBP's factory flash module as an external drive at no additional cost.

LSI SandForce Processors Enable Lower Power & Higher Performance for Ultrabook Makers

LSI Corporation today announced enhanced features for its SandForce SF-2200/2100 Client Flash Storage Processors (FSPs) specifically designed to satisfy the stringent power consumption requirements of Ultrabooks while also providing the superior performance benefits of flash-based technology.

LSI Flash Storage Processors are the intelligence that manages flash memory in solid state drives (SSDs) and delivers the performance and power efficiency benefits needed for the fast-growing Ultrabook market segment. The new LSI SandForce power management optimizations enable SSD manufacturers to develop drives that extend battery life and reduce system resume times, critical requirements in today's growing class of thin-and-light Ultrabook platforms. Fueling increased adoption of SSDs, the Ultrabook market is forecasted to grow at a compounded rate of 92 percent through 2017.

Updated: MSI's Client SSD Lineup Piloted by Reflex Series, Pictured

Since the last couple of weeks, we've known of MSI's plans to enter the client SSD market, thanks to a leak by LSI-SandForce. Today we're getting the first pictures of what MSI has been secretly working on. Called the Reflex series, MSI's first SSDs are built on the most widely used performance SSD platform, a combination of LSI-SandForce SF2281 controller and 25 nm synchronous NAND flash.

MSI's Reflex series will be launched in three variants, the RX-60 (60 GB), the RX-120 (120 GB), and the RX-240 (240 GB), respectively. Performance numbers differ with model. The RX-60 offers up to 525 MB/s reads with 495 MB/s writes, and 85,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The RX-120 ups that to 550 MB/s reads with 515 MB/s writes, and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Leading the pack is the RX-240, with 560 MB/s reads, 525 MB/s writes, and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The three are built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. Pricing and availability information is awaited.


Source: InsideIndustryNews

Update (23/07): MSI Europe informed us that while the product is real, it will not be available for purchase in Europe, and that there are no plans to sell the drives in the old continent, in the near future. MSI Europe's statement follows

Intel Intros 240 GB SSD 330 Series Variant

Intel expanded its mainstream client SSD 330 series with the addition of a new 240 GB variant. The SSD 330 series, till date, only had sub-200 GB capacities, with 180 GB leading the pack. It was believed that Intel was making sure SSD 330 steered clear of the performance-segment SSD 520 series, to prevent internal competition that could end up hurting the SSD 520, and its higher margins for Intel. It appears, though, that with large-scale price-cuts, room has been created for a new 240 GB SSD 330 series model.

Built in the 2.5-inch 9.5 mm-thick form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, and driven by an LSI-SandForce controller, the 240 GB SSD 330 comes with sequential speeds of up to 500 MB/s (reads) and 450 MB/s (writes). It has rated 4K random access performance of 42,000 IOPS (reads) with 52,000 IOPS (writes). The SSD will be sold in bulk as drive-only trays, drive-only retail packages, and retail packages with migration-kits and 3.5-inch bay adapters (for desktops). Intel is yet to release pricing details, although a price of around US $200 seems likely. In related news, the wide-ranging price-cuts reported last week, have taken effect, according to the company.

LSI Extends MegaRAID Controller and HBA Families with PCI Express 3.0

LSI Corporation today introduced its latest MegaRAID 6 Gb/s SAS+SATA controllers and host bus adapters (HBAs) featuring the PCI Express 3.0 interface.

Seven new LSI MegaRAID controllers are offered with four or eight ports and provide a powerful combination of intelligent performance, enterprise RAID data protection and proven interoperability. Three new LSI HBA models provide state-of-the-art connectivity for servers and appliances in a variety of enterprise-level environments including corporate datacenters, the cloud and high-performance computing.

“In the face of massive data growth, system builders and resellers are racing to meet increasing demand for larger, more scalable systems that deliver reliability and high performance,” said Brent Blanchard, director of worldwide channel sales and marketing, LSI. “The addition of PCIe 3.0 on the new MegaRAID controllers and HBAs brings dramatically higher levels of performance and allows greater system design flexibility, with proven LSI product quality and reliability.”

Hynix' Own-Branded SH910 SSD Detailed

Korean memory giant SK Hynix is launching its own branded consumer and enterprise SSD lines, à la Samsung (the other Korean memory giant). It is starting off with high-performance consumer SSDs targeting Ultrabooks, built in the 2.5-inch 7 mm-thick SATA form-factor. The SH910 series SSDs combine Hynix' homegrown H27QDG8VEBIR-BCB MLC NAND flash chips built in the 25 nm fab process, with LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor.

The drive will be initially available in two capacities, 128 GB and 256 GB (higher than usual capacities thanks to adjusted overprovisioning). Both drives offer sequential transfer speeds of up to 520 MB/s reads with 500 MB/s writes; up to 60,000 IOPS 4K random seek, 35,000 IOPS random write; and feature-set that includes 128-bit AES encryption, TRIM, NCQ, and SMART. A performance review can be found at the source.


Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Kingston Digital Statement on SF-2000-based Encrypted SSDs

Kingston Digital Europe Ltd, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company Inc., the independent world leader in memory, along with LSI, its SSD processor partner, have recently been in discussions related to the encryption capabilities of the SF-2000 platform. It was discovered that the ’self encrypting’ feature that Kingston markets on both the SSDNow V+200 and KC100 lines runs in 128-bit AES encryption mode, not the originally stated 256-bit mode. Both AES modes encrypt and secure the data on the SSD from unauthorized access -- just to different encryption standards.

Kingston is working with LSI to correct this and to ensure that future production of the aforementioned drives delivers 256-bit AES encryption mode.

SandForce 256-bit AES Encryption Limited to 128-bit, Fix En Route

Post acquisition, an audit by LSI reportedly discovered that the 256-bit AES native data encryption by SandForce SSD processors never was, and that the feature really just encrypted data with 128-bit AES. The problem has been resolved and a fix is in the works. LSI will share the fix with all SSD manufacturers with SandForce-based products, who could then release firmware updates to end-users.

Source: TheSSDReview

Biwin Announces NuvoDrive PX Enterprise Class 2.5" SATA III SSD

Biwin, an industry leader in flash storage products, today announced the NuvoDrive PX enterprise class 2.5 inch SATA III 6 Gbps SSD that supports up to 85,000 random write IOPS and features data loss protection in the event of sudden power failure.

NuvoDrive PX is based on the LSI SandForce SF-2582 Flash Storage Processor, which packs the vanguard of enterprise reliability features such as global wear leveling, NCQ support, SMART commands support, and an ECC engine capable of correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector.

OWC Demos Jupiter mini-SAS Shared SAN Solution at NAB

Other World Computing (OWC) http://www.macsales.com, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today it will showcase its new line of Jupiter mini-SAS shared storage solutions at NAB this week. Built upon the mini-SAS interface for blazing bandwidth up to 48 Gb/s, the Jupiter family of racks, towers, and workgroup switches combine the highest level of data sharing performance and scalable capacity of up to 3600 TB at a cost that is up to 6x less than fibre channel infrastructures.

The Jupiter mini-SAS solutions also offer straight-forward installation in Mac and Windows OS environments with the simplicity of direct attached storage (DAS) using a single cable connection. OWC will demonstrate the high performance and scalability of the Jupiter mini-SAS shared storage solution at its NAB booth #14110 in the lower level of the LVCC's South Hall.

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