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Crucial Intros 2 TB Version of its BX500 Series SATA SSD

Crucial has started shipping a 2 TB version of its famous, budget/minded BX500 Series of SATA SSDs. As pricing on NAND density has come down, it makes sense that budget solutions start to increase their capacities as well, since there is no longer a premium on new, advanced technologies. The Crucial BX500 2 TB model features the same 3D TLC NAND as the other capacities in Crucial's portfolio: 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory mated to an SMI SM2258XT DRAM-less controller.

Since it maintains the communication protocol (SATA), and the hardware is virtually unchanged except for higher densities, don't expect improved performance: the 2 TB drive is still rated for up to 540 MB/s reads and up to 500 MB/s writes. Pricing is set at $214 (or €241) for the 2 TB model, which means price per GB stands at roughly $0.10.

Micron Unveils 2200 Client-segment SSD, Ditches SMI for In-house Controller

Micron has curiously been releasing client-segment SSDs these recent weeks. The company's main brand was focused on enterprise products, while subsidiary brands Crucial and Ballistix catered to the client-segment. Following up on its late-February launch of the 1300-series client-segment SSDs, Micron unveiled the even faster 2200-series. These drives ditch Silicon Motion-sourced controllers in favor of a new controller Micron designed in-house. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, taking advantage of the NVMe protocol. This in-house controller is mated with Micron's 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, cushioned by its own LPDDR4 DRAM cache.

Available in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the Micron 2200 is rated to offer sequential transfer rates of up to 3000 MB/s reads, with up to 1600 MB/s writes, up to 240,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 210,000 IOPS 4K random writes, with an endurance rating of 75 TB, 150 TB, and 300 TB, for the 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB variants, respectively. Micron-exclusive features also make their way, such as native power-loss data-protection, and TCG Opal SED. The company hasn't revealed pricing or availability for these drives.

Crucial Intros 960GB Variant of BX500 SSD

Crucial late Thursday rolled out a 960 GB variant of its entry-level BX500 SATA SSD series (model: CT960BX500SSD1). The BX500 earlier came in capacities only up to 480 GB. The drive implements Micron's latest 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory mated to an SMI SM2258XT DRAM-less controller. Its rated performance is same as the 480 GB model, with up to 540 MB/s reads and up to 500 MB/s writes. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drive takes advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The drive is now selling for USD $129.99 ($0.13 per GB).

SSDs Are Cheaper Than Ever, Hit the Magic 10 Cents Per Gigabyte Threshold

It may be quite difficult to find bargains when it comes to DDR4 system memory or high-end graphics cards these days, but at least SSDs are more affordable now to help bandage that wound. This price drop of solid state storage has been happening throughout this year, and some units have reached a cost of 10 cents per gigabyte, a milestone difficult to have imagined a couple of years ago. The 2 TB variant of the Crucial MX500 SSD, for example, can be found now at $209, and those interested may want to check out our review of the 1 TB version before committing to a purchase.

This is great news already, but there is even better news coming as that cost will reportedly continue to drop. NAND flash could drop to $0.08 per gigabyte in 2019 according to some analysts, and some alternatives such as QLC drives from Samsung could push that trend even further. The traditional HDD market is also getting more inexpensive and better bang-for-your-buck, with a 2017 report from BackBlaze showed for example how cost per gigabyte was approaching $0.02 per gigabyte a year ago on some units. As always, price prediction reports tend to come out with the US market as a case study, but our own global TechPowerUp team is appreciating having more SSDs on deck for files and programs alike.

Micron 5210 ION SSD Now Generally Available

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced the next step towards market leadership for its quad-level cell (QLC) NAND technology with immediate broad market availability of the popular Micron 5210 ION enterprise SATA SSD, the world's first QLC SSD, which began shipping to select customers and partners in May of this year. Available through global distributors, the Micron 5210 ION enterprise SATA SSD further accelerates Micron's lead in the QLC market, enabling replacement of hard disk drives (HDDs) with SSDs and building on Micron's recent launch of the Crucial P1 NVMe QLC SSD for consumer markets.

Enterprise storage needs are increasing as data center applications deliver real-time user insights and intelligent and enhanced user experiences, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data and real-time analytics. At the same time, there is a growing consumer need for higher storage capacity to support digital experiences. QLC SSDs are uniquely designed to address these requirements.

SSD the Next Frontier for Cybersecurity: Vulnerabilities Found with Native Encryption

Compared to hard disk drives, the logic that makes solid-state drives (SSDs) tick is far more complex, involving a far more powerful SoC, complete with native storage, and sophisticated firmware that tells the controller where each bit of user data is physically stored across an array of NAND flash chips. Not surprisingly, the more sophisticated you make your SSD firmware, the more security vulnerabilities you leave, as cyber-security researchers at The Radboud University found out.

A research paper draft published by Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel tells us that hardware data encryption technologies built into modern SSDs are easy to bypass and recover protected data, rendering technologies such as TCG Opal useless. Most modern SSDs offer native data encryption, which encrypts data using popular methods such as AES, without posing an overhead for the host machine. "We found that many hardware implementations [of native encryption] have critical security weaknesses, for many models allowing for complete recovery of the data without knowledge of any secret."

Crucial Expands Server Memory Portfolio with First 32GB NVDIMM Offering

Crucial , a leading global consumer brand of Micron Technology for memory and storage upgrades, today announced a new 32GB Nonvolatile DIMM (NVDIMM) to help companies preserve critical data in the event of a system power loss and limit costly downtime. The first Crucial NVDIMM to operate at 2933 MT/s, the new module provides companies powerful and persistent memory performance while reducing the amount of NVDIMMs needed in a server.

In fast-paced business environments, sales and customer satisfaction are decided in milliseconds. Crucial NVDIMMs give organisations the advantage when data transactions hang in the balance by fusing memory with on-module NAND, providing near-instant access with data persistence. In the event of a system power loss, the NVDIMM would back up DRAM data to the NAND with help from an ultracapacitator, its backup power source. Crucial NVDIMMs are compatible with the latest 2.5 inch drive bay and HHHL PCIe AgigA Tech PowerGEM ultracapacitors, enabling continual power to up to four NVDIMMs during power loss until a backup is completed.

Crucial Announces the P1 M.2 NVMe SSD with QLC NAND Flash

Crucial, a leading consumer brand of Micron Technology for memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of the Crucial P1 SSD, a PC storage device that leverages the NVMe PCIe interface and Micron's leading-edge QLC technology to deliver fast capacity for less. This is an expansion of Crucial's award-winning portfolio of dependable, high-performing, and affordable SSDs.

The Crucial P1 SSD delivers category-leading, real-world performance. PCMark 8 benchmarks show that the drive is capable of mixed-mode throughputs of up to 565 MB/s, with a composite score of 5,084, which outperforms similar SSDs within the price category. With sequential read/write speeds up to 2,000/1,700 MB/s, the P1 provides unwavering performance via hybrid-dynamic write acceleration, a unique SLC cache implementation. The drive offers an MTTF of 1.8 million hours and an endurance of up to 200 TB total bytes written, with power usage at an active average of 100mW.

Crucial Announces New BX500 Series of Entry Level SSDs

Crucial has become one of the biggest players in the consumer SSD market due to their excellent price/capacity/performance ratios (their SSDs consistently score highly in our own resident wizard's reviews for some reason, after all). Now, the company is looking to lower price/GB even more as it launches the BX500 series to the market - available in capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB using Micron 3D NAND chips.

Yes, it's a SATA III SSD. And yes, the SATA III connector really is a limiting factor in this SSD's performance - but remember that SATA III controllers are much less costly than NVMe implementations. Sequential performance is rated for up to 540MB/s read and 500MB/s write (4K performance is sadly absent). The whole plethora of usual SSD technologies are here as well - multi-step data integrity algorithm, thermal monitoring, SLC write acceleration, active garbage collection, TRIM support, self-monitoring and reporting technology (SMART) and error correction code (ECC)... For the pricing, these are likely of the DRAM-less variety of SSDs, which means SLC caching is of utmost importance for performance. But pricing really is some of the lowest ever - Crucial is quoting $29.99 for the 120 GB model, $49.99 for the 240 GB one and $89.99 for 480 GB worth of BX500 storage. Crucial will start shipping out orders on August 31st.

Crucial DDR4-2933 Registered DIMMs Now Available

Crucial , a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of DDR4 2933 MT/s Registered DIMM server modules, a new offering in its server memory product portfolio. Designed to keep servers running at full speed and peak efficiency in support of Intel's next-generation Xeon processor product families, the new RDIMM modules enable IT users to get the most out of their server infrastructure deployments.

"Our new DDR4 2933 MT/s RDIMMs are designed to deliver the speed required to maximise the memory throughput in the next generation of servers," says Teresa Kelley, VP & GM, Micron Consumer Products Group. "Today's data centres are running memory intensive applications that require a higher degree of overall system performance, and our new RDIMM modules were designed to meet this next level of system performance."

Crucial Ballistix Sport AT Gaming Memory Now Available

Ballistix, a leading global brand of gaming memory, today announced the immediate availability of Ballistix Sport AT memory in support of ASUS' TUF Gaming Alliance. Developed as a collaboration between ASUS, Ballistix, and other trusted industry partners, TUF Gaming Alliance ensures easier building, the best compatibility, and complementary aesthetics from components to cases.

"Our TUF Gaming Alliance relationship with Ballistix, the memory brand of choice for so many gamers, offers customers and partners an exciting new product for PC builds," said Sharon Pan, Division Director of the ASUS Motherboard Channel PM Department. "On the heels of all the positive feedback at Computex 2018, we're looking forward to a successful collaboration with Ballistix as we continue to create products that excel in both performance and aesthetics."

Micron Provides Statement on Fujian Province Patent Litigation

(Editor's Note: We'll see if this statement from Micron is enough to staunch the bleeding on its shares - which it should, since the company says no recognizable impact will exist on its bottom line. If things are as they seem (and yet, they seldom are), this is a checkmate move from Chinese manufacturing companies - eventually supported by the Chinese government - and an interesting way to lock China's voracious DRAM and NAND market to fully domestic manufacturers.)

Micron Technology, Inc., announced that the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court, Fujian Province, China today notified two Chinese subsidiaries of Micron that it has granted a preliminary injunction against those entities in patent infringement cases filed by United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (Jinhua). The patent infringement claims of UMC and Jinhua were filed against Micron in retaliation for criminal indictments filed by Taiwan authorities against UMC and three of its employees and a civil lawsuit filed by Micron against UMC and Jinhua in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for the misappropriation of Micron trade secrets.

Micron Ready With 96-Layer Flash & 1Y nm DRAM in 2H 2018

In their recent earnings call, Micron commented that they have 96-layer 3D NAND technology on track for volume shipments in the second half of 2018. Most of today's SSDs typically use 32-layer technology, with 64-layer flash chips used in some recent releases like the Crucial MX500. 96-layer is the third generation of 3D NAND and increases storage capacity per chip even further which allows smaller and more energy efficient mobile devices to be built. Of course it will be cheaper too, compared to current-generation 64 layer NAND, which should bring SSD pricing down even more, and of course generally help pricing of consumer products which use flash memory.

The second important note from the presentation is that Micron expects 1X nm (18 nm) DRAM production to exceed that of previous generations before the end of this year. Their next-generation 1Y nm (15/16 nm) DRAM is on track to begin production shipments in the second half of 2018, too. As they noted in a previous event, their product and process roadmap for DRAM 1z looks solid and 1-alpha development programs already under way.

First Crucial MX500 Firmware Update Released

Crucial has released the first new firmware for their smash-hit MX500 Series SSD, which is among the fastest and most affordable drives on the market (our reviews: 500 GB, 1 TB, 1 TB M.2).

The Crucial website lists the following improvements in the changelog:
  • Improved ready time from DEVSLP low-power state.
  • Improved TRIM and Wear Leveling performance.
  • Improved SATA error handing.
  • Improved compatibility with some TCG Opal 2.0 third-party encryption utilities (this change does not affect MS BitLocker).

Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory Now Available

Ballistix, a leading global brand of gaming memory, today announced the availability of Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 memory. The new Tactical Tracer RGB modules, available in 8GB and 16GB densities with speeds up to 3000 MT/s, allow gamers to light up their systems with 16 RGB LEDs in 8 zones on each module. PC modders can customise their system's look by removing the Ballistix-labeled light bar for maximum brightness, or 3D printing their own light bar to truly leave their mark on their memory.

"A lot of the members in our community love to personalise their gaming rigs and the new Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 modules help achieve just the style they are looking for," said Jim Jardine, Director of DRAM Product Marketing. "Having an RGB module with a removable light bar that enables you to custom-make your own system gives system builders the best options for customisation and personalisation."

Crucial Starts Selling MX500 2.5-inch SSD Models

Crucial started selling all four models of its premium SATA SSD, the MX500. The drive was launched earlier this month. It comes in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variants; and in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gbps interface. M.2-2280 variants with SATA interface, which were shown off at the 2018 International CES, could launch a little later this year. The 250 GB variant is priced (MSRP) at USD $79.99 ($0.31 per GB), the 500 GB variant at $139.99 ($0.27 per GB), the 1 TB variant $259.99 ($0.25 per GB), and the range-topping 2 TB variant $499.99 ($0.24 per GB). All four models come with 5-year warranties.

Crucial MX500 combines Micron's 2nd generation 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory with a Silicon Motion SM2258 controller, and a custom firmware by Crucial. The NAND flash chips by design offer the same levels of power-loss protection as drives that need capacitor banks to do so. Among its features are Dynamic Write Acceleration (SLC-cached writes), and Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN). All four variants offer sequential transfer rates of up to 560 MB/s with up to 510 MB/s writes, and 4K random access performance ratings of up to 95,000/91,000 IOPS (reads/writes).

Crucial Shows Off Its MX500 M.2 SATA SSD

Crucial at CES 2018 has unveiled their M.2 version fo the prize-winning MX500 drive (you can read TPU's review of the MX500 2.5" drive here). The new M.2 SATA SSDs bring a much needed form-factor for Crucial's SSD line, with capacities ranging from 250 GB, passing through 500 GB, and ending in the 1 TB mark. All capacities have the same performance rating: 560 MB/s sequential read, 510 MB/s sequential writes, 90K random write and 95K random read IOPS.

Crucial Launches the MX500 Solid State Drive

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of the Crucial MX500 SSD. The new drive features second generation Micron 3D NAND technology and is 45 times more energy efficient than a typical hard drive. Available in capacities up to 2TB in the 2.5-inch form factor and up to 1TB in the M.2 form factor, the MX500 has sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95K/90K IOPS.

"This next generation MX500 SSD features a stackable 64-layer, 256-gigabit component. Micron's floating gate NAND is designed with CMOS Under the Array (CUA), which allows us to minimize the footprint of the die. At 59 square millimeters, it's among the world's smallest 256-gigabit die," said Jon Tanguy, Crucial Senior SSD Product Engineer. "Our engineering team has incorporated this leading-edge NAND technology in an SSD that includes all the advanced features Crucial customers have come to expect to keep their data safe."

Crucial 128 GB DDR4 LRDIMM Server Memory Now Available

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of 128GB DDR4 LRDIMMs, a new offering in its server memory product portfolio. The 128GB DDR4 LRDIMM is the highest density server memory module that Crucial has offered to date, and with speeds starting at 2666 MT/s, the new DDR4 server memory modules increase the installed memory capacity per server to help maximize CPU and server hardware capabilities.

Memory-dependent server applications like virtualization, in-memory database computing, and high-performance computing (HPC) require massive amounts of available RAM. These new server modules support a number of memory-intensive computing applications, such as Microsoft SQL, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, VMware VDI, Cloudera, Hortonworks and SAP HANA. Additionally, each module is 100 percent component- and module-tested to mission-critical server standards, ensuring quality from start to finish through a 34-stage manufacturing process and more than 100 tests and verifications. For qualified customers, the 128 GB LRDIMM server modules are also backed by the Crucial Reliance Program.

Crucial Announces the BX300 Solid-state Drive

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of a new offering in its solid state drive product portfolio: BX300. It combines Micron 3D NAND with a value-conscious design to deliver the features DIY upgraders and builders are looking for. The new SSD includes 3D MLC NAND in a 2.5-inch form factor drive, and is available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities.

Upgrading from a traditional hard drive to a solid state drive has never been easier. The Crucial Advisor tool helps users determine a compatible upgrade based on their system's manufacturer, make, and model. Supporting the BX300 is Crucial's mobile-friendly install guide so users of all technical ability levels are armed with the straightforward, step-by-step information they need to successfully install an SSD. Data migration is also simplified with free access to Acronis True Image HD software.

Samsung 850 Pro SSD Reaches End of Life With 9100 TB Written

No, that isn't a major typo on this article's headline. According to print magazine c't, who conducted a test bench consisting of two pieces each of OCZ's TR150, Crucial's BX 200, Samsung's 750 Evo, Samsung's 850 Pro, SanDisk's Extreme Pro and SanDisk's Ultra II, the last SSD to actually give out the last breath was Samsung's 256 GB 850 Pro, with a staggering 9100 TB (that's 9.1 Petabytes) written. This is well beyond Samsung's suggested longevity for this particular SSD, which stands at 150 TBW.

The first particular model to give out was one of Crucial's BX 200, at 187 TBW (still more than twice over the manufacturer's 80 TBW). The second model to fail was the second Crucial BX 200, at 280 TBW. The remaining SSDs apparently died after a power peak (unclear whether a surge or a spike), save for the Pro models, in the form of SanDisk's Extreme Pro and Samsung's 850 Pro (it seems those Pro-oriented features do serve some purpose, eh?.) One of these SanDisk Extreme Pro models lasted for about 2,200 TBW, the same amount of writes the first Samsung 850 Pro model endured. However, the second Samsung 850 Pro broke through all records with its total 9,100 TB written. Naturally, these are interesting and impressive overall results, but they can't really be counted upon as being statistically significant; two models each aren't enough to achieve a representation of the tested SSD models' endurance. However, this also probably means that save a defect on your SSD's manufacturing, you can count on it for a considerable amount of writes.

Crucial Readies the BX300 Mainstream SSD

Crucial is giving final touches to its next-generation mainstream SATA SSDs, under the BX300 series. A follow-up to its MX300 series, the BX300 series will be launched later this Summer. The drives combine a Marvell-made controller with Micron 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and likely come in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. Crucial will sell these drives only in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, initially. While the company didn't talk about performance, it mentioned that the drives offer "SATA-saturating performance," meaning that at least its sequential reads could be around the 530 MB/s mark (that of the MX300), if not higher. With the BX300, Crucual is launching a new multi-media SSD install tutorial website that's made as simple to understand as possible, so anyone with a screwdriver can replace their HDD with a new SSD.

Crucial DDR4 2666MT/s DIMMs Boost Server Performance

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of its latest DDR4 server DIMMs. With speeds of 2666 MT/s, new Crucial DDR4 server memory modules allow for increased performance and bandwidth within data centres and hyperscale environments. They are also available in a variety of server module types and densities ranging from 8GB to 64GB.

New Crucial 2666 MT/s 8Gb-based server memory modules are approximately 11 percent faster than the previously released 2400 MT/s DIMMs. Additionally, the newly expanded portfolio of Crucial server memory will support cloud and enterprise environments that are migrating to next-generation Intel server platforms.

Crucial's Ballistix is Now its Own Brand of PC Gaming Hardware

The Ballistix sub-brand of Crucial, Micron Technology's consumer products subsidiary, is now its own brand, and no longer labeled next to Crucial. The Ballistix Gaming brand will now include PC gaming hardware, including memory (RAM), and perhaps even SSDs and gaming peripherals in the future. Ballistix products will be targeted at DIY gaming PC builders and enthusiasts.

Commenting on the story, Crucial stated: "Ballistix is now it's own defined brand, becoming a sibling to Crucial (previously a sub-brand). For more than a decade, Ballistix has injected speed and style into PC gaming in a way that can't be imitated. As the only major brand of gaming memory that builds and tests products from start to finish, Ballistix brings you the proven performance and reliability that pro gamers build with. Ballistix performance memory (RAM) is designed to give the upper hand to gamers, performance enthusiasts, and overclockers."

Crucial Scraps the Ballistix TX3 PCIe SSD

Crucial today, in a statement to TechPowerUp stated that it has canceled the Ballistix TX3 PCIe solid-state drive launch. The company canceled the product on the basis of "prioritization of company resources and investments." The company however stated that it will continue to develop SSD products that target the gamer-enthusiast market that the Ballistix TX3 PCIe was intended for. "We are, however, continuing to explore potential opportunities for future gaming products and will provide an update as new plans are formalized," the company stated.

Crucial first unveiled the Ballistix TX3 at the 2016 Computex Expo, where it demonstrated its M.2 variants. The drives combined Silicon Motion's new SMI2260H processor with Micron-made 3D MLC NAND flash memory. The drive took advantage of 32 Gb/s PCIe and the new NVMe protocol to offer transfer rates up to four times higher than current performance-segment SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs.
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