Samsung to release its fastest 512GB notebook SSD

It claims the drive boots nine times faster than hard disk drives

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. next month plans to begin shipping its first solid-state drive (SSD) to use toggle-mode DDR (double data rate) NAND to achieve higher performance for laptops and high-end PCs.

The new 512GB drive has a maximum data read rate of 250MB/sec. and a sequential write rate of 220MB/sec.

"At these speeds, two standard length (approximately 4GB each) DVD movies can be stored in just a minute," Samsung said in a statement today.

By comparison, Intel's X25-M consumer-class SSD has a sequential read speed of 250MB/sec and a write speed of 70MB/sec., according to the company's specifications sheet.

Intel interleaves 10 parallel NAND flash channels to achieves its high performance, along with Native Command Queuing, which enable up to 32 concurrent operations.

According to Gregory Wong, an analyst with market research firm Forward Insights, Samsung's toggle mode NAND uses a synchronous interface as opposed to an asynchronous interface of standard NAND, thereby permitting a higher bandwidth.

"In order to achieve the performance, they don't need to run as many chips in parallel so there should be power savings," he said. "They're limited by the SATA 3Gbit/sec interface so they can't get much faster. If they went to SATA 6Gbit/sec, then it'd be much faster."

Samsung is using a 30-nanometer (nm) lithography technology to develop NAND flash chips with 32Gbit capacity that are combined to achieve the high overall capacity of the drive.

Samsung said it has gained power efficiency through its new controller, specifically for toggle-mode DDR NAND. The resulting power throttling capability enables allows for high performance without any increase in power consumption over the 40nm-class 16Gbit chip NAND-based 256GB SSD it has sold previously.

Samsung said the new SSD will deliver faster OS boot time and application access, "showing an approximately nine-fold improvement in random performance over hard disk drive."

The new 512GB SSD comes native with 256bit AES data encryption algorithm for security. The drive also takes advantage of Windows 7's TRIM feature, which allows the operating system to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer in use so that it will not waste time attempting to access them.

The new controller also analyzes frequency of use and preferences of the user to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook's battery life for an hour or more, the company said.

Dong-Soo Jun, executive vice president of memory marketing for Samsung Electronics, said the "state-of-the-art toggle DDR" technology "will enable Samsung to play a major role in securing faster market acceptance of the new wave of high-end SSD technology."

Pricing for the new drive was not immediately available.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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