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CES: BitMicro preps 832GB solid state drive for launch

Beta testing of 2.5-in. SATA flash drive starts this summer, availability set by year-end

By Brian Fonseca
January 7, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - BitMicro Networks Inc. today will announce that it is putting the finishing touches on an 832GB version of its E-Disk Altima 2.5-in. Serial ATA flash solid-state drive.

Manufacturers can begin testing the new solid-state disk drive this summer, according to Fremont, Calif.-based Bit Micro. The device is slated to start shipping in volume by late-2008, the company added.

Bit Micro would not disclose pricing plans for the new drive.

The vendor was set to unveil the NAND flash storage drive Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2008 show in Las Vegas.

BitMicro's E-Disk Altima 2.5-in. Serial ATA flash solid-state drive.
BitMicro's E-Disk Altima.

The new E-Disk Altima drive will provide sustained rates of up to 100MB/sec. and up to 20,000 I/O operations per second, BitMicro said. The device features a SATA 3Gbit/sec. interface and is built with multilevel cell NAND flash storage technology, the company said.

Although exorbitant prices have thus far slowed corporate demand for diskless solid-state technology, storage experts predict  that 2008 should see an upswing of flash memory adoption as a result of growing data center demands for better drive performance. Analysts say that benefits of solid-state drives over traditional spinning hard disks include lower power consumption and better durability, as well as better I/O performance.

Still, given that vendors such as BitMicro and Micron Technology Inc. have touted plans for new solid-state products and hard disk manufacturers, including Toshiba Corp., have announced intentions to enter the flash-based storage marketplace, analysts say that businesses will continue to exhibit extreme caution in adopting solid-state technology.

"[Businesses] don't need early [solid-state] failures. If you get a black eye, that's hard to overcome, so they're going to be very careful," adding flash-based storage, said Dave Reinsel, an analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.



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