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Samsung churning out faster 256GB SSDs

It boasts that the drives are twice as fast as earlier models

November 20, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Samsung Electronics today announced that it is mass-producing 256GB solid-state disk drives that deliver double the performance rate of its earlier 64GB and 128GB drives. The new SSDs are designed for use in laptop and desktop PCs and are available for resellers today.

Samsung said it has been able to narrow the disparity between read and write speeds on the drive from previous models to about 10%. That yields a sequential read rate of 220MB/sec. and sequential write rates of 200MB/sec.

The company said it was also able to increase the erase cycles, allowing for the entire drive to be rewritten faster. Previously, Samsung's SSDs required data blocks marked for deletion to be erased only when data was ready to be written. Now the blocks are erased as they are marked for deletion.

According to Steven Peng, SSD technical marketing manager at Samsung, the additional speed in the new drives is achieved through multichannel interleaving (eight channels total), "though the basic architecture remains unchanged. "However, there are design improvements such as optimized firmware, and improvements to the controller," he said.

In September, Intel launched its first SSD, the X25, which has up to 80GB of capacity and uses 10 parallel channels to achieve an average read speed of 230.2MB/sec.

Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung, said the new 256GB drive can store 25 high-definition movies taking up 10GB of space each in just 21 minutes, which he said is a significant advancement over a 7200rpm hard disk drive, which takes about 70 minutes.

"Furthermore, the 256GB SSD launches applications 10 times faster than the fastest 7200rpm notebook HDD," Samsung said in a statement.

Samsung's 256GB SSD is also available with optional proprietary encryption.

Samsung would not release the price of the drive because, it said, the product is targeted at the reseller market and those vendors would have to determine the mark up for the drive in their desktops and laptops.

Read more about Data Storage in Computerworld's Data Storage Topic Center.

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