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Samsung introduces first 1TB miniSATA SSD

The new 840 EVO mSATA SSD is 60% thinner than a standard 2.5-in notebook drive

December 9, 2013 01:52 PM ET

Computerworld - While most laptops rely on 2.5-in drive formats, ultra-thin PCs use 1.8-in drives, which have limited the capacity such products can offer.

Samsung Electronics moved to alleviate the limitations today by unveiling a high capacity solid-state drive (SSD) line aimed at ultra-thins. The new drives offer up to 1TB of capacity in a 1.8-in, mini-SATA (mSATA) format.

The 840 EVO mSATA SSD is an extension of Samsung's 840 EVO 2.5-in drive line introduced last summer. The new SSD compact mSATA form factor is about a quarter size of a 2.5-inch SSD.

mSATA
A 1.8-in, mSATA SSD in front of a MacBook Pro laptop

The 840 EVO line offers Samsung's highest performing SSDs. It's previously announced 1TB, 2.5-in version offered up to three times the performance of its last SSD lineup.

The new 1.8-in mSATA 840 EVO line offers the same: Read speeds of up to 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds.

Besides the 1TB model, the 840 EVO mSATA SSD line-up is available in 120GB (GB), 250GB, 500GB. The drives operate on Samsung's proprietary controller and TurboWrite firmware. The 1TB version of the drive offers up to 98,000 random read and 90,000 random write IOPS (Input Output Operations Per Second) .

"With the new mSATA SSD line-up... consumers can enjoy high storage volume and performance on ultra-slim notebooks besides desktop PCs," Unsoo Kim, senior vice president of Samsung's memory brand product marketing, said in a statement.

The new drives will be available later this month, Samsung said.

The new 840 EVO mSATA SSD also uses Samsung's advanced 128Gbit NAND flash memory that's based on 10-nanometer to 19-nanometer process technology.

To form a 1TB SSD, four flash memory packages are used, each with 16 layers of 128Gb chips. The 1TB mSATA SSD is about 3.85 millimeters thick, about 40% the thickness of a 2.5-in SSD. The drive weight is about 1/12 that of a 2.5-in hard disk drive.

The new 840 EVO mSATA SSD supports DEVSLP, a software algorithm from Samsung that allows for constant updating and instant wake-up, as well as low power consumption. The drive also supports advanced security compatibility through TCG/Opal, MS Encrypted Hard Drive.

Samsung also unveiled its latest SSD software update -- Magician 4.3. The update brings two upgrades to the new SSD line as well as Samsung's current SSD product lineup. The upgrades include RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) Mode and encryption through the use of 256-bit AES keys.

RAPID, Samsung's performance-enhancement firmware, enables host-level read acceleration and write optimization by utilizing free DRAM system memory to boost overall PC performance. Previously, RAPID was only available on the 840 EVO. Bringing the software to the 840 PRO and the mSATA 840 SSD will boost storage subsystem performance beyond that allowed by the SATA 3.0 interface, Samsung said in a statement.

Using RAPID, the mSATA drive can achieve a maximum of more than 1,000MB/s sequential read speed, which is a performance level of approximately twice that of a typical SATA SSD and 10 times of an average HDD.

Data can be moved to the new SSD using SamsungData Migration of Samsung Magivian 4.3.

Users can download Magician 4.3 from Samsung's website.

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

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