Posts Tagged 'state'

Price is Right

Get ready for a price adjustment. Affordable SSD’s will soon be on the way. JMicron’s new NAND flash controller could cut prices of solid state drives in half. The JMF612 chip design suits the current generation of flash chips utilizing smaller process geometries. The new chips are smaller, faster, and most importantly cheaper to manufacture. Intel and Micron are working on building 34nm NAND flash chips while Samsung and Toshiba are following closely behind. The cheap controller board combined with newer higher density flash memory add up to a widely affordable storage unit by late Fall. Look for many data centers to convert to solid state technology later this year. (link)

Longterm SSD performance in question

Solid state drives in test runs have vastly outperformed traditional hard drives. However new information now shows that SSD performance drops off in the long run. Out of the box, shiny new SSDs blow SATA drives away in read/write speed tests. Previous logic seemed to imply that SSDs did not suffer from the same problems older hard drives do but some of the same problems still exists. Data fragmentation is one of them. Drive performance as more capacity is used. As well as write cycle wear slowing drive performance. Through extended tests SSDs still perform faster than mechanical hard drives and the added power efficiency is a nice bonus if you have a large data center, however the cost vs performance is still debatable. A whole hearted switch to solid state technology is probably not advised at this point as the cost factor still is unattainable for most companies. On a small scale solid state drives are still worth a test drive for the ultra mobile employees. Bottom line: it’s still a wait and see game.

Now that’s fast

This is a technology that really peaks my interest. Well at least 2 technologies that combine to make something even more interesting. Solid state drives and PCI express architecture combined to produce super high performance enterprise hardware. Is it fast? Try 1.5 Gbytes/s sustained data transfer. Now, that’s damn fast. Slapping SSD technology on to other PC components opens up a whole new area of application for storage. How about a motherboard with built in SSD chips for either backup purposes or OS installations? How about video cards pre-packed with video games installed on the card? Can’t beat that, plus you’ve got the video card optimized for running the game. Sound cards with a built in iTunes library? Or how about smaller capacity SSDs stored right on the PCB of hard drives for data recovery purposes? Sure, it will lead to more expensive drives but you’d always have a copy of your data stored on the SSD. Just remove it from the PCB and put into a reader.

Economy to slow technology advancement?

Yes, the economy in shambles. Not just our economy, everyone’s. Company layoffs, left and right. I said to myself at the beginning of it all that “if Google starts laying off people, we’re all in trouble.” Sure enough that happened last month, Microsoft too, and a lot of others are handing out pink slips. Chip makers, hardware manufacturers, basically every gadget company you can think of has been affected by this. SSD making Spansion filed for bankruptcy protection. Which leaves me to think other solid state hard drive makers may soon follow suit.

Will technology advancement suffer from this slowdown? Solid state drives on the cusp of making it into mainstream computers might have taken a step backwards. Less research and development, high cost, questionable long term performance, all issues in holding back this technology. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come.

What about hybrid and electric vehicles? Cost is still an issue, automakers are in a financial crunch. Mere survival is the daily issue, forget making that new fancy green affordable vehicle for the masses. Certainly investing in environmentally friendly expensive technologies is last on the agenda. How will Obama lead the world through this crisis?

Are you switching to SSD in the new year?

SSD’s have been all the rage this year. First popping up in UMPC’s and quietly splashing on to the data storage scene. Despite high prices the demand has kept steadily growing. Die hard traditionalists have dug in and remained loyal to hard drives but that may soon change in the new year. Capacities have grown larger and affordable. Enterprise level storage is still on the horizon. Making the switch to SSD technology would have vast financial repercussions for many companies. Perhaps the when the economy gets back on track you will notice corporations making the switch.

Performance wise SSD is the hands down winner. Some may argue the price versus performance for the home user but consumers have proven they are willing to pay for convenience, especially when it comes to technology. Tie that together with a hard drive crash in the new year and you will have droves of home users abandoning their Seagate’s and Western Digitals. Bow to the new technology king of data storage. Solid State Drives.

SSDs: Western Digital says “maybe”

Up to this point neither Seagate or Western Digital has decided to dip into the SSD market … yet. Seagate has definitely ruled it out for the time being however Western Digital is open to idea, if an opportunity should present itself. So what does this tell us? WD isn’t investing in SSD development and has no plans to. Perhaps a bit of reverse engineering and tinkering but nothing officially on the books. On the other hand this might open the door for WD to buy up one of the smaller guys and get into the market on a mass scale, providing the price is right. Who knows? Maybe WD and Seagate will get into a bidding war over some small SSD company. Until then, looks like solid state drives will stay pricey. Stay tuned.

SSD’s: it’s all about the money

Seagate Technologies recently reaffirmed that it has no plans to get into the SSD market and produce drives. For them, while interesting, and SSD venture at this time has not proven to be a money maker and Seagate claims that other manufacturers are losing money making and selling the product. Instead of getting into the game (too late) Seagate plans on developing a hybrid SSD drive with elements of current hard drive technology. Sounds like they are trying to make their own market for drives after missing the boat on SSD’s.

Let’s see, greener, faster, and physically smaller drives? Maybe the growth numbers don’t tell the whole story about the financial portion but people are buying them and so are companies. It’s expected that SSD’s will remain a small portion of overall data storage solution but there definitely appears to be an enterprise market for these devices.

Also good news for Windows lovers. Windows 7 is expected to take full advantage of SSD technology and should be optimized for maximum performance. Hmm, wonder if OS X has anything like that planned for the next release?

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