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March 13, 2007

SanDisk: 32GB Solid State Drive

SanDisk is first to market with Solid State Disks in 2.5″ cases. This is huge, people!Solid State Drive

It may seem like very little storage for a hard drive in the news – but there is one very large advantage: it’s all flash storage! No moving platters, clacking drive heads, or spinning bearings… just the silence and security of flash ram.

Companies like IBM and Apple have had to include special hardware to detect the tilt and acceleration of their laptops so that the computer could stop the hard drive before it hit something hard and caused the drive heads to scrape the platters.

iPods and laptops with hard drives are taken with pilots above altitudes of 15k feet – only to find out their hard drives have failed for lack of air density. Another weakness in the hard drive design, it requires a certain amount of air to cause the drive heads to hover over the spinning platters. When you get in thinner altitudes, the drive heads crash into the platters ruining the drive beyond repair.

Oh, and did I mention power?
Your laptop probably pretty power hungry – my ThinkPad R52 in a “power saving” mode chews on about 21 watts of power. With a little tweaking and disabling wireless, and back lite I can get it to about 15 watts. Well, this SSD will shave off another watt of power usage – 7% longer charger.

SanDisk SSD UATA 5000 achieves a sustained read rate of 62-megabyte (MB)*/sec and a random read rate of 7000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer – more than 100 times faster than any hard disk drive.

These performance figures boost system performance. For instance, SanDisk SSD UATA 5000 can boot Microsoft Windows® Vista™ Enterprise on a laptop in as little as 35 seconds. SanDisk SSD achieves an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds.

But who needs more time, when you have a drive that is 100 times faster? The speed increases alone make it worthy of putting into server production for caching database and web content.

The result of this new use of old technology is only going to get faster, smaller, and cheaper. You may not see a new Powerbook or ThinkPad rolling off the production lines with 32GB SS drives, but it won’t be very long for SanDisk or a competitor to double or quadruple this storage space in the next year or two.

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