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Data Storage Upgrades Hardware

Toshiba To Launch First 512GB Solid State Drive 256

Posted by timothy
from the bits-o'-plenty dept.
designperfection9 writes "Toshiba said Thursday that it will show off a new line up of NAND-flash-based solid state drives with the industry's first 2.5-inch 512GB SSD. The drive is based on a 43 nanometer Multi-Level Cell NAND and claims to offer a high level of performance and endurance for use in notebooks as well as gaming and home entertainment systems."
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Toshiba To Launch First 512GB Solid State Drive

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  • Random read/write? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:24PM (#26164487) Homepage Journal
    I only see numbers for sequential access (240MB/s read, 200MB/s write). I don't suppose anyone knows how it does for random read/write speed?
  • MythTV (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:27PM (#26164533)

    It's my intention to grab one of those Toshiba systems once they start shipping. I hope that a Solid State Drive will be able to handle the constant read/write operations associated with MythTV.

    Some folks here at Slashdot, have suggested that SSDs are not a good choice for applications like MythTV. This time, I will prove for myself.

  • hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kabocox (199019) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:35PM (#26164661)

    I hate not to be all positive about this, but I'd much rather the prices drop rather than the sizes get bigger. Then again this is a huge sized solid state drive. I wonder if it is actually worth it. I'd like to see some real numbers comparing these drives to normal laptop drives.

    A part of me also wonders when something like this will be thrown into the next ipod or DVR. It'll most likely be a price thing that determines it.

  • Re:MythTV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @04:51PM (#26164913)

    I don't understand why you would do that.

    I currently run my computer system off solar panels. They (SSDs) consume less power as compared to systems that have hard disks. FYI, I live deep in the country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @05:11PM (#26165255)

    No, it was a Christian tradition not to loan out money at interest, which is why the Jews became moneylenders in the first place. In Islam, it's still forbidden to lend money at interest.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @05:26PM (#26165497) Journal

    16GB is available on microSD, and I've seen adapters which allow them to slip into a USB slot with almost zero protrusion (http://www.amazon.com/DATA-MICRO-Reader-microSD-interface/dp/B000VE2PCG). Speed isn't great - 48Mbps - but your just booting the OS, and maybe a small app or two, right? If you can go a smidge bigger, 64GB SD are expected "soon." Speed is still low, but many lappys have an SD specific slot (which would also work with a microSD-SD adapter, of course)

    Finally if you really need more space, 100GB is available on CF (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08092306pretec_64gb_100gb_cf.asp). Speed is much better - up to 400Mbps. You can even get a CF to SATA/2.5HDD adapter (http://www.buyextras.com/criococsaadr.html?gclid=CKrE2LWLy5cCFQsaHgod5TIDTQ) for $15. There are 2-CF options out there, but the ones I saw were maxed at 32GB/CF.

    So go out there and fire up that system with what exists. No need to wait for the manufacturers to put all the pieces together.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Thursday December 18, 2008 @05:50PM (#26165869) Homepage Journal
    Star trek(in this case, The Next Generation) is popular because, in spite of its message of universal peace, there are still many thinly-veiled racial stereotypes. You're only scratching the surface:

    Ferengi: Jews. Large-nosed, money-hoarding, shrewd businessmen.
    Klingons: Blacks. Ill-tempered, dark-skinned, and comparitively primitive; they believe that all problems can be solved using force.
    Starfleet/the Federation: Analagous to garden-variety Caucasians. The most pragmatic and well-rounded of the bunch and that is, oddly enough, reflected in the depiction of the diversity of races within Starfleet.
    Vulcans: Asians. The most sensible and rational, valuing logic over emotion.
    Romulans: Russians, i.e. Asians gone wrong.
  • by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @06:14PM (#26166147)
    IIRC, Islam also forbids the lending of money at interest. Whereas we in the U.S. are used to a lender taking a security interest in property purchased with the help of a loan, people who subscribe to faiths where lending at interest is forbidden solve the problem by the lender taking a depreciating ownership interest in the property, sharing proportionately in it's change in value (up or down), while the loan is being paid off. The purchaser's monthly payment goes partially toward purchasing more of the property and partially toward renting the part s/he does not own. Rather clever actually.
  • by causality (777677) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @06:58PM (#26166713)

    IIRC, Islam also forbids the lending of money at interest. Whereas we in the U.S. are used to a lender taking a security interest in property purchased with the help of a loan, people who subscribe to faiths where lending at interest is forbidden solve the problem by the lender taking a depreciating ownership interest in the property, sharing proportionately in it's change in value (up or down), while the loan is being paid off. The purchaser's monthly payment goes partially toward purchasing more of the property and partially toward renting the part s/he does not own. Rather clever actually.

    Don't you love it when people get really clever at following the words of a law for the purpose of evading the spirit of a law?

    While I'm sure that there are also moral reasons for it, the prohibitions against lending money at interest found in various religions really seem to be designed to prevent a house-of-cards situation like what the USA currently has with the Federal Reserve, where dollars represent debt, not wealth, and paying off all debt would mean no money in circulation, not that you could even do this because the system inherently has more debt than it has dollars in circulation since interest is attached to the money the moment it is created. Just like the religious prohibitions against eating i.e. pork had a real function of preventing food-borne illness for ancient people who could not have known what bacteria/viruses/microscopic parasites are, it fascinates me to wonder whether the prohibition against lending money at interest had a real function of preventing a house-of-cards economy for ancient people who could not have known what centralized banking systems are.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @07:15PM (#26166897)

    > The only way around this is to move into the "insanely smart" wear-leveling that will actually move data when the drive is otherwise idle to re-balance the sector write counts. You wouldn't want to do this during actual write requests, as it would slow them down even more than they are now. AFAIK, no SSD does this.

    Actually, a lot of SSD's do. It's called "Static Wear-leveling".

    In the SSD world, there are currently 2 tiers of technologies:

    On the lower end, you have SSD's that are basically glorified CF cards (CF cards, after all, are miniature solid state drives). These drives can have very good sequential transfer speed, but are slow in random write IO, that's because they are extension of the CF technology, and therefore are optimized for the typical CF card applications. A lot of companies' first generation SSD's are of this type, because the CF technology is very mature, and A LOT of people know how to do it.

    On the higher tier, you have SSD's that are designed from the ground-up to be PC hard drives. They should (I hope by now) have all the bells and whistles, such as static wear-leveling and may be a little dram cache thrown in. While their random write IO may still be pretty crappy (because of the flash erase-before-write limitation), they should be at least acceptable, or at least as good as a hard disk drive.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @08:57PM (#26167923) Homepage Journal

    Tosiba's Brand New 550GB* drive.

    *1GB = 1,000 MB

    In my experience, consumer flash memory products such as USB pen drives, CF cards, and SD cards actually have their stated capacity available. For instance, I bought a 512 MB CF card that had 512,000,000 bytes; I guessed that the other 5% of the underlying 512 MiB chip was spare sectors used by the wear leveling scheme. (CF is just a parallel ATA SSD in a smaller form factor.) Likewise, if this SSD has 7% spare sectors, it would have 512 GB available out of 512 GiB.

  • by lgw (121541) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:09PM (#26168383) Journal

    limitation of the interface of sata/scsi/everything-else than with the medium

    When everyone in the chain supports asynchronous reads (or writes) via SCSI command queuing, this is largely optimized. Most high-end spinning disk hard drives claim no seek latency for queued reads (as long as the drive knows ahead of time, it can seek while transferring the previous read's data). Sadly, almost no one does this: from the system call through the OS to the controller to the device, just about eveyrone is too lazy to implement anything beyond simple synchronous reads and writes.

    So the interface supports the needed optimization (I'm pretty sure SATA took this part of the SCSI standard), most tragets, initiators, device drivers, filesystems, and programs do not.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:36PM (#26168941) Journal

    In solid state there is no such thing... it's all address based access. ;)

    For current stuff perhaps, but as a general statement there are exceptions. Remember magnetic bubble memory? Intel had a 1MB prototype once. Little magnetic domains moving around in a maze. Very serial.

  • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:13AM (#26170093) Homepage

    it can't be denied that Star Trek species are often based off of human cultures (and to a degree cultural stereotypes, but to be fair Klingons were originally modeled after mongols/asians), but i don't think that's the reason it's popular.

    personally, i like Star Trek (over, say, Star Wars) because of its social commentary and Gene Roddenberry's keen insight into the (potential) sociological evolution of the human race. whereas the speculative imaginings in other sci-fi works generally focus exclusively on future technological advancements while the world's sociopolitical climate remains relatively unchanged (or is simply a throwback to past eras), Roddenberry also speculates on humanity's social and cultural progress, creating a unique eschatology in Star Trek.

    i mean, the Federation is basically a pan-galactic egalitarian communist utopia. but this isn't just a random utopian fantasy; everything is thoughtfully reasoned and explained in a way that actually makes sense--for instance, once replicator technology is invented, a capitalistic economy and consumer culture no longer make any sense, and want & poverty are also eradicated. and with nation-states similarly abolished (and without people fighting for resources), a military serves no purpose, which is why Starfleet is a scientific/exploratory organization. likewise, religion would be a cultural anachronism in an advanced spacefaring civilization with extensive scientific knowledge, thus Federation citizens are generally atheists.

    of course, Rick Berman screwed everything up in DS9. in it Star Trek was basically brought to the level of soft sci-fi fantasy like Star Wars. the show revolved around war & violence rather than space exploration. then you have the Bajorans--a space faring theocracy that supposedly developed warp technology on their own (and long before humans did) while their entire society is still steeped in superstition and mythology, believing in prophets and wraiths--oh, and they still adhered to a caste system when they first achieved interstellar travel.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:50AM (#26170257) Journal

    Even if solid-state drives are expensive as hell and not much better than current mechanical/magnetic hard drives right now, I don't expect them to stay that way so this is a step in the right direction.

    The fact that SSD devices can compete with Hard Disks today shows not just excellent growth, but purely awe-inspiring growth. Despite being a much smaller marketplace than the magnetic HD marketplace, SSD storage has almost caught up with magnetic Hard Drives.

    To show what an incredible accomplishment this is, you need to really understand exactly what this graph actually means. [wikipedia.org]

    It shows how hard disk capacity has grown since 1980. Yeah, it's gotten bigger every year... whoopdie doo, right? Notice that this is a logarithmic graph. Each line is 10x the line before, so you really don't see the significance of this, so I rewrote the graph in a "real" scale. [effortlessis.com]

    What previously looked like a smooth, predictable growth actually represents a cliff of growth. Capacity has grown so fast that it's been a challenge to find uses for this much storage. We've had to re-invent the meaning of what is a computer in order to make use of so much new found power - over and over, and over again.

    And yet, despite having a dramatically smaller marketshare, much less R&D, SSD storage has managed to all-but catch up to this fast-moving target. This isn't just cool, it's incredible. Every year, SSD drives get a little closer to parity with their spinning cousins.

    I have an 8 GB thumb drive, but I also still have a couple 1 and 3 GB drives from a few years back on the shelf. This kind of growth is simply astounding!

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