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Data Storage Hardware

New Serial ATA Standards Target SSDs, Tablets 113

Posted by timothy
from the bits-faster-are-faster-bits dept.
crookedvulture writes "SATA-IO has devised a couple of new storage interfaces optimized for solid-state drives. To serve high-performance SSDs that are fast approaching the 6Gbps ceiling imposed by the current Serial ATA specification, the SATA Express standard will meld the Serial ATA software stack with PCI Express to offer up to 16Gbps of bandwidth. SATA Express isn't expected to be completed until the end of the year, but the new uSSD standard looks to be ready for prime time. Designed for tablets and ultraportables, uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards. SanDisk already has a 128GB uSSD primed for ultrabooks."
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New Serial ATA Standards Target SSDs, Tablets

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  • uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards.

    You best be joking.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      It's for tablets. You simply don't have room inside for big bulky connectors that nobody is ever going to get access to.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Or if you're going to use an SSD as a cache on a regular mobo. I'm not suggesting that's a great idea, but I've seen one MOBO like that already (a gigabit z68).

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          So your motherboard is toast once the SSD dies? Sounds like a great plan for motherboard manufacturers.

          • Because there's not enough profit in allowing consumers to expand their hardware and delay having to buy yet another appliance at an exorbitant price.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Big bulky connectors? When's the last time you looked at the back of a hard drive? 1990?

        Standard connectors aren't exactly 'big and bulky' now.

        I also question the necessity of a faster interconnect. Are drives really sustaining those kinds of speeds? A lot of the reviews seem to indicate that these drives aren't really all that. Regardless, even the full potential of current SATA interconnects are a vast improvement to spinny disks. Upgrades in storage capacity and improvements in cost per TB would be much

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Have you tried putting a SATA cable inside a cell phone? It doesn't fit and a cell phone isn't far behind the tablet tech wise, open up a tablet or cell phone and you will see most of the cables are so small you need tweezers to disconnect them and the wire itself is plastic with metal silk screened on it. My only question is what is it about the current SATA standard that prevents a board manufacturer from skipping the connector and using traces. do the chips really care about the shape of the plastic near

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            The SATA cable isn't the problem.

            The SATA drive is the problem.

            If only there were some other form factor out there that was small enough for a phone...

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Yes some drives are that good. Even the $100 SSD I bought can soak the SATA 3.0Gbps lane I have it connected too.

          For more storage I use spinning disks in another machine, but I like my desktop to be quiet and fast.

        • by Rockoon (1252108)

          I also question the necessity of a faster interconnect. Are drives really sustaining those kinds of speeds?

          The first SSD maker to stress SSD performance was MTRON in late 2007. The market prior to this point was playing the "lets get bigger" game while only pushing around 20MB/sec, until MTRON's 16 GB drive turned the entire market upside down with its 100+MB/sec sustained reads. But at this point even MTRON wasn't improving write performance.

          By 2009, SSD's had been effectively saturating the SATA 2.0 link with 250MB+/sec sustained read speeds, with write speeds breaking 100+MB/sec themselves.

          SATA 2.0 wasn'

          • by drsmithy (35869)

            Now its mid-2011, and SSD's are effectively saturating SATA 3.0 with sustained 500+MB/sec on both reads and writes, while most consumers still have only SATA 2.0 support.

            Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ? That's a phenomenal amount of of data for a single-user PC.

            • by bmo (77928)

              >Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ? That's a phenomenal amount of of data for a single-user PC.

              You should see how snappy an ordinary PC becomes when you've got an SSD for a system and software drive.

              --
              BMO

              • by drsmithy (35869)

                You should see how snappy an ordinary PC becomes when you've got an SSD for a system and software drive.

                I already know, but that's got nothing to do with bandwidth, it's all latency.

                An ordinary PC with an SSD on 6Gb SATA would be indistinguishable from an ordinary PC with an identical SSD on 100MB ATA (if such a thing existed).

                • by bmo (77928)

                  You're kidding, right?

                  Do the math. 100MB bandwidth is a 1/6 the bandwidth of 6Gb including overhead.

                  --
                  BMO

                  • by drsmithy (35869)

                    You're kidding, right?

                    Nope.

                    Do the math. 100MB bandwidth is a 1/6 the bandwidth of 6Gb including overhead.

                    Which means nothing if you never need more than 100MB/sec of bandwidth.

                    What do you think you're doing on an ordinary PC that's likely to be bandwidth limited ?

                    • by bmo (77928)

                      You are arguing against speeding up of computers with modern technology. You are on the wrong side of history. If you wish to go that route, I suggest you might want to check out these used Hayes modems I've got because nobody could ever physically read text at over 240 chars/sec.

                      Programs have grown in size over the years, in case you hadn't noticed. You may be certainly happy with your copy of PFS:Write on 8 inch floppy in your S-100 bus CP/M machine, but the rest of the world marches on. Just because

                    • by smash (1351)
                      Swap.
                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      You are arguing against speeding up of computers with modern technology.

                      No, I'm questioning the suggestion that there is a genuine need for a disk interface faster than 6Gb SATA in the consumer PC space.

                      I didn't say anything about there not being a need anywhere.

                      Just because *you personally* do not have any need for speed doesn't mean other people don't or shouldn't have a desire for speedy computers.

                      Yet the question remains. Just what are people likely to be doing on consumer PCs that is bandwidth limite

                    • by bmo (77928)

                      >Just what are people likely to be doing on consumer PCs that is bandwidth limited ?

                      It's a nonsense question.

                      You may as well ask the purpose of facebook. What do people really *need* it for? What do we really need any of this for? You seem to be having trouble separating need and desire.

                      --
                      BMO

                    • by bmo (77928)

                      I'm going to slap you with a fish.

                      Swap on SSD is the quickest way to kill it, even with wear leveling.

                      --
                      BMO

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      It's a nonsense question.

                      Not when the premise is along the lines of "thank god, this is just what I've been waiting for".

                      You may as well ask the purpose of facebook. What do people really *need* it for?

                      No, not at all. If Facebook disappeared in a puff of smoke, millions of people using would notice. If the 6Gbs SATA connection in the typical desktop PC was replaced by a 100MB/sec ATA connection, hardly anyone would notice.

                      You seem to be having trouble separating need and desire.

                      No, I'm pretty sure I've go

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      Unlikely. Swapping tends to be short bursts of random reads and writes.

                    • Haven't had a single desktop (or server for that matter) die from having swap on it's SSD yet, but then again I buy decent SSD's too. The whole wearing out the SSD thing is kinda overrated for most cases.

                    • I think more people would notice than you think. A single hard drive from ~5 years ago could easily saturate that 100MB/sec ATA connection.

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      Whatever the use case, uncompressed video would be the obvious candidate since the bitrate is high enough to push the boundaries of what's currently available and is likely too high to do real-time compression on anything resembling consumer hardware.

                      I can guarantee you compression is a more viable solution than disk bandwidth. Particularly with the powerful GPUs systems come with these days.

                      I can't see many, if any, home users dealing with uncompressed video. The space requirements, even before the perfo

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      The problem with you question is that it is retarded to begin with. The consumer does not need a computer at all to begin with, it's just convenient to have one.

                      Yes, if you want to go all Reducto ad Absurdum, there is no point answering the question.

                      In the real world, of course, there is a whole spectrum of grey between what you need to survive, and what you might dream about having.

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      I think more people would notice than you think. A single hard drive from ~5 years ago could easily saturate that 100MB/sec ATA connection.

                      Er, yes, in highly specific conditions.

                      Even today, you rarely see that sort of sustained performance from drives, even if they can sustain 150M/sec in benchmarks.

                      Having done a lot of performance profiling in my time, I think I've got a reasonable handle on disk bottlenecks. Bandwidth is rarely one of them.

                    • by bmo (77928)

                      But obviously you haven't done performance testing on SSDs.

                      SSDs are not limited to the rate of the spinning physical media. They can be read much faster. When a hard disk runs out of its cache, the SSD is still delivering data *at the maximum rate.* There is no dropoff as you exhaust "cache" because there is no cache to exhaust

                      That's what you're not getting. It's not just seek time difference, an SSD behaves as if it has a cache the same size as the disk itself.

                      --
                      BMO

                    • I hit it all the time on both my home machine and work machine. Copying large files (video), doing subversion updates, or dropbox scans/indexes, rebooting, etc etc

                    • by jedidiah (1196)

                      No. It's not a nonsense question.

                      Until you identify the need, or the use case it's hard to create a meaningful design.

                      Rambling on about faster connectors on tablets with no storage to speak of in the first place is pretty absurd.

                      OTOH, I would love to be able to move large amounts of stuff around my non-portable storage a bit faster. Although current affordable consumer storage devices need to catch up to current interconnects first before the cable becomes the bottleneck.

                      People are simply fixating on the wr

                    • by jedidiah (1196)

                      No you aren't. Really you aren't.

                      It doesn't sound like you have enough stuff for the slowness of current devices to be that painful.

                      Also, if you are going to bring "drop box" into this then the local storage tech doesn't even matter at all. You're bottlenecked by the network then.

                    • by jedidiah (1196)

                      You should not be swapping on a modern machine.

                      This is not 1995. Memory is cheap enough that your machine should have enough of it even with today's bloated operating systems.

                      If your OS benefits greatly from simply adding an SSD, then it's probably broken.

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      But obviously you haven't done performance testing on SSDs.

                      Yes, I have.

                      That's what you're not getting. It's not just seek time difference, an SSD behaves as if it has a cache the same size as the disk itself.

                      I get it just fine. The point you seem to be missing is if there's nothing on the other end actually demanding all that data, then the fact so much of it can be delivered is irrelevant. The other part of that point is, that outside of benchmarks, there are very few (if any) tasks on the ordinary PC th

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      I hit it all the time on both my home machine and work machine. Copying large files (video), doing subversion updates, or dropbox scans/indexes, rebooting, etc etc

                      I sincerely doubt you're hitting the limits of the SATA interface doing that. Especially since a lot of the operations you mentioned are random access, you'll never even get close to streaming performance with them.

                      You might be hitting the limits of how fast the mechanical disk can deliver data to the interface. It's highly unlike you're hitting

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      Anyone who has more than 1 hard drive will notice.

                      Won't matter. SATA bandwidth limits are per device.

                      Having to ensure my hard drive and CD burner were on different cable to ensure that a consistent stream could be maintained sounds like a need for a higher speed link, note I said cd burner not dvd.

                      It's not the 1990s, and we'not dealing with ATA any more. Even if we were, the problem wasn't that the link was fast enough, it was that the protocol didn't allow two devices on the same cable to be active at th

                    • When you first start your machine, dropbox has to index all the files on your mirror. I assume it's doing an internal hash (of all 50GB worth of files), and then once it's complete, it then compares those hashes to the values on the server, so yes, it is very local I/O intensive.

                      Would a Youtube video showing a realtime throughput be enough proof?

                    • by bmo (77928)

                      >The point you seem to be missing is if there's nothing on the other end actually demanding all that data,

                      Let me introduce you to my music collection when I transfer it from one drive to another.

                      You are arguing, continually, from your own little point of view and applying it to everyone, saying that you are a typical user. What utter nonsense, and what hubris. You are also arguing from incredulity.

                      I'm done here. You will not concede the point that people are different from you and have different needs o

                    • Here's some hard numbers of typical things I do:

                      Running Videoscripts Metadata Batcher to retag some videos: 166MB/s
                      Copying video files from my C: to B: drive: 170-220MB/s

                      Both of these would exceed the 100MB/s ATA link mentioned, and NEITHER of these are using my SSDs which are many times faster.

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      Both of these would exceed the 100MB/s ATA link mentioned, and NEITHER of these are using my SSDs which are many times faster.

                      Your second example is clearly using a RAID array, so the first probably is as well.

                      Not only is this far from an "ordinary PC", but only at the very upper end (220MB/sec) *might* it really become limiting, because that 100MB/sec is per device.

                      Not to mention, it's still far away from the 300MB/sec of SATA2, and not within a bull's roar of the 600MB/sec of SATA3.

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      Let me introduce you to my music collection when I transfer it from one drive to another.

                      Right. What are you copying *to* ?

                      You are arguing, continually, from your own little point of view and applying it to everyone, saying that you are a typical user. What utter nonsense, and what hubris. You are also arguing from incredulity.

                      Actually, no, I haven't said anything about my needs, wants, behaviour, or anything else. I've just made the point that 600MB/sec *per device* is a phenomenal amount of data, and it

                    • by smash (1351)
                      Swap is still useful. Why the fuck keep programs/DLLs/libraries in RAM that are not actively running when that RAM could be better used for disk cache for programs that are actually active?
                • "I already know, but that's got nothing to do with bandwidth, it's all latency."

                  So all your applications are so small that they're loaded into RAM instantly just as soon as the access time (I'm assuming that's the latency you're talking about) has elapsed?

                  I dunno, when I load $BigProgram, my laptop sure seems to read a lot of stuff off of the hard drive and write it into RAM... ;)

                  • by drsmithy (35869)

                    So all your applications are so small that they're loaded into RAM instantly just as soon as the access time (I'm assuming that's the latency you're talking about) has elapsed?

                    They're certainly small enough that the difference between 600MB/sec (or even 100MB/sec) and anything faster is irrelevant.

                    I dunno, when I load $BigProgram, my laptop sure seems to read a lot of stuff off of the hard drive and write it into RAM... ;)

                    Well, get an SSD drive and you'll see a big difference.

                    Newer versions of Windows actu

                    • So when you load a 500MB application from disk, whether it's loaded in under 1 second or in 5 seconds is irrelevant?

                    • by drsmithy (35869)

                      So when you load a 500MB application from disk, whether it's loaded in under 1 second or in 5 seconds is irrelevant?

                      I can't think of any applications I have that want to load up 500MB of data at startup.

            • by Rockoon (1252108)

              Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ?

              Obviously you think that consumers only deal with small datasets.

              Perhaps you are unaware that people play video games, and that the latest video games are many gigabytes (GTA 4 is 14GB), that even single maps sometimes use many gigabytes of data?

              I guess you like loading screens and progress bars. Do they turn you on?

              • by drsmithy (35869)

                Obviously you think that consumers only deal with small datasets.

                Yep.

                Perhaps you are unaware that people play video games, and that the latest video games are many gigabytes (GTA 4 is 14GB), that even single maps sometimes use many gigabytes of data?

                Games were about the only likely candidate I could think of as well, but I'm still skeptical there's enough data being loaded from disk at any one time for bandwidth to be a genuinely limiting factor.

                I'd be very interested to see some actual numbers. How much d

                • by brentrad (1013501)
                  For one thing, I don't think the article mentioned consumer drives specifically. These standards are just as applicable for servers - and for servers, the faster the drive, the better. Arguing that these SSDs are "fast enough" for servers is ludicrous - you can never have too much speed in your servers.

                  But I'll give you an example of large datasets that a consumer (me) would use these types of speed for, on a daily basis: I download large HD video files from newsgroups, and the program first has to asse
                  • by drsmithy (35869)

                    For one thing, I don't think the article mentioned consumer drives specifically. These standards are just as applicable for servers - and for servers, the faster the drive, the better. Arguing that these SSDs are "fast enough" for servers is ludicrous - you can never have too much speed in your servers.

                    The article may not have specified consumer PCs, but the person I responded to did explicitly say "ordinary PCs". Though even most servers would not benefit from >600MB/sec per disk device. Heck, most o

                • by Dog-Cow (21281)

                  Until static storage (HDD, SSD, whatever) is as fast to access as main system memory, it's not fast enough. I am not sure why this is hard to understand. The purpose of a tool is to make operations more efficient. The less time taken, the more (time) efficient the process. If you're not trading anything for that efficiency gain, why would you not take it?

                  • by drsmithy (35869)

                    Until static storage (HDD, SSD, whatever) is as fast to access as main system memory, it's not fast enough. I am not sure why this is hard to understand.

                    It's not at all hard for me to understand. I'm not even disagreeing.

                    The purpose of a tool is to make operations more efficient. The less time taken, the more (time) efficient the process. If you're not trading anything for that efficiency gain, why would you not take it?

                    My point is it's unlikely there's any operations on "the ordinary PC" that are coming

      • by Hatta (162192)

        OK, then design a slim card edge connector anyone can get to.

        • mini-pcie.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            mini-pcie.

            And there is also SSD drives designed for this form factor. Seriously pissed off when I found out my new Lenovo didn't support it, but the next model up did. Could have had a fast SSD and space for a standard 2.5" drive - in a laptop, that is perfection.

      • A mini-sata port is absolutely tiny, and is what Apple uses in the Air (and possible the ipad). I would much rather be able to replace the thing when it inevitably dies, rather than have that extra 1x4x1 cm.

    • Does this really need a standard? Seems like something that a manufacture could just do.
      • Re:Come again? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Thursday August 11, 2011 @03:40PM (#37061828)

        Does this really need a standard? Seems like something that a manufacture could just do.

        They already have. SATA-over-mPCIe has been around since the original eeePC - the SATA SSD it uses was mounted in a mini-PCIe looking slot. But it wasn't, since it ran SATA signals over it.

        A more recent example started since the 2010 Macbook Airs which had a bog-stadanrd SATA based SSD in something that looked like a mini-PCIe slot - again, it was SATA signals wired to the slot.

        This spec just makes it official so everyone can build adapters, SSDs and laptops based on it and be standardized across the entire line. otherwise you'd have formfactor issues, possible pinout issues, etc.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        It does seem to fit into the domain of systems a that are completely non-user-servicable.

        So why does standardization even matter at that point?

        • Manufacturers want to be able to switch flash suppliers without doing board redesigns or modifying flash drivers in their bootloaders. Flash suppliers want to be able to do whatever they feel like, so long as a thin interface layer is preserved on top....
        • Re:Come again? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ajlitt (19055) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @04:11PM (#37062306)

          Because:

          -there are thousands of chips out there that have a built-in SATA interface
          -BIOSes and kernels already know SATA, and developers are already used to working with it
          -MMC/SD/eMMC doesn't come close to the throughput of SATA
          -manufacturers don't like vendor lock-in, and SATA is the most popular non-embedded SSD interface

          • by mcrbids (148650)

            -MMC/SD/eMMC doesn't come close to the throughput of SATA

            Not that your other points don't have merit, but the OCZ Vertex 3 bumps up against the throughput limits of 6 Gbps SATA [anandtech.com]. Next time you might not want to make a point that's countered in the summary, unless the summary is just wrong.

            Start with ... SSDs that are fast approaching the 6Gbps ceiling imposed by the current Serial ATA specification...

            • by ajlitt (19055)

              SD, as in SD Card, SDHC, or SDXC, the fastest of which tops out at 312MB/s. Not SSD. Next time try harder to read the text you quote.

            • by ajlitt (19055)

              SD, as in SD Card, SDHC, or SDXC, the fastest of which tops out at 312MB/s. Not SSD.

        • Part manufacturer A wants to sell a product X.
          Customer B, C, D, E, and F all use the standard that pert X conforms to.
          Profit for you, lower cost for them for using a standard part!

          As opposed to creating customer EVERYTHING for everyone.

          Or, in the vein of your signature: "Specs? That's too geeky. Just make it go." Electrical characterization and testing for custom everything isn't trivial and having standards that you know a part conforms to aids in reducing that significant engineering cost.

          So just because

    • If there's any takeaway from any market at all for milking cor the money, it's that if you can plan for obsolescence, you do it from the get go.

      I don't think there's any need to solder these things straight to the boards - I think it's a mutual arrangement between these major manufacturing companies to begin forcing hardware updates to happen faster and repairs to be impossible to have serviced by a private worker. Worse still, that to upgrade a single major part, you'll have to buy an entirely new machine.
      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        There is a limit to how small/thin a device can be if soldering is not used. You may not care to have devices that break this limit, but millions do.

    • by adisakp (705706)

      uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards.

      You best be joking.

      MacBook Airs are flying off the shelve with RAM already soldered onto the MB. Soldering on the SSD allows a little more space (perhaps for more battery) or for even more weight savings.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        Onboard storage in tablets too.
      • by couchslug (175151)

        First they came for the IDE controllers,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an IDE controller.

        Then they came for the modems,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a modem.

        Then they came for the sound cards,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a sound card.

        Then they came for the SSDs,
        and there was

      • MacBook Airs are flying off the shelve with RAM already soldered onto the MB

        Thats wonderful for Apple, but it certainly isnt a cost-saving measure. Im sure apple LOVES that you have to buy their ram at ridiculous $50-per-gb rates, rather than popping over to newegg and getting it for one quarter that.

        So while Im sure it is great for corporations, it is terrible for the consumer; one of the great things about PCs (and to a lesser extent, laptops) is standardized connectors that allow you to replace parts. Standardizing a system for soldering parts to the board is horrible for the

        • by Dog-Cow (21281)

          It's done so that the housing can be thinner and lighter. You may not care for the tradeoff, but millions do, and they matter to Apple and you don't.

          • by adisakp (705706)

            It's done so that the housing can be thinner and lighter. You may not care for the tradeoff, but millions do, and they matter to Apple and you don't.

            Exactly, the sockets and extra daughterboards for expandable memory take up some weight and space. If you are trying to be on the bleeding edge of thin and light and still be reasonably priced (the MacBook Air is Apple's cheapest laptop at $999), you have to make some tradeoffs and internal expandability is the easiest one to make -- especially since 99% of notebook owners never change a thing inside their computer.

    • Re:Come again? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @04:00PM (#37062106) Journal
      It would probably be most accurate to think of this "uSSD" as a faster, more PC-architecture-oriented version of the "eMMC" [electronicproducts.com] JEDEC standard for soldering flash directly onto a motherboard, with a lower board space, pin count, and controller requirement than raw flash chips.

      "eMMC", which is basically an MMC card's guts in a BGA package, is already quite popular in things like cellphones(ever wonder why some cellphones filesystem names suggest that they have an MMC card that they don't really? It's because they do, in software terms...) "uSSD" will, presumably, be the big brother of that standard, putting SATA signals and power over a standardized BGA arrangement, rather than using MMC signals and power...
    • Agreed! Stamping a SSD controller chip on the MB has got to be the dumbest fucking idea. That, and the use of -yet- another interface connector. What makes the SSD market so competitive and advanced are three primary components. NAND chips, the controller, and firmware. Call it the holy SSD trinity if you like, but there you go. Also, because they're already using SATA connectors, data retrieval, portability, and standardization makes the use of SSD drives available to non-PC applications. Game consoles and

      • I agree w/ you on stamping a controller chip on the MB. But the use of the interface connector - if an SSD is orders of magnitude faster than an HDD, and there's not much else on the PCI-X bus, then why not? Only case where I can think of a justification is notebooks & tablets, where you don't have extra SATA slots, and the device could use a lower power consumption as well. Another thing worth noting - SSD comes into the market at almost the same time that the industry is moving to 64-bit. That off
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't imagine anything i'd want my tablet to have 16Gbps disk speeds for..

    That just seems like a stupid waste for a tablet or other small form device.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Paradoxically, tablets don't have enough storage for storage speeds of that magnitude to be terribly compelling.

      SSDs are relatively puny and storage on tablets even more so.

      You end up with a device capable of saturating a fiber connection being connected to 3G, or bluetooth, or USB.

      • Don't load it with an AI, it would get depressed. "Here I am, with an internal connection of 16GB/s, and they ask me to send a file over bluetooth, with only 24Mb/s"
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wagnerrp (1305589) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @03:58PM (#37062084)

      At those kinds of speeds, you start talking about a system that goes from completely off to completely on in a second. When you want to hibernate, you dump everything in memory over to the disk. When you turn back on, you take a moment to find the disk, and pull the entire memory image back over. There is no boot, there is no shutdown. You only need enough memory to handle the actual in-use programs, and anything else could be painlessly paged out, meaning you never have to close programs.

      It's an order of magnitude slower than RAM, but an order of magnitude faster than hard disks. Right smack in the middle in order to offer all sorts of cool little tricks.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        You don't even need to get to those kind of speeds to start treating your "storage" as bubble memory.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          You don't even need to get to those kind of speeds to start treating your "storage" as bubble memory.

          Because repeatedly writing to media with a limited number of write cycles is such a good idea.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            When was the last time you killed an SSD that way?
            My laptop has one, and so far over the last 3 years I have seen no such issue. It even had a swap partition for quite a while.

            • by 0123456 (636235)

              When was the last time you killed an SSD that way?

              Me, never, because I've deliberately configured the system to ensure it minimises writes to the SSD.

              Some guys who use their SSD for compilation were saying recently that they have to replace them at least once a year when they hit the write limits and the SSD dies (which makes sense for them as the programmer time saved more than pays for a new SSD every year). You'd probably burn through them even faster than that if you were using them for fast swap space on a machine with limited RAM.

              And then, of course,

      • by orange47 (1519059)
        hibernation is bad idea because of memory leaks and similar.
        • by wagnerrp (1305589)
          You sound like a Windows 98 user.
          • by orange47 (1519059)
            and you sound like a troll.. its not a good idea to write several Gb to a flash storage on every shutdown just to have slightly faster boot.
            perhaps boot wouldn't be faster at all, given that it doesn't matter much to SSD whether its sequential or random read.
            • Since the internals of an SSD are NAND flash, it will not be a random read. NAND flash devices read or write data in pages, and the sector/block size defines how much you read or write. But you never read a byte, or word, or quad-word @ a time: you read a complete page. If random reads or programming was needed, one would use a NOR flash for that purpose. As a NOR flash is what is used when the system boots, and contains all the configuration info, it's probably worthwhile to expand its density some to
              • by orange47 (1519059)
                then why not define logical block size to be as large as NAND page? or defragment the thing. if that NAND page is rather large, OS makers should refrain from using multitude of small files.
    • It might make running up against the pathetically tiny supply of RAM a bit less painful...
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I would like mine to turn on instantly and not totally stall out when I run out of ram or have to hit the disk for some reason.

      Get a cheap SSD and boot from that. I used to leave my desktop on all the time, now it boots faster than it used to recover from sleep/standby.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @03:34PM (#37061728)

    Sounds like OCZ's IBIS just got standardized or copied.

    http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-ibis-3-5-high-speed-data-link-ssd.html/ [ocztechnology.com]

    • OCZ was hardly the first to do direct flash-PCIe storage(though some of their earlier products were just a disk controller and SSD on the same card, they have native ones now). They do have the advantage of being one of the vendors of PCIe-SSDs whose prices are remotely accessible, and who are available through enthusiast channels.

      Most of the other players are basically in the business of making people's Big Serious Expensive databases run faster, and their prices and "if you are serious, please call our
  • by smead (583466) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @04:39PM (#37062666)
    Hard drives in PCs start out with a proprietary interface by Segate that becomes a defacto standard. It needs an interface controller to tell the drive what to do. That controller sits on the ISA bus. Speeds increase, drives become bigger, they move the controller onto the hard drive. The ISA bus still connects to the controller, and the controller still tells the drive what to do, it's just that we now call the connection between the motherboard and the controller the IDE (integrated drive electronics) bus, but it's still the ISA bus. Speeds increase, now we increase the speeds of the IDE bus and add features, it slowly moves away from the ISA bus as the IDE controllers get more complicated. Speeds increase and having that bus as a parallel interface doesn't cut it, so we invent SATA. A SATA controller sits on the PCI bus and tells the drive's controller what to do. Speeds increase and now we're back to directly connecting the hard drive to the PCI (now PCI-E, but same parallel to serial transition) bus. -- Full Circle.

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