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Data Storage

Intel Unveils SSDs With 6Gbit/Sec Throughput 197

CWmike writes "Intel announced a new line of solid-state drives (SSDs) on Monday that are based on the serial ATA (SATA) 3.0 specification, which doubles I/O throughput compared to previous generation SSDs. Using the SATA 3.0 specs, Intel's new 510 Series gets 6Gbit/sec. performance and thus can take full advantage of the company's transition to higher speed 'Thunderbolt' SATA bus interfaces on the recently introduced second generation Intel Core processor platforms. Supporting data transfers of up to 500MB/sec, the Intel SSD 510 doubles the sequential read speeds and more than triples the sequential write speeds of Intel's SATA 2.0 SSDs. The drives offer sequential write speeds of up to 315MB/sec."
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Intel Unveils SSDs With 6Gbit/Sec Throughput

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  • Re:that's smokin' (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:24AM (#35344752) Homepage

    Your devices are not rated at 3Gb/s, the sata connection was. This device is..Supporting data transfers of up to 500MB/sec,....

    Maybe just read the summary :)

  • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:25AM (#35344758) Homepage Journal
    Somebody is confused. Thunderbolt is DisplayPort and PCIe bundled together.

    The SATA 3 ports on Cougar Point platform have nothing to do with Thunderbolt.
  • Re:Wear usage? (Score:4, Informative)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @12:39AM (#35344818) Journal

    Again, I'm sure the SSD drive manufacturers have looked at this problem very closely, I'm just concerned that's all.

    So, look up the specs, then. Current write cycles are over 1,000,000 per cell. Modern wear-leveling algorithms combined with extra blocks and ECC mean that it's more likely that some other component will fail before your SSD will.

    Besides, if you were really concerned, and not just trolling, wouldn't you have the same issues with your hard drive, too? Doubly so in a laptop?

  • Re:Wear usage? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheEyes ( 1686556 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @02:49AM (#35345444)

    But yes, studies have been done and it takes an industrial strength workload to kill an SSD. If one of these is in your home machine, you likely won't kill it. If you think you might, then you should already have practices in place to deal with disk failure.

    Just as important to note is the failure mode for flash memory is for it to become read-only; in other words, it simply becomes impossible to delete what is written on your drive, which is a perfect reminder to get a new one. Given that this sad event will be nearly ten years from now, it should be dirt cheap to buy a replacement drive.

    When you do, though, don't forget to remove the metal shell on the old drive and cook it in the microwave for a minute or two to destroy your old data. It's not like you're going to be able to sell the drive used anyway.

  • by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2011 @04:01AM (#35345654)

    Sandforce has already announced [] its new sata3 controller. On paper it looks like it will have much faster sequential writes than Intel, but it sounds like it will also have a shorter lifetime and shorter data retention times due to the use of 25nm NAND. Intel is wisely sticking with 34nm. It may be more expensive to manufacture, but is superior tech. I can only hope that OCZ changes their mind and decides to at least offer a more expensive 34nm version. OCZ won't be shipping their Vertex 3 drives until Q2 so Intel will have a big head start in the market.

    The NAND industry seems to be doing its best to encourage ignorance on the disadvantages of smaller process sizes from the consumer POV and the ignorance seems to be widespread. Getting the facts on this issue can be a bit difficult. Here is a good thread on the topic. []

    The following post sums it up better than I could. Note his point about data retention times as well. That is a point that is often ignored when the focus is solely on write cycles.

    As flash cells are shrunk, they become less good. This is a fundamental feature of the technology. The overall volume of the cell becomes smaller, so less electrons can be stored in the cell (so the signal picked up by the electronics is weaker and less clear, so you get a higher error rate) and the insulating barriers around the cell must be made thinner, in order to save space - allowing the electrons to leak out of the cell more easily (reducing power off data retention time). The thinner insulation also wears out more quickly (reducing life cycles)

    It's difficult to define a 'fundamantal' limit for flash, because it may be possible to work around poor performance, and as yet unknown new manufacturing techniques and semiconductor materials may be developed. However, it has been suggested in the scientific literature that 18-22 nm, is the realistic limit. Beyond that, the performance/reliability/lifespan of the flash would be too poor, no matter how much wear levelling, and how sophisticated the ECC codes were.

    Enterprise grade SSD flash, will need higher specifications than flash for toy cameras. Enterprise applications are unlikely to tolerate 18 nm flash with 100 write cycles and one lost sector per 100 GB of data stored. However, this probably would be acceptable for toys or throwaway devices.

    Some more coverage of the topic: []

    NAND Flash memory quality is also beginning to drop. Chips manufactured using 90nm-generation technology in 2004-05, for example, were assured for about 100,000 rewrites and data retention of about a decade. As multi-level architecture and smaller geometry are introduced, quality is showing a sharp decline. The 30nm 2-bit/cell chips expected to enter volume production in 2009-10 may well end up with a rewrite assurance of no more than 3,000 cycles, and a data retention time of about a year. The first 3-bit/cell chips are hitting the market now, with only a few hundred rewrites. []

    Flash memory works by trapping electrons. Over time these electrons leak away, until the charge is too small for the data to be read any more. With smaller feature sizes (34 nm instead of 45 or 65 nm) this leakage is more significant and fewer electrons can be stored per bit, thus the time during which the stored value can be maintained is decreased. []

Friction is a drag.