Toshiba rolls out slimmer form factor for SSDs

High-performance drives make MacBook Air clones a possibility

By , Computerworld |  Storage, flash drive, MacBook Air

Toshiba America Electronic Components on Monday announced a series of solid state drives with a new form factor that's 42% smaller than today's mini-SATA or mSATA SSD modules.

Toshiba's new Blade X-gale SSD series is 2.2 mm thick, but comes in models with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB of capacity. The mSATA version offers 30GB and 62GB capacities in a 4.75mm thick form factor. The new SSD is almost one-third of the thickness of a 2.5-in. hard disk drive.

Toshiba's new X-gale SSD modules with up to 256GB capacity

Toshiba also upped the performance of its SSD module from a maximum read/write speed of 180MB/sec. and 70MB/sec. in the mSATA drive to 220MB/sec. and 180MB/sec. in the Blade X-gale. The new SSDs use the SATA 3Gbit/sec. interface.

Toshiba's latest SSD offering is aimed at mobile devices such as tablet PCs, laptops, mini-mobile and netbook PCs.

"Delivering a product that enables superior user experience in a smaller footprint is the ultimate goal," said Scott Nelson, vice president of Toshiba's Memory Business Unit, in a statement.

The Blade X-gale uses multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chips, storing two bits per cell.

Toshiba said a new board design that minimizes warping allowed them to increase the capacity of the modules by mounting the flash chips on both sides.

"Until recently, storage designers looking for high capacity storage had accommodated the size of [hard disk drives] into their designs," Nelson said. "Toshiba's module-based SSDs break with this approach, giving hardware designers greater freedom and flexibility in enabling their product design."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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