Micron unveils its first 1TB SSD -- for under $600

By , Computerworld |  Storage, Micron, Solid-state drives

"The peak performance is impressive as is fitting 960GB of NAND in a 2.5-inch form factor. However, many enthusiasts and businesses have been burned by low-cost consumer drives with poor quality characteristics, and sustained success of products in this segment ultimately depends on latency, endurance, and sustained performance during mixed workloads," Chien added.

The M500 uses Micron's densest NAND flash chips, made with 20 nanometer node lithography. Micron claims the 128Gbit-sized chips are an industry first.

The new SSD also comes with power management capabilities.

The average active power use is 150mW, but a Device Sleep mode allows that to be cut by 93% to only 5mW, said Ben Thiel, Micron's senior product marketing manager.

"By comparison, hard disk drives draw five to 10 times more power than this drive when its active," Thiel said. "With Device Sleep, we can still recover in less than 100 milliseconds, or about 65 milliseconds. All of this comes together with idea of giving ... a system builder the ability to claim extended battery life."

Form factors

Micron's new drive comes in three form factors: an M.2 SATA card that's not much larger than a stick of gum (22mm wide by 80mm long by 35mm high); an mSATA (mini-SATA) card (50.8mm long by 29.8mm wide by 3.75mm high); and a traditional 2.5-in laptop SSD.

The M.2 and mSATA drives are geared for use in tablets, ultrathin netbooks and thin clamshell-style notebooks, while the 2.5-in is designed to run in a typical notebook.

The M.2 and mSATA cards include 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacity versions. The 2.5-in. SSD adds to the latter a 960GB model.

Micron would not release pricing of anything but the 960GB, 2.5-in model.

The M500 SSD comes with native, hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption.

The drive is also compliant with the Opal 2.0 Storage Specification from the Trusted Computing Group. The Opal specification provides for a secure boot capability (pre-boot authentication).

The M500 is compliant with Microsoft Window eDrive, also known as Encrypted Hard Disk Drive. Microsoft eDrive can be used With Windows 8, RT and Windows Enterprise OSes automatically encrypt a drive by using TCG and IEEE 1667 transport standards.

Additionally, Micron's new SSD includes a power loss data prevention feature that uses internal capacitors to store data for up to one microsecond after a system shutdown.

"We don't use DRAM as a buffer on our SSDs; that's used for page table management," Thiel said. "But we've all had software hang on us when we've hit to power button, and that's when data in flight is not saved. This addresses that."


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