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SanDisk announces tiny SSD chip

SanDisk announces tiny SSD chip

SanDisk's iSSD offers 64GB storage in a BGA package smaller than a stamp and weighing just 1g.

SanDisk has announced what it claims is the world's smallest SSD, the iSSD, aiming to bring the benefits of the technology to embedded systems where space is at a premium.

The company - better known for its line of flash memory cards - has developed its integrated SSD devices to the point where a 64GB unit is smaller than a postage stamp and yet still offers higher performance than you could get from an SD card or similar storage device.

Housed in a ball grid array (BGA) package measuring just 16mm x 20mm and a mere 1.85mm tall - and designed to be soldered directly on to a circuit board - this isn't the sort of device you'll be hot-swapping any time soon. The iSSD uses a standard SATA interface despite the non-standard connection, meaning it should represent an easy drop-in solution for any OEM wanting to add some fast storage to their compact form-factor systems.

SanDisk's senior director of SSD marketing Doron Mysersdorf has claimed that this "new category" of devices "should enable OEMs to produce tablets and notebooks with an unprecedented combination of thin, lightweight form factors and fast performance."

He could be on to something with that statement, too. While the stated speeds of a 160MB/sec sequential read and a 100MB/sec sequential write aren't at the top of the tree performance-wise, they're impressive enough that they are likely to offer OEMs an interesting option for embedded storage on small form-factor systems.

SanDisk's iSSDs are sampling now in sizes from 4GB to 64GB, although the company hasn't offered an idea of when mass production starts. Pricing information is also a bit hush-hush, with the company claiming that "pricing [is] dependent upon the quantity ordered."

Are you looking forward to the first devices based around SanDisk's iSSD chips, or should the company be putting a bunch of them in a 2.5" package and offering a high-capacity traditional SSD instead? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

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Almightyrastus 19th August 2010, 12:10 Quote
So, in theory, a couple of these plus a SATA to PCI/e RAID chip on a card could provide a very compact boot array.

No doubt pricing is going to be steep due to the current 'accepted' price of SSDs............
amacieli 19th August 2010, 12:34 Quote
Can we please start getting away from the sickening use of "i" in front of everything. It's so 1999.
MSHunter 19th August 2010, 13:04 Quote
Just out of curiosity does (i) the from apple products actually stand for any thing?

BTW I totally agree drop the i it just make people think your and apple imitator and thats not a good thing.
Lance 19th August 2010, 13:26 Quote
These look like they could be great.

How much would they really cost to produce? Because I'd be afraid like Almightrastus points out that they'll just put the price up because its "accepted".
Tangster 19th August 2010, 13:33 Quote
I hope the i stands for integrated and not idiotically expensive
Burdman27911 19th August 2010, 14:25 Quote
This integrated SSD would be great for a boot drive on a SFF system or the slew of tablets we've been seeing. I wonder what they expect the 4GB version to be used in... maybe trying to replace the market for the individual NAND chips used in Phones etc. Should provide much better performance comparatively, but I hope the cost is relatively low as well.
shanky887614 19th August 2010, 15:26 Quote
i think this will mainly be ussed in devices like phones and music players

in a few years when these become cheap it will be nice to have 60-120GB of space in your phone or mp3 player
devilxc 19th August 2010, 17:09 Quote
Very promising. Motherboards with onboard boot drive; that sounds interesting.
l3v1ck 19th August 2010, 17:31 Quote
Very useful for laptops that only have room for one 2.5" drive. This way you could have a fast OS drive and a normal HDD for the page file and other files.
DarkReaper 19th August 2010, 19:18 Quote
I'm picturing this as the ultimate in USB memory sticks, only with an eSATA plug instead
fodder 19th August 2010, 21:01 Quote
I bet apple start to use them for their devices, buy in a huge quantity so cheap, then charge users a huge premium for the privilege.

These do look very promising though if the price is right. Android with 4gb system and 64gb onboard...
rowin4kicks 19th August 2010, 21:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkReaper
I'm picturing this as the ultimate in USB memory sticks, only with an eSATA plug instead

this please!
HourBeforeDawn 19th August 2010, 22:22 Quote
so you could in theory have one of these built into motherboard to use as a boot
"drive" and have your normal hdds for everything else? if the performance is decent enough
Tulatin 19th August 2010, 22:55 Quote
To be honest, you could probably bundle 4 of these together + a raid controller inside a 2.5" housing, to create an awesomely fast single drive.
dark_avenger 20th August 2010, 03:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devilxc
Very promising. Motherboards with onboard boot drive; that sounds interesting.

+1
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