Solid-state disk capacities set to soar

December 5, 2007 // 12:19 p.m.

Tags: #512gb #capacity #controller #disk #drive #high #solid #ssd #state #stec

American memory manufacturer STEC claims to have the answer to capacity problems, with a novel new controller which is capable of speeds similar to single-level cell memory in a high-capacity multi-level cell (MLC) device.

This allows the size of the SSD to increase without sacrificing speed. The initial product range, the Mach-8 MLC, will be available in sizes from 32GB to a whopping 512GB at half the cost of current SSDs.

Whilst the performance isn't quite on a par with the latest traditional drives, with a claimed 90MB/s read and 60MB/s write, the technology certainly seems to be heading in the right direction. I certainly wouldn't mind a 32GB unit to replace the ageing 20GB drive in my laptop, providing the price per gigabyte isn't too far away from traditional disks. With STEC claiming that its parts will cost OEMs around half that of existing solutions, there's certainly room for prices to fall.

Solid-state disks, for those who are unaware, are the latest innovation in laptop computing. Taking the place of a traditional magnetic hard-disk an SSD has no moving parts, making it ideal for the harsh treatment a notebook drive is likely to get and also helping to prolong battery life. The only downside is the capacity: although it's possible to buy 32GB SSDs at the moment they're exceedingly expensive, and will set you back much more than a 250GB mechanical drive.

Tempted to replace the 4GB drive in your Eee PC with a 512GB whopper (and thus doubling the value of your Eee -- Ed)? Thinking about making a solid-state RAID array? Let us know in the forums.

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