Toshiba unveils ultra-slim SSDs

September 23, 2009 // 12:59 p.m.

Tags: #32nm-ssd #half-slim-ssd #mini-sata #msata #sata #sg2 #ssd #toshiba #toshiba-sg2 #toshiba-ssd

Toshiba has taken the wraps off some new ultra-tiny SSD drives for portable devices - and they're looking pretty special.

As reported over on CNet, the company has unveiled a pair of solid-state devices based around a 32nm process: one is available with a traditional SATA connector, and the other with the newly-created mini-SATA connector.

Both devices use a "half-slim" format which dispenses with the casing in order to keep size and weight down, making the drives perfect for netbooks and ultra-slim notebooks - as well as other highly portable devices such as MP3 players. The standard SATA unit is just 54mm x 39mm and comes in at an impressive 4mm thick, with the mini-SATA version measuring 30mm x 50.95mm and a slightly thicker 4.75mm.

Toshiba has stated that the new devices are around one-seventh the overall volume and one-eighth the weight of a traditional 2.5" SSD, meaning that devices which have previously relied on the bulkier versions can become even smaller and lighter.

Sadly, these svelte dimensions come at a cost: with 2.5" SSDs finally reaching a capacity at which they can compete with mechanical drives, the two new devices from Toshiba are only available in 30GB and 62GB capacities. While this should be plenty for your average netbook, even the small size will make it a hard sell next to 256GB units from other manufacturers.

Thankfully, while capacity has taken a hit, performance hasn't: Toshiba reports that the modules have a top sequential read speed of 180MB/s and a write speed of 70MB/s. It is thought that the devices will be available to manufacturers by the end of the year, with production scheduled to start this October.

Do you think that ultra-slim SSDs are the way to go, or should Toshiba - and others - be concentrating on getting price down and performance up before you'll consider giving up your mechanical drive? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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