SanDisk announces tiny SSD chip

August 19, 2010 | 10:50

Tags: #64gb-ssd #ball-grid-array #bga #sata #ssd

Companies: #sandisk

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.
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