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Monday, December 10, 2007
Toshiba Launches Solid State Drives

Toshiba said on Monday it would make flash-based solid state drives for notebook PCs, as it seeks to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips.

The world's No. 2 maker of NAND-type flash memory said its solid state drives would range in capacity from 32 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes, and that it will mass produce the 1.8-inch and 2.5 inch drives in May 2008.

Toshiba's new SSD integrate an original MLC controller supporting fast read-write speeds, parallel data transfers and wear leveling, and achieve performance levels comparable to those of single-level NAND flash SSD. By applying MLC technology, Toshiba has realized a 128GB density in a 1.8 inch form factor.

The new products utilize NAND flash memory fabricated with 56nm process technology, along with controller chips and DRAM, on a 70.6mm (L) x 53.6mm (W) x 3.0mm (H) platform. The maximum read speed is 100MB a second, and the maximum write speed of 40MB a second with the SATA2 interface (transfer rate of 3Gbps), which is compliant with high speed serial interface. The operating life is 1,000,000 hours.

Zippy, quiet, and boasting a faster boot time than hard disk drives, solid state drives are used in portable devices like tablet PCs and Ultra-Mobile PCs. But their high price has prevented them from going mainstream in the PC market.

Samsung, the world's biggest memory chip maker, and Toshiba's partner SanDisk Corp already make solid-state drives.

Micron Technology has also said it would enter the solid state drive market, with mass production to start next quarter.

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