Micron Technology today unveiled a new portfolio of the advanced RealSSD solid-state drives (SSDs) for the fast growing flash-based notebook market.
"SSDs are bringing excitement back into personal computing," said Dean Klein, vice president of memory system development at Micron. "Micron is accelerating this enthusiasm with our new RealSSD portfolio, providing even greater performance and higher capacities than our previous generation SSDs."
The new portfolio is the first SSD product line to incorporate Micron's 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash technology, creating a broad portfolio of capacities ranging from 64-gigabyte (GB) to 512GB. The drives will be available in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors. As with its predecessor, the product line also supports the SATA 6Gb/s interface, which opens up the data path between the host processor and the SSD delivering improved overall system responsiveness including faster boot times and speedier application loads. The new drives reach read speeds up to 415 megabytes (MB)/second, which is 17 percent faster than Micron's previous generation drives. With write performance varying by capacity, the new 512GB drive achieves up to 260 MB/second write speeds, which is more than 20 percent faster than the fastest C300 drive.
Micron is currently working with notebook manufacturers to qualify its new RealSSD drives under the C400 product name. With samples of the RealSSD C400 drives available now, Micron expects mass production to begin in February.
Bringing the drives to business customers and consumers, Crucial, a division of Micron, will begin selling the portfolio under the name, Crucial m4 SSD. The Crucial m4 SSD product line is expected to be available online at crucial.com and through select global channel partners in the first quarter of 2011. Micron's solid-state drive pricing--in volumes of 1,000--will be $825 for 512GB, $425 for 256GB, $215 for 128GB, and $110 for 64GB. Micron expects the consumer pricing to be similar to OEM (1K volume) pricing.
As a NAND developer and manufacturer, Micron is in a unique position to apply proprietary management algorithms to its RealSSD portfolio that yield high performance gains and maintain quality control. Micron continues to push NAND process geometries?the company is currently at 25nm with visibility into several more generations?which brings benefits to solid-state storage applications including greater capacity and more cost-effective designs.
New Lexar Echo MX and ZX Drives
In related news, Lexar Media today announced the Echo MX and ZX backup drives, designed to automatically protect files for on-the-go netbook and notebook users. The Echo MX and ZX offer high-performance read/write speeds and no-touch backup software; additionally, the Echo ZX offers a low-profile design and the Echo MX includes a capacity meter.
The high-capacity Echo MX back-up drive provides 128-bit AES encryption with built-in Lexar Echo backup software, along with the added convenience of an always-on capacity meter that displays available backup space, even when disconnected from a laptop. Available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, the Echo MX provides multiple levels of storage, and offers speeds up to 28MB/s read and 10MB/s write on lower capacities and speeds up to 30MB/s read and 17MB/s write for the 128GB capacity. Activated upon plug-in for automatic, continuous backup, the Echo MX offers a backup solution in a small form-factor, providing peace of mind that data is encrypted.
The Echo ZX provides all the benefits of a larger backup device in a tiny, plug-and-stay USB form factor. This low-profile drive can plug into a notebook or netbook and remain there for ongoing, automatic backup of essential files when both stationary and on the go. Offering 128-bit AES encryption, speeds up to 28MB/s read and 10MB/s write on the 8GB capacity drive, and up to 28MB/s read and 15MB/s write speeds on the 16GB and 32GB capacities, the Echo ZX is a backup solution that goes to work automatically to protect data. The Echo ZX drive comes in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.
As a division of Micron Technology, Lexar Media is backed by Micron's memory technology.
The Lexar Echo MX and Echo ZX backup drives include five-year and two-year limited warranties, respectively, and are compatible with both Mac and PC systems. The Lexar Echo MX is scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2011 at leading retailers and on Lexar.com; the Echo ZX is scheduled for availability in Spring of 2011. MSRPs for the products range from $44.99 to $499.99 for the Echo MX and $44.99 to $139.99 for the Echo ZX.