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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
New Micron C400 SED Solid-State Drive Features Self Encryption

Micron today introduced a new version of its popular RealSSD C400, featuring self encryption for data security.

The C400 SED (Self-Encrypting Drive) is based on the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Opal specifications and provides a hardware-based answer for the data breaches that continue to impact computer users and enterprises worldwide.

Self-encrypting drives represent the future of data protection," said Dr. Joerg Borchert, 2011 president and chairman of the nonprofit Trusted Computing Group. "Hardware encryption provides the strongest security and best performance, and solid-state technology like Micron's will provide even quicker data access."

The C400 SED's encryption capabilities are delivered through a hardware-based, AES-256-bit encryption engine and security firmware. Micron's firmware is designed to comply with the TCG Opal specification. TCG Opal is an open industry standard that provides a verifiable path for companies who need to prove they're compliant with tough data security regulations when devices or drives are lost or stolen.

Like all hardware-encryption, the drive works in conjunction with an encryption management system. Micron's C400 SED solution was built in partnership with leading encryption management provider Wave Systems . Wave's EMBASSY management software provides policy-based access controls, reporting, directory services integration and end-user access recovery that allows IT to cost-effectively implement and administer endpoint encryption. Importantly, Wave's management software gives IT confidence that data is protected in the event that a computer?or the drive itself?is lost or stolen.

The C400's encryption key is protected within drive hardware?separate from the host. This is one reason why hardware-based encryption is superior to software encryption (an alternative solution that stores the encryption key in the computer's memory, where it's vulnerable to attack). Micron's SED offers stronger security because the encryption key never leaves the drive. User authentication is performed by the drive prior to starting the operating system, ensuring independence from the operating system. Another disadvantage of software-based encryption is its dependence on the computer's processor, which can degrade performance. In contrast, Micron's C400 SED performs all encryption inside the SSD's controller, ensuring no system performance degradation.

The C400 SED SSD is available in 128-, 256-, and 512GB capacities, a SATA 6Gb/s interface, and 2.5 and 1.8-inch form factors. The drive's NAND management delivers sequential read and write speeds of up to 500 MB/s and 260 MB/s respectively ? the same high performance as Micron's popular C400. The drive will be sampling and in production in the fourth quarter of this year and will be available through Micron's global distribution network.

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