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Storage news - 2006, March 17 - 21

storage news magazine readers - click here to see Megabyte's storage history archive
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
Power, Speed and Strength in SSD brands
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
an introduction to SSD Data Recovery Concepts
RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
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Samsung Launches 32GB SSD

TAIPEI, Taiwan - March 21, 2006 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced that it has begun offering a 1.8" 32GB NAND flash-based solid state disk.

The 32GB Flash-SSD, which serves the same purpose as a hard disk drive, is aimed at notebooks and other mobile computers. It uses instantly-accessible, non-moving NAND flash memory instead of the rotating discs found in hard drives; therefore can upload and download data quickly and quietly with minimal power consumption.

The Flash-SSD weighs only half as much as a comparably-sized hard drive, but reads data three times faster (57MB/sec) and writes data 1.5 times faster (32MB/sec). The SSD uses just 5% of the electricity needed to power a hard disc drive and is noiseless. Its design is free of any motor or other mechanical parts. Samsung sees the overall global SSD market surging from $540 million in 2006 to $4.5 billion by 2010.

Editor's comments:-
there are 35 active manufacturers of SSDs. Many of them offer products which are faster, and many offer greater capacity than the new drives from Samsung. So why is Samsung's SSD launch probably the most significant storage event this month? believes this long anticipated announcement will greatly help to boost SSD market adoption. Samsung signaled last year that it intends to be a price leader in this segment - and although it's focusing on the consumer notebook market - these products will have an impact on other applications too. For a complete description of the markets and applications in which SSDs are used see the article:- Squeak! - Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?

Does Your Disk Data Go Down with the Power?

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - March 21, 2006 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced that CTO Dave Merry and Director of Product Marketing Gary Drossel will give a tutorial entitled "A Guide to Designing Your Own Power-Down Tester" during the Embedded Systems Conference next month in San Jose.

The tutorial was developed to provide engineers with information on how data corruption can occur within a storage system during a variety of power disturbances. The presenters will provide examples of failures and highlight errors that can affect the Master Boot Record, File Allocation Table and critical system files.

The key take-away from SiliconSystems' presentation will be instruction on developing a power-down tester that measures how a storage sub-system will perform in the field during a number power disturbance events such as a brown-out, power spike or power failure.

Since today's embedded systems require technology to reduce the overall impact of an abrupt system power-down, many companies have included power-down testing in their qualification process for new storage media. With their own power-down test system, designers will be able to test the failure rate of a given storage system before it is deployed in a real-life application. The ability to handle power problems has a positive impact on overall system reliability, customer goodwill and the total cost of ownership.

"The possibility of a power disturbance is something design engineers need to strongly consider since a large number of embedded systems run on battery power," said Merry. "If the host system loses power in the middle of a write operation, critical system files may be overwritten or sector errors may result, causing the drive to fail." ...SiliconSystems profile, Storage Events, Storage Testers

Plextor Ships SATA 16X DVD±R Drive

FREMONT, Calif. - March 20, 2006 - Plextor Corp. today announced the immediate availability of the PX-755SA DVD±R/RW optical disc drive.

The multifunction internal PX-755SA drive is aimed at VARs and System Integrators who require SATA connectivity. It delivers recording speeds of 16X DVD±R on certified media. Users can burn up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2/DVD video on a single 8.5 GB disc using 10X DVD+R on Double-Layer media and 6X DVD-R on Dual Layer media. The drive also supports 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW Rewriting; 16X max DVD-Reading; 48X CD-R Writing, 24X CD-RW Rewriting, and 48X max CD-Reading. The Plextor PX-755SA drive will ship to distributors in America immediately with a MSRP of $129. ...Plextor profile, DVD drives

Exar's New SATA Chips Shrink PCB Footprint

Fremont, California - March 20, 2006 - Exar Corp entered the storage market with the introduction of the Xstor family of SATA/SAS port multipliers.

The Company unveiled today two new devices the XRS10L140, and XRS10L240 - a six port SATA port multiplier & port selector combination. Exar's Xstor provides the combined advantages of a Serial ATA II port selector and port multiplier implementations at 3.0Gbps and 1.5Gbps in a single integrated device.

"The Xstor family of port multipliers showcases Exar's superior analog capabilities coupled with unique storage functions that meet and exceed the SATA/SAS standards," said Sid Yenamandra, director of marketing, Network and Transmission Products. "Exar is the only company to offer these functions in a single solution, which enables small form factor and consumer-friendly storage applications." ...Exar profile, storage chips

Serial Attached SCSI - is it worth the wait?

Editor:- March 20, 2006 - today published a new article, written by S R Prasana Kumhar Head of Products at Xserve India Pvt Ltd, it's called - "Serial Attached SCSI - is it worth the wait?"

Here at we've had a magazine page dedicated to SAS since 2001. SAS products have been shipping to users since 2005 - but the market has been stuck in a prolonged "innovator" phase. As the SAS market is poised to advance to the "early adopter" phase - I thought it would be good to have an article (which is less technical than those we've previously published) to introduce the benefits of this technology to more readers. This article is republished here with the kind permission of InfoStore - Asia's leading storage magazine. the article

STA Announces SAS Open House Event

San Francisco - March 20, 2006 - The SCSI Trade Association today announced an event called "SAS Open House" which will take place at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA on May 9th.

Please join us for an interactive evening with industry SAS experts, who will explain how SAS is reshaping the storage industry. The evening will begin with a brief set of presentations including an impressive real-world SAS case study. Multiple SAS demonstrations showing a wealth of SAS capabilities, sponsored by several STA member companies, will be available for your viewing. A new SAS Integrator's Guide produced by STA will be introduced. ...SCSI Trade Association profile, Storage Events

Joining the Marketing Dots for OpenSPARC

Editor:- March 20, 2006 - a new article is published today in the SPARC Product Directory, it's called - "Joining the Marketing Dots for Wannabe Successful OpenSPARC OEMs."

OpenSPARC OEMs need to know a lot of stuff that isn't mentioned on Sun's web site. This exclusive interview with SPARC International's CEO Karen Anaya unveils the pricing intricacies of the SPARC branding and testing regimes, and we learn what Sun is doing to invest more in the SPARC brand too. the article, SPARC Product Directory

Tandberg Data Releases LTO3 Desktop Autoloader

Oxford, UK - March 17, 2006 - Tandberg Data today announced the release of the Tandberg LTO3 Desktop Autoloader, a 4U solution, slim enough to fit onto a desktop.

It contains a single Tandberg LTO3 tape drive and holds up to 10 LTO3 data cartridges supporting random or sequential access. An LCD provides information about the tape drive, media status, robotics, installation and configuration. The removable cartridge magazine enables easy handling and allows for exchanging weekly backups in \ single step. The autoloader also supports an automatic drive-cleaning feature, which does not require operator intervention. In addition, the optional barcode reader provides an inventory of stored and automated media tracking so that access to stored data is fast and simple. The Tandberg LTO3 Desktop Autoloader fits easily on a desktop or server and the 4U size allows two units to be placed side by side in a standard 19" rack. ...Tandberg Data profile, Tape drives, Tape Libraries & Autoloaders, Rackmount Storage
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SSD SoCs - on
SSD controller chips
Megabyte was running the initialization
process for the SSD SoC's SDK.
SSD power down management
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This important design feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases - has a strong impact on SSD data integrity and operational reliability.

This article will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be negligible.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. the article

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