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2.5 inch SSDs

Lots of companies design and sell 2.5" SSDs. You can scroll down this page to see who they are below. So where do you begin?

One simple way to divide the market is - it's those with SandForce controllers inside - and then everyone else.

But that would be too simplistic.

what about speed?

OK another way is to narrow things down is to look at speed.

If you need the fastest SSDs in the 2.5" form factor - take a look at SAS SSDs and 2.5" PCIe SSDs.

what about rugged?

Do you mean rugged industrial or rugged for true military deployments with fast secure data purge?

what about a 2.5" SSD for notebooks?

The notebook SSD market has got more size options than that.

what about a 2.5" SSD with a particular interface?

Did you mean PATA SSDs? SATA SSDs? SAS SSDs? parallel SCSI SSDs? (yup new designs are still available to plug into legacy hard disk slots) and - I almost forgot to mention them because they are going out of fashion - fibre-channel SSDs. And since the idea was first demonstrated in 2011 - PCIe has been creeping off cards and modules and into new models of 2.5" PCIe SSDs.

what about that old SLC versus MLC thing?

It still matters in some cases - but not in all.

What about cheap? - who makes the cheapest SSDs?

Here's an article which shows how prices have dropped in the past 10 years - and why I can't answer that question. "SSD" is not enough enough information. What's in and what's left out of the design - makes a big difference to the price. And you can't trust consumer SSD makers to make these decisions for you for a variety of reasons.

who are the top SSD companies which really matter?

I thought you were never going to ask that. Here's what millions of other SSD readers think.

why does the SSD market look so complicated?

Because it is complicated.

I've only been talking about 2.5" SSDs here. If you include all the other sizes - I currently track over 300 SSD makers - and that could rise to over 1,000 in a handful of years time...

It's all about the size of the market opportunity and how the market will grow in the future.

Leading SSD companies genuinely disagree about the best way to design SSDs and where to put them.

The market will get more complicated before it gets any simpler.

For what's happening now? - see SSD news.

For how did we get here? - see SSD history.

Here are some more popular articles about SSDs.
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Partial list of 2.5" SSD makers

I've called this a "partial list" because I stopped lengthening the list below several years ago. To find more who have appeared in past SSD news or articles click on 2.5" SSD - more editor mentions.

AboUnion , ACARD Technology, Active Media Products, A-DATA, Adaptec, ADLINK Technology, Advanced Media / RITEK / Traxdata, Afaya, Apacer, Afaya, Altec , AMP, APRO, ATP Electronics,Avant Technology , Barun Electronics, BiTMICRO, Biwin, Buffalo Technology, Cactus Technologies, Corsair, CoreRise, CoreSolidStorage, DTS, EDGE Tech, Emphase, FMJ, Foremay, Fortasa Memory Systems, GalaxyStor, G.Skill , Hagiwara Sys-Com, Hynix Semiconductor, IEI Technology, Imation, InnoDisk, Intel, KingFast, KingSpec, Kingston Technology, Lexar Media, Lite-On , MagicRAM, Macrotron Systems, MemoCom, Memoright, Micron / Crucial, Microsemi, Mushkin, Myung, OWC, OCZ, Patriot Memory, Phison Electronics, PhotoFast, Pliant Technology, Plextor, PNY, PQI, Pretec Electronics, Princeton Technology, pureSilicon, Ramaxel Technology, Renice Technology , ore, Samsung, SandForce, SanDisk, Sans Digital, Seagate, Sharkoon, Silicon Power , SMART, Solidata, Soliware, Sonnet Technologies, Stealth.Com, STEC, Strontium, Sun Microsystems, Super Talent Technology, Swissbit, Targa Systems Division, TCS, TDK, Team Group, Toshiba, Transcend Information, Unigen, Viking, Walton Chaintech, Western Digital, Wintec
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SSD ad - click for more info
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SSD endurance
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Adaptive R/W flash IP + DSP ECC
how will Memory Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?
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SAS SSDs - from OCZ - Talos C Series
SAS SSDs
Talos - from OCZ


(a Toshiba group company)

Virtium  SSDs - click for more info
industrial SATA SSDs
efficiently matched to embedded needs
StorFly – from Virtium

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
2.5" removable military SSDs
for airborne apps - GbE / SATA / USB
from Targa Systems
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SSD ad - click for more info
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another milestone in SSD market history?

Foremay ships 2TB 2.5" SSDs
Editor:- January 15, 2013 - Foremay today announced immediate availability of 2TB industrial 2.5" SATA SSDs with standard 9.5mm thickness.

Editor's comments:- In its press release for this product Foremay claims to be the first company to do this. But this is one of those situations where I think being "first" tells us more about market conditions (where things stand in the HDD replacement part of the SSD market) than about the technological supremacy - or otherwise - of any particular SSD oem.

It's been technically feasible to make 2TB 2.5" SATA SSDs for the past 2 years. The only reason you haven't seen them flooding into the market is that such products would have been unattractive before to both SSD oems and to SSD buyers.

For the SSD oem - the same bunch of memory chips used to make a 2TB 2.5" SATA drive - have been much more profitably deployed in faster SSD modules such as PCIe SSDs or SAS SSDs.

Meanwhile for SSD buyers and specifiers - 2TB 2.5" SSDs would have been very expensive - compared to the alternatives - while delivering no performance benefits (due to the slowness of the SATA interface) which means that 2x 1TB SATA drives are faster in a storage system then 1x 2TB drive.

In today's market, however, the cost differences between flash SSDs and hard drives have shrunk to the extent that for industrial equipment designers who look at the cost of reliability in a 7 year industrial product operating life timeframe - the alternative of using 1 factory fitted SSD compared to the probability of using 2-3 HDDs in the same slot (taking into account the MTBF distribution over the system population) makes high capacity SATA SSDs attractive.

This class of SSDs will also extend the market life of equipment designs which originally used HDD interface standards as a way of virtualizing and protecting against generational changes in raw flash memory - even if they never used hard drives. The extra storage capacity enables equipment designers to integrate more features and software.
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2.5 inch SSDs
Size is relative - thought Megabyte
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"It's over 10 years since the first 2.5" SSDs came to market. But the 2.5" SSD market still feels young, chaotic and bursting with creative design energy"
Zsolt Kerekes, editor StorageSearch.com
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SSD ad - click for more info
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"In an ideal world - symmetry considerations would be on page 1 of the - how to design an SSD cookbook."
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
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the changing face of the industrial SSD market
One of the oldest markets for flash SSDs is the embedded industrial market - where rugged flash SSDs have been used since the mid 1990s.
image shows mouse building storage - click to see industrial SSDs article This is a slowly changing market and it rarely makes the SSD news headlines - but many facets in this market have changed in the past 5 years. ...read the article
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SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive (and complex) computer hardware products you will ever buy and understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process... ...which is not made any easier when market prices for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article Why is that? There are good reasons for these cost differences. But more expensive isn't always better for you. To find out what goes into the price - and whether you need it - ...read the article
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Can you believe the word "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD ad?
Editor:- Reliability is an important factor in many applications which use SSDs.... but can you trust an SSD brand just because it claims to be reliable?

As we've seen in recent years - in the rush for the SSD market bubble - many design teams which previously had little or no experience of SSDs were tasked with designing such products - and the result has been successive waves of flaky SSDs and SSDs whose specifications couldn't be relied on to remain stable and in many products quickly degraded in customer sites.
storage reliability branding article As part of an education series for SSD product marketers - this case study describes how one company - which didn't have the conventional background to start off with - managed to equate their brand of SSD with reliability in the minds of designers in the embedded systems market. ...read the article
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What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
Editor:- I often get emails from readers which ask the above question.

An article on StorageSearch.com - called What's the best / cheapest PC SSD? - is my attempt to create a simple FAQs page - which answers the question...
click to read this article ...of why I can't answer your question - and follows on to pose some probing questions which you can ask yourself. ...read the article
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