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2.5 inch SSDs

Zsolt Kerekes, editor

According to SSD market history the earliest 2.5" SSDs were shipped in 1991. But throughout the whole 1990s the number of concurrent SSD companies (in all form factors) only just crept over 10 companies.

In 2006 SSD awareness expanded considerably as companies began to emerge from their embedded and enterprise bat caves tempted by the early promise of the notebook market.

But even by mid 2007 there were only 55 SSD companies (in all form factors) in the market - which is 10x less than we have today.

Hundreds of companies now 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.

what about custom SSDs?

If you like what you see in 2.5" SSDs and need something very similar to a standard product but with differences - then customizing SSDs is a well established way to get the products and features you want.
SSD ad - click for more info
SSD news
secure SSDs
SSD controllers
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
DWPD - examples from the market
what were the big SSD ideas which emerged in 2016?
........ Seagate's SAS SSD click for more info
12Gb/s SAS SSDs
for demanding enterprise applications
from Seagate

military SSD from Waitan
military SSD drives with secure erase
encryption and self-destruct
from Waitan

Cactus 2.5" rugged SLC SSD
industrial grade 2.5" SATA SSDs
-45°C to 90°C / 60K IOPS
from Cactus Technologies

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
2.5" removable military SSDs
for airborne apps - GbE / SATA / USB
from Targa Systems
SSD ad - click for more info
2.5 inch SSDs
Size is relative.
pcie  SSDs - click to read articleI think it's not too strong to say that the enterprise PCIe SSD market (as we once knew it) has exploded and fragmented into many different directions. (And some big bang PCIe SSD dreams have shrunk too.)
what's changed in enterprise PCIe SSD?
memory channel SSDs / custom SSDs

BGA SSDs / M.2 SSDs / 1.8" SSDs / 3.5" SSDs


SSD news / SSD endurance / the Top SSD companies
SSD ad - click for more info
"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?
0 to 3 seconds...

This article is about the range of power hold up times I've seen in the market - in the context of rugged / military 2.5" SATA SSDs.
hold up capacitors in 2.5" MIL SSDs
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. the article
big SSD ideas #3

Retiring and retiering enterprise DRAM...

which includes a new value proposition for enterprise flash SSDs (flash as RAM) and presages a rebalancing of server memories - DRAM will shrink as a percentage of the physical RAM - which will also make it easier for emerging alternative memory types to be adopted by hardware architects and by systems software too
What were the big SSD ideas of 2015?
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