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SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
the changing face of the industrial SSD market
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Noise Damping Techniques for PATA SSDs in Military-Embedded Systems (pdf)
PATA SSD directory and market overview
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industrial CF cards from Cactus
industrial grade Compact Flash cards
from Cactus Technologies
new roles for IDE / PATA SSDs - by Zsolt Kerekes, editor
The positioning of the PATA SSD market has changed a lot in the past 10 years.

For one thing, the terminology has changed. For example, back in July 2000 - when Silicon Storage Technology launched a PATA SSD on a chip - they called it an "ADC" (ATA-Disk Chip). In those days people didn't need to differentiate between PATA and SATA - because the 1st working prototype SATA hard drive wasn't unveiled till August 2000 - and the 1st SATA SSDs didn't appear till 2005.

Today the main role of PATA SSDs is to replace hard drives in low power consumption notebooks and also embedded products and legacy servers which don't need the higher performance ceiling offered by their serially attached (SATA) cousins - but which can benefit from the higher performance and reliability (or lower cost) that flash SSDs offer - compared to hard drives.

What about the future of the PATA SSD market?

You may have thought it would disappear - because of the higher performance offered by SATA SSDs. But you would be wrong.

On the contrary one advantage of the lower R/W performance of PATA (compared to SATA) is that designers can use cheaper (slower or older) SSD controllers - because endurance concerns are reduced by a factor of 2x to 6x compared to the fastest SATA SSDs. And as the controller can be a significant part of the overall SSD cost in lower capacity products - that translates to a big competitive advantage.

And as SATA SSDs get faster - and move on to 600MB/s speeds (SATA 3.0) - the difference in power consumption between PATA and SATA SSDs creates another reason to regard them as distinct viable market segments.

That's why new PATA SSDs are still being launched today. See SSD news for latest details.

PATA Beauty Skin Deep?

PATA SSDs are not always as simple as you might think. If you're looking for the ultimate in low power consumption - be sure to check that the device you're looking at is a native PATA device. Some PATA devices on the market today are actually SATA SSDs with an add-in PATA adapter.
July 2000 - in SSD history
SST Launches PATA SSD on a Chip

July 10, 2000 - SST (Silicon Storage Technology, Inc., today announced that it has entered the embedded mass data storage market with the introduction of a flash memory-based ATA-Disk Chip (ADC) product family

Utilizing the company's proprietary SuperFlash technology for the ATA controller, SST's ADC is the industry's first ATA/IDE protocol-compatible solid-state mass data storage product housed in a multi-chip packaged device. SST's ADC uses a standard ATA/IDE protocol and can be used as a replacement for conventional IDE hard disk drives.

The new product family is ideal for embedded mass data storage applications that require low-power and high-performance yet at the same time, smaller and more reliable mass data storage. These applications include set-top boxes; thin client systems; network computers; Internet appliances; PDAs, cellular phones, MP3 players; digital cameras and other digital handheld devices.

SST's ADC family provides complete IDE hard disk drive functionality and compatibility in a single device. The ADC has built-in microcontroller and file management firmware that supports the ATA standard interface. Because SST's ADC supports the standard ATA-protocol, the host system does not require additional or proprietary software, such as Flash File System (FFS) or Memory Technology Driver (MTD) software to support the ADC. The ATA driver is a standard part of all major operating systems such as Windows 95/98/2000/NT/CE, MAC, Linux, UNIX, etc., and no additional BIOS or OS modification is necessary.

"...Our entry into the embedded mass data storage market allows SST to target a potentially multi-billion dollar digital electronics market that will benefit greatly from a semiconductor equivalent to a hard disk drive" said Bing Yeh, president and CEO of SST.

SST's initial ADC products are packaged in a 32-pin DIP package and are available in a range of capacities from 8 MByte to 64 MByte. SST's ADC supports both 5.0V and 3.3V operation.
PATA / IDE SSD manufacturers
(includes past and present oems)


Advanced Media




ATP Electronics


BiTMICRO Networks

Buffalo Technology

Cactus Technologies


Delkin Devices




Fortasa Memory Systems


Greenliant Systems

Hagiwara Sys-Com









Micross Components



Phison Electronics


Pretec Electronics

Princeton Technology

Real Ram Disk

Renice Technology


Silicon Motion

Silicon Power

Silicon Storage Technology





Super Talent Technology


Targa Systems Division


Team Group

Transcend Information



Walton Chaintech

White Electronic Designs

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Notes from SSD market history

The product shown below, from M-Systems (acquired by SanDisk) is from 2005.
M-Systems 2.5" Ultra ATA Flash Disk
2.5" Ultra ATA Flash Disks
from M-Systems
SSD ad - click for more info
Notes from SSD market history

The product shown below, from Memtech (acquired by STEC in 2005) is an example of a 3.5" PATA SSD product featured here on in 2004 - the AT3550 Wolverine.
low profile, high capacity  3.5" IDE military temperature range solid state disks from Memtech
3.5" low profile IDE
mil temp solid state disks
from Memtech
2005 - start of SSDs transitioning to serial interfaces
a vendor view from - Guy Freikorn, Product Manager, Rugged Products, M-Systems.

from the 2005 SSD Buyers Guide

"The SSD market has been shifting from Parallel interfaces (PATA, SCSI) to Serial interfaces (SATA and SAS).

Re new applications:- Apple's iPOD Nano is using flash today! It shifted from HDD to Flash. This will boom the flash industry in terms of pricing and flash allocation, providing more flash awareness.

The gap in capacity between hard disk drives and flash SSDs is narrowing. M-Systems offers an Ultra320 SCSI flash SSD product with 352GB capacity."
February 2000 - in SSD market history
BiTMICRO unveils fast 18GB PATA SSD

February 15, 2000 - BiTMICRO unveiled the E-Disk ATE35 - the world's fastest 3.5" PATA SSD with 200 microseconds average access time, 11MB/s burst R/W transfer rates, and 9MB/s sustained R/W. Capacity options ranged upto 19GB.

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