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Toshiba Unveils Post Stamp Sized 1TB SSD

Gordon Kelly

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Toshiba Unveils Post Stamp Sized 1TB SSD

There are many reasons why SSDs excite people (speed, power requirements, rigidity) and one key reason they don't (price), but here's another huge advantage to put in the plus column...

A joint research project between Toshiba and Keio University in Tokyo has announced the creation of a new technological breakthrough which allows SSDs of up to 1TB to be made with a footprint no larger than a postage stamp. Yes, a postage stamp - that's a 90 per cent reduction compared to a standard 2.5in HDD.

Remarkably, Tosh and Keio have managed to cram 128 NAND flash chips and one controller into this form factor and got it operating at a quoted two gigabits per second (250MB/sec) which puts it right up there with the fastest consumer SSDs available. The good news doesn't end there either, since the drive is also 70 per cent more power efficient than a typical SSD and the reduced size is claimed to make it cheaper to produce.

Is there a downside? Potentially it could run into a problem with industry standards since form factors need to gain approval in order to attain mass adoption. It's main rival here would likely be the newly approved mSata SSD form factor based on the Samsung mini card which is approximately the size of a business card.

Despite this, the as yet unnamed postage stamp sized drive still holds a significant size advantage and, what is more, Toshiba and Keio University say the prototype should lead to a production ready version by 2012. All of which begs one major question: who will be the first laptop maker brave enough to drop the 2.5in drive slot...?

In related news Seagate is doing its bit for the 2.5in HDD with the announcement of the 'Savvio 10k.4', a 600GB, 10,000rpm model with 6Gbps SATA interface and whopping 2m hour Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rate. Self encryption will also be an option, though we've yet to hear price or shipping info.

We're hoping for less-than-you'd-think and soon...

Links:

via CrunchGear

Image courtesy of Professor Tadahiro Kuroda head of the Keio University research

Seagate Savvio Drives Page

John614

February 12, 2010, 2:59 pm

Wow, exciting! I've been reading your other ssd reviews Gordon, and I believe you need to brush up on partition aligment and offsets, and how this can impact performance. For example, on the ssdnow laptop 'cloning' kits the included acronis software doesn't align the driver properly, which has major performance consequences. I think you need to be aware of these. Thanks

morsch

February 12, 2010, 3:29 pm

"All of which begs one major question: who will be the first laptop maker brave enough to drop the 2.5in drive slot...?"





Apple MacBook Air, Sony Vaio X? Neither has a 2.5in drive. I'm sure there are more.

Ed

February 12, 2010, 5:02 pm

@John: For a start, Gordon hasn't written any of our SSD reviews. Ardjuna and I have. As for the partition alignment issue, it is of concern when cloning a drive so we shall mention it when talking about free cloning software like on the kingston kits. However we've never tested SSDs using cloning software so our figures hold up. Also when installing windows properly the issue only affects standard installations of XP or earlier so isn't of major concern to most of the buying public.

Runadumb

February 12, 2010, 5:10 pm

Damn SSD tech is moving quickly. Not quick enough for me though. Maybe I will get one towards the end of the year when im planing on a new build. Still far to expensive

Peter 20

February 12, 2010, 6:34 pm

Personally I would not buy anything from Seagate, after a really really bad experience with a number of their hard drives (and I wasn't the only one, I'm surprised there isn't a class action lawsuit) I made it my personal crusade to bash that company's products everywhere I can.

Chocoa

February 12, 2010, 6:36 pm

Looking at the image..


"mmmmm pancakes"





<sorry>

betelgeus

February 12, 2010, 8:37 pm

i hope it does not start another format war,im sure both types can be put in a caddy of some sorts.





if i had 1tb with speeds of 250mb/s in my desktop i wouldnt mind if it was the size of a house brick and used 100 watts an hour.

Hedgeporker

February 12, 2010, 8:43 pm

Its the sort of thing Apple would snap up and end up chomping the biscuit for.

Kieran

February 12, 2010, 11:30 pm

Wow im surprised no ones thought of the obvious answer.





You should just have multiple stacks, many postage stamps next to each other to make into a 2.5" drive, of course it would end up at a 20TB SSD or something ridiculous like that, but as just £34,000,000,000,000 i would buy it.... how about anyone else?

Pbryanw

February 13, 2010, 6:54 am

@Chocoa - Hehe, actually for some reason the image made me think of After Eights...mmmm

John614

February 13, 2010, 8:22 pm

Yes, I'm sorry Gordon, that was wrong of me. I should have checked more carefully. In fact, I did, and Ardjuna's article on the ssdnow 40gb was far from expert. Certainly no mention of alignment (despite you cloning and old drive) - no wonder performance was down - and the author also asserted the drive has TRIM. Which is most certainly does not. The new ssdnow v+ do have trim. Cummon, we're relying on you guys to get these things right...

Ed

February 13, 2010, 9:34 pm

@John: You're quite right to raise the issue and we thank you for that but if you're going to start pointing fingers you've got to have your facts right. The drive you mention does support TRIM and we didn't use cloning software so the performance figures do hold up. I also acknowledged that we hadn't mentioned alignment before. We shall look into it in the future though.

John614

February 15, 2010, 5:21 pm

Errr, no Kingston SSDNow V Series supports TRIM. That's why they've been discontinued and replaced by the V+ series. There is an unofficial hack because this drive has a lot in common with a similarly spec'd Intel Drive, but there is no offical TRIM support for the 40GB SSDNOW and there never will be. Basic facts establish credibility.

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