Micron Reveals New 512GB SSD for Laptops

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-01-05 Print this article Print

New RealSSDs are equipped for the 6G bps SATA interface, which vastly improves application loading speeds and boot-up times, even for SSDs.

Fresh off the Dec. 2 launch of its smallest-ever (25nm) flash memory chip, Micron Technology on Jan. 5 hustled to unveil its newest solid-state drive for laptop computers using that chip: a 512GB monster that doubles the capacity of the company's previous drive.

The Boise, Idaho-based company made the announcement at the 2011 Storage Visions conference, being held in coordination with the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The C400 SSDs, the first new drives from Micron in a year, come in the standard smaller sizes, 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch (3.5-inch SSDs are not available in this release) and can be ordered in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB.

The new RealSSDs are equipped for the 6G bps SATA (serial ATA) interface, which vastly improves application loading speeds and boot-up times, even for SSDs.

The new drives also feature low power consumption -- thanks to the smaller and more efficient NAND flash chips -- and lighter-weight construction, Micron SSD Marketing Manager Justin Sykes told eWEEK.

Data read times have also been upgraded 15 percent to 20 percent (to a benchmarked high of 415MB per second) from previous releases, Sykes said.

"We're doing two things with our next generation: the RealSSDs for OEMs and channel partners, and the Crucial brand M4, for standalone consumer-type drives," Sykes said.

"The main difference is the service and support model, with Micron [RealSSDs] set up for BOM [bill of materials, meaning changes in hardware or firmware] and a high level of factory and field support. Crucial is set up for the consumer market with limited support and no notification of changes."

Device makers require BOM control in their SLAs, and SSD manufacturers need approval from them before the changes in the SSDs can be included in shipments, Sykes said.

"In a consumer model, as long as Micron's doing the testing, we just roll with them," he said.

Micron's previous frontline SSD, the C300, was released in early 2010 and was the company's first to feature   6G bps throughput, Sykes said.

Sykes said Micron expects to begin mass production of all versions of the C400s in February. Micron sells its SSDs to all major laptop manufacturers.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel