Samsung Electronics is developing a SATA-interface solid state drive for some of its customers to use in their netbooks, the company announced June 23.
The SATA mini-card SSDs use less power than other SSDs, are more rugged and, according to Samsung, will expand the use of SSDs from being a primary storage medium to also a complementary drive for boosting the performance of dual-drive PCs.
Featuring a mini-PCI Express form factor with a SATA 3.0Gb/s interface, the new mini-card SSDs are 80 percent smaller than conventional 2.5-inch hard disk drives, measuring 30mm wide by 51mm high by 3.75mm thick. According to Samsung, they will also more cost-efficient,.
"The market is beginning to embrace a smaller SSD for the nascent netbook sector," said Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, in a statement.
"The cost-efficiency and reliability of lower-density, highly compact Samsung SSDs are perfectly suited as the storage medium for the rapidly growing netbook marketplace."
According to figures from Samsung, the new drive consumes 0.3 watts of power, whereas a 256GB SSD uses 1.1 watts, and it weighs between 7.5 and 8.5 grams, compared to the 81 grams of a 256GB SSD.
Samsung reports that the mini-card form factor offers a "highly robust interface" that makes the SSD "even less susceptible to damage from jarring, jostling and dropping," - a feature likely to be welcomed as more lightweight and inexpensive netbooks are marketed for use by kids.
Dell, for example, announced a Latitude 2100 netbook - seen in detail in this slide show - that's geared toward elementary school and junior-high-age users. It can be ordered with a rolling media cart for classrooms, and in addition to being slightly rugged, offers kid-friendly features such as a grippy, rubber exterior and an anti-microbial keyboard.
And this summer, Disney and Asus will be offering the Netpal for kids ages 6-12. It features a 16GB SSD, a spill-proof keyboard and Disney themes galore.
The new Samsung SSD drives will offer the option of full disk encryption and come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB densities. They'll be produced using 40-nanometer-class process technology, provide a sequential read rate of 200 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write data sequentially at 100 MB/s.
Samsung said it is standardizing the new form factor and pin layout specifications at Joint Electron Device Engineering Council, and that with possible revisions by OEMs, standardization could come by the third quarter of 2009.