Plextor Shipping M2 Series SSD Based on Marvell Controller

Plextor adds the M2 Series solid-state data storage drives based on Marvell controllers for fast speeds and durability to its SSD portfolio eleven months after launching its first M1 series.

Plextor is introducing a new line of solid state storage drives that promises speed and performance.

The M2 will be available in three capacities, including the 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. At 2.5 inches, The M2 is the same as its M1 series, the company's first SSD line launched almost exactly a year ago. The M1 series came in 64GB and 128GB capacities and offered 130M bps sequential read and 70M bps sequential write speeds. The M2 is significantly faster and more powerful than its predecessor.

Based on a Marvell 88SS9174 controller, the Plextor M2 supports the SATA 6G bps interface and promises high transfer speeds. The 64GB model's performance is up to 370M bps read and 110M bps write, while the 120GB model is capable of up to 420M bps read and 210M bps write speeds, according to the specifications. The 256GB has performance speeds up to 480M bps read and 330M bps write, making it "one of fastest SSDs available on the market," the company said.

The M2 has 128MB DDR3 cache buffer, which improves the drive's response time, durability and overall performance, according to the company.

"The M2 Series SSD is ideal for any demanding gamer, system integrator or user who demands dependability but won't sacrifice speed," said Kathy Huynh, product marketing of Plextor. In a rugged environment, such as the warehouse floor or for mobile users, solid state drives tend to last longer and have fewer data-loss issues.

Plextor is The M2 SSD is one of the first drives on the market using the Marvell 88SS9174 controller. The timing can work in Plextor's favor as demand soars for mobile devices and other flash-based products. While a number of drive manufacturers, such as OCZ Technology, are using SandForce's second-generation SF-2000 controllers, Marvell's processors seem to support high performance and blazingly fast speeds.

SandForce reported a milestone Feb. 14 in that it has shipped more than 1 million of its SF-1500 and SF-1200 SSD processors since they went into production in 2010. In addition, SandForce's 27 manufacturers shipped more than 100 petabytes of NAND flash into mainstream computing markets in 2010, the company said.

Plextor is shipping its Instant Restore technology and Dynamic Wear Leveling algorithm with the drives. The drives also have Windows 7 TRIM command support, the company said. With these tools, the SSD manages its memory efficiently to keep performance consistent instead of degrading over prolonged usage. Plextor also bundles the Acronis True Image software to give users instant tool for easy disk cloning and backup.

The M2 series is currently shipping in North America and the M2S series will be available in Europe by March. The pricing ranges from $180 for the smallest size to $700 for the largest.

Plextor's North American site is back online and had its problems resolved since it was hit by hackers earlier this week. A digital vandal going under the name "ViciOuS" defaced the company's Website on Feb. 14 with a message, "Hacked by ViciOuS," and a link to a hacker-oriented Website. The European and Asian Websites were not affected.

The company declined to comment on the hack or the timing of the incident.