Samsung aims to drive up tablet storage with new SSDs

Samsung's PM830, now in manufacturing, is the company's fastest SSD to date -- twice the speed of older Samsung SSDs

Tablet users may need more storage capacity in the future, and Samsung Semiconductor on Thursday announced it is now making its fastest solid-state drives for tablets and laptops with capacity of up to 512GB.

The PM830 SSD offers throughput to transfer movies at faster speeds and also to shorten boot times of PCs to 10 seconds, the company said in a statement. The SSD offers throughput of 6 gigabits per second, which doubles the speed of older Samsung SSDs.

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The PM830 will also be available in capacities of 128GB and 256GB, though the company declined to reveal price and availability information. The SSDs are targeted at use for "premium notebooks" and tablets, the company said.

Apple's iPad 2 tablet offers up to 64GB capacity, so the new drives would double storage capacity. SSDs are still considered expensive, but prices are falling and the drives could become a primary storage option for mainstream users next year, Gartner said earlier this year. By the second half of 2012, prices of mainstream PC SSDs could reach $1 per gigabyte, according to Gartner.

Many laptops use SSDs -- but with much less storage capacity -- to quicken boot times. For example, Lenovo installs SSDs on motherboards on some laptop models to assist for quick Windows 7 boot times. SSDs are considered faster and less power hungry than magnetic hard drives, and are already being offered as a primary storage option in laptops from most computer makers.

Samsung already offers SSDs with 512GB capacity, but with slower I/O capacity. Samsung faces competition in the space from companies including Intel, Toshiba, OCZ and Super Talent.

The new PM830 SSD offers sequential read speeds of 500MB per second and sequential write speeds of 350MB per second. The new SSD supports the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 interface, and by year-end will replace the older Samsung SSDs transferring data at 3 gigabits per second, Samsung said.

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