While most laptops rely on 2.5-inch drive formats, ultrathin PCs use 1.8-inch drives, which have limited the capacity such products can offer.
Samsung Electronics moved to alleviate the limitations today by unveiling a high-capacity solid-state drive (SSD) line aimed at ultrathins. The new drives offer up to 1TB of capacity in a 1.8-inch, Mini-SATA (mSATA) format.
The 840 EVO mSATA SSD is an extension of Samsung's 840 EVO 2.5-inch drive line introduced last summer. The new SSD compact mSATA is about a quarter size of a 2.5-inch SSD.
The 840 EVO line offers Samsung's highest-performing SSDs. Its previously announced 1TB, 2.5-inch version offered up to three times the performance of its last SSD lineup.
The new 1.8-inch mSATA 840 EVO line offers the same: speeds of up to 540MBps read and 520MBps write speeds.
Besides the 1TB model, the 840 EVO mSATA SSD lineup is available in 120GB, 250GB, and 500GB. The drives operate on Samsung's proprietary controller and TurboWrite firmware. The 1TB version of the drive offers up to 98,000 random read and 90,000 random write IOPS.
"With the new mSATA SSD lineup ... consumers can enjoy high storage volume and performance on ultraslim notebooks besides desktop PCs," Unsoo Kim, senior vice president of Samsung's memory brand product marketing, said in a statement.
The new drives will be available later this month, Samsung said.
The new 840 EVO mSATA SSD also uses Samsung's advanced 128Gbit NAND flash memory that's based on 10-nanometer to 19-nanometer process technology.
To form a 1TB SSD, four flash memory packages are used, each with 16 layers of 128Gb chips. The 1TB mSATA SSD is about 3.85 millimeters thick, about 40 percent the thickness of a 2.5-inch SSD. The drive weight is about 1/12 that of a 2.5-inch hard disk drive.
The new 840 EVO mSATA SSD supports DEVSLP, a software algorithm from Samsung that allows for constant updating and instant wake-up, as well as low power consumption. The drive also supports advanced security compatibility through TCG/Opal, MS Encrypted Hard Drive.
Samsung also unveiled its latest SSD software update, Magician 4.3. The update brings two upgrades to the new SSD line as well as Samsung's current SSD product lineup. The upgrades include RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) mode and encryption through the use of 256-bit AES keys.
RAPID, Samsung's performance-enhancement firmware, enables host-level read acceleration and write optimization by using free DRAM system memory to boost overall PC performance. Previously, RAPID was only available on the 840 EVO. Bringing the software to the 840 PRO and the mSATA 840 SSD will boost storage subsystem performance beyond that allowed by the SATA 3.0 interface, Samsung said in a statement.
Using RAPID, the mSATA drive can achieve a maximum of more than 1,000MBps sequential-read speed, which is a performance level of approximately twice that of a typical SATA SSD and 10 times of an average hard drive.
Data can be moved to the new SSD using SamsungData Migration of Samsung Magivian 4.3.
Users can download Magician 4.3 from Samsung's website.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure, and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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