SanDisk has introduced a new line of SSDs (solid-state drives) that it's marketing directly to retail consumers versus computer system manufacturers.
SanDisk is pitching its new Ultra SSD line as a product that can be used to replace hard drives in older systems and thereby increase the performance, durability and lifespan of existing laptops and desktops.
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There is nothing that differentiates the new SSD line from a product marketed to equipment manufacturers other than it's being packaged for retail sales.
The Ultra SSD line, which uses the SATA 2.0 specification I/O interface, sports a sequential read rate of up to 280MB/sec and a sequential write rate of up to 270MB/sec.
SanDisk claims the SSD, which is based on MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash memory, has a MTBF (mean time between failure) rate of up to one million hours.
Most SSD industry experts do not believe MTBF is an accurate way to determine a products longevity as it relates to a the failure rates based on a representative group of shipped products and not the testing of individual drives.
That said, today's MLC-based SSDs have special firmware that helps extend the longevity of the product for up to 10,000 erase-write cycles, meaning a drive can be written to as many as 10,000 times.
Kent Perry, director of product marketing for SanDisk, pointed out that replacing an existing hard drive with an SSD is more cost effective than purchasing a new computer.
The new Ultra SSD line comes in drive 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB capacities and retails for $129.99, $219.99, and $449.99, respectively.
U.S. consumers can order the drive now from online retailers such as Newegg.com, where prices are significantly lower than the suggested retail.
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. Read more about storage hardware in Computerworld's Storage Hardware Topic Center.