The Micron booth at Storage Visions has several technologies on display. Some of it is the existing products on the market. At the back of the booth we can see products from their current product stack. Including the C400 and Crucial M400 as well as the C400 Self-Encrypting SSD. The C400 Self-Encrypting SSD is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The C400 and Crucial M400 are available in the same sizes with the addition of a smaller 64GB version. Below these we have the enterprise drives, P400e, P300, and the P320h HHHL form factor PCIe x8 SSD.
Micron was also showing off the various NAND chips from the recent years. In 2006 it took eight 50nm chips to create 16GB of storage. In 2011, the technology has improved to allow a single 20nm NAND for the same amount of storage.
We had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with Crucial while we were wandering around Storage Visions 2012. While there we were able to look at a few of the products that are in the works. One of the items that caught our eye was a mSATA SSD.
The Crucial mSATA SSD will be available in a variety of flavors ranging from 32Gb which is ideal for SSD Caching all the way up to 256Gb which can be used as a primary drive. Like the Crucial M4 the mSATA drive uses a marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 which supports higher IOPS and 25nm NAND memory. The small size of the mSATA SSD from crucial makes it perfect for the new Ultrabooks. When questioned about the performance and price we were told that it would be comparable to to the Crucial M4. The biggest difference between the two drives is the size.
Crucial just recently announced the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution for enhanced PC performance and we got some hands on time with the drive at Storage Visions. Basically, this is regular 64GB Crucial m4 SSD that has over-provisioning enabled, so the available space for caching is 50GB. Crucial wasn’t discussing the prices, but the Crucial M4 64GB SSD costs $104.99, so we expect this solution to be around the same price. The Crucial Adrenaline drive includes a 3.5” adapter bracket and the necessary software to run it, but lacks a SATA cable that might be needed for mainstream users. Crucial said that the Adrenaline plugs into an available SATA power and data port and once the software installed it intelligently places, or “caches,” the most frequently needed files on the SSD and keeps less frequently used files on the hard drive. They believe this solution is the best way to go as it isn’t limited by motherboard chipsets like some rival solutions.