Toshiba Drops Chip Production in Favour of NAND

Even with the accounting scandal 6 months behind it, Toshiba is still finding its actions limited by the fallout. As a result of discovering that profits from many divisions had been exaggerated, the Japanese conglomerate has been cutting out parts that it once thought were profitable but actually weren’t. The latest cut comes as the LSI (Large Scale Integration) segment of chip production is being sold off and funds diverted to support more NAND investment.

Part of the LSI division was already pawned off last year when Toshiba sold their imaging sensor business to rival Sony. The company is facing financial troubles after posting a massive loss last year and sees NAND as the best bet going forward. The Development Bank of Japan has reportedly shown interest in purchasing the LSI business. This means Toshiba will no longer manufacture controllers for things cars, fridges, home appliances and industrial machinery.

Placing their bet in the NAND industry does make a lot of sense along with partner SanDisk, they among the elite 4 in NAND production. Their LSI business has just been costing them tons of money and marketshare isn’t that great. With purchases like OCZ, Toshiba stands a much better chance with NAND as the flash storage continues to grow in volume. It is unknown at this time if Toshiba will retain control of their chip production for their SSD controllers.

Adata Launches Enterprise Grade SR-1010 Server SSD

Adata has launched their newest line of Server SSDs, the SR1010. While this drive is designed with server environments in mind, there is nothing that holds a quality minded enthusiast back from using these drives. After all, every one likes the best data security possible, but it comes with a premium price.

The new Adata SR1010 features the very important Power-Loss Protection (PLP) that helps prevent data crashes caused by system failures. The drive also supports SMART for easy hardware monitoring and has an ECC Recovery that can correct up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector (BCH). It also comes with a guarantee to work great with pretty much every enterprise system you could think of. For the Linux users it supports both SUSE Enterprise and Red Hat Enterprise, for Windows it is WHQL certified and the virtual environments are covered with both Citrix and WMWare certifications.

Adata used the Seagate (SandForce/LSI) SF-2581 controller and Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND Flash Memory with enhanced NAND sorting methodology. This helps these drives to reach sequential read/write speeds of up to 550/550 MB/s. They can also achieve 4KB random read/write speeds of up to 73,000/45,000 IOPS. There are three available capacities to choose from: 100GB, 240GB and 480GB. These disks should be great in anything from data centres and embedded devices all the way to the data-safety minded individual.

The power consumption is 2.25 watts in idle and 4.1 watts when in use. You should be able to depend on these drives for a very long time as Adata only used the best components in these drives. To back that statement, the Adata SR-1010SS come with a 5-year warranty and are rated for up to 2 million hours of MTBF. The drives have a default 2.5-inch form-factor, are 7mm high and weighs 63 grams.

There is no word on availability or pricing yet but judging by its predecessor, they aren’t going to be cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Thank you Adata for providing us with these information

Images courtesy of Adata

Supermicro SoC Motherboard with 17 SATA Ports Spotted

A small new motherboard from Supermicro has been spotted on the shop-shelves, the Supermicro A1SA7-2750F. This tiny board is feature packed with a total of 17 SATA3 6GB/s ports and is a totally passive cooled System on a Chip (SoC) supporting up to 64GB memory. Sparked your interest? Here are the rest of the details.

The A1SA7-2750F has an Intel Atom C2750 at it’s heart with 8 cores/8 threads. It is a compact and fanless motherboard operating at 2.4GHz, or 2.6GHz with Turbo. With 4 RAM slots and support for 16GB modules, this board supports up to 64GB ECC/non-ECC DDR3 with a speed of up to 1600MHz.

The 16 blue SATA ports are powered by a LSI 2116 SW 6Gbps SATA/SAS controller and it has an additional yellow SATA port at the top that is controlled by the SoC itself. That is an amazing amount of on-board SATA ports for such a small form factor. The motherboard also has a direct on-board USB port and a SATA DOM power connector. At the bottom we see the single PCI-Express 2.0 x4 connector (in x8 slot).

The rear IO panel has two USB 2.0 ports and two normal Gigabit Ethernet RJ 45 ports, but it also features a dedicated port for the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and a VGA D-SUB port.

Not only does this Supermicro motherboard have 16 SATA ports, it also comes bundled with cables for them all. That is a big bunch of cables in the box, but other then that and the manual it doesn’t look like many accessors are supplied.

The Supermicro A1SA7-2750F was priced at 66,980 yen including tax, that’s roughly £390. It isn’t the ordinary form factor motherboard (21.08cm x 17.02cm) and won’t fit in cases with ATX mounting. It’s designed for 1U 19″ rack systems, but one could of course just mod the case to fit. The board gets power from a 12V 8-pin and 5V 4-pin connector.

Thank you Akiba PC Watch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Akiba PC Watch.

ADATA Releases Firmware 5.2.5 for SSDs with LSI SandForce Controllers

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, has released a firmware update for the company’s solid state drives equipped with LSI SandForce 2200 series controllers. This update is applicable to SSD models SX910/SX900/SP900/SP800/S511/S510/S396.

The new firmware optimizes TRIM completion behavior and SATA stability, and improves disk recovery in instances of unsafe or improper shutdown.

Purchasers who wish to update their SSD firmware should go to: http://www.adata-group.com/index.php?action=ss_main&page=ss_content_driver&lan=en, select the corresponding SSD product, and then download the compressed Firmware 5.2.5 file and extract it. Then locate the executable file ADATA_SF_FieldUpdater and run it as administrator.

ADATA XPG SX300 256GB mSATA SSD Review

Introduction


Over recent years, mSATA drives have typically been a component that has not been on the forefront of the consumer market, seen only really by OEM manufacturers or by those who opened up their systems. With the market shifting towards smaller and smaller systems, and advances in technology allowing for denser storage and computing power as a whole, we are now seeing mSATA drive appear on the consumer market in greater numbers and more importantly, bigger capacities.

This is not the first time I’ve looked at an mSATA drive, a few months back I had a look at one of ADATA’s smaller capacity drives, the SP300 24GB –  aimed more for SSD caching and small OS footprints that require little read and write speeds such as POS systems.

With speeds and capacities now at a level that most users would deem acceptable for day to day use, and the number of systems and motherboards that support them such as laptops and ASUS’ ROG motherboards growing and more importantly the introductions of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC), seeing what is out there in the mSATA market is something very worth while.

As a manufacturer, ADATA need little to no introduction as they are known to be one of today’s leading manufacturers with products ranging from flash drives to system memory for both the desktop and server markets, as well as SSDs in many different forms plus much more. Having spent such a long time in this field of engineering, ADATA knows what it takes to build a quality product, both on the performance side, as well as the pricing side of things as well.

Moving over to today’s product in hand, the SX300 256GB mSATA SSD, those who took a out NUC review a couple of moths back with recognise this as one of our third party components that we used to test these next generation systems out. and from the outside, the performance that we experienced from the drive didn’t seem all that bad. What’s important though is getting a more in-depth feel of how well these drives perform – mainly against their full blown 2.5″ counterparts that now dominate the consumer storage market.

Like memory, there is nothing included with the drive as it is an as-is product that requires no additional parts or accessories to be included so sliding the drive out of its case, its a quick installation process with only a couple of screws needed in some cases to hold it in place.

 

KingSpec 2.5GB/s PCI Express Solid State Drive Revealed

The guys over at The SSD Review have managed to get their hands on a pretty nifty 1TB SSD worth around $2000-3000. The SSD is made by KingSpec and uses the very unexciting product name “MC2J677M1T”. The device is basically comprised of eight mSATA 120GB SSDs sandwiched onto a single PCB with a beefy controller to coordinate them all to run simultaneously in RAID.

As you can see their are four mSATA SSDs on either side of the PCB. The controller used is produced by LSI and requires an active fan for cooling, it can deliver around 84K IOPS. The storage NAND uses NANYA cache with JMicron controllers, capacities of 1TB and 2TB are available.

The SSD Review gave the drive a quick bench in ATTO and as you can see above it managed a staggering 2.56GB/s over the PCI Express 8X bus.

Images courtesy of The SSD Review

Intel 530 Series SSDs To Arrive Next Week

A leaked product roadmap from VR-Zone suggests that Intel is very close to launching its next-generation of performance-orientated consumer SSD. The 530 series of SSDs from Intel will succeed both the 520 and 525 series of SSDs. The 530 Series SSDs from Intel will feature the latest 20nm MLC NAND flash but unfortunately are still stuck using the same LSI-Sandforce SF-2281 controller we have seen on SSDs for the past 2 years or so. Of course this controller will have all the latest revisions and firmware updates allowing it to maximise performance, compatibility and reliability.

The roadmap suggests we should of seen the 530 series last month but apparently the launch was delayed by a month and we will see the new 530 series between the 8th and 12th of July. There will be three form factors for the new SSDs. 2.5″ SATA (7mm), NGFF M2 and mSATA. Capacities will be 80GB, 180GB, 240GB and 360GB for the NGFF M2 and mSATA form factors. The 2.5 inch SATA form factor gets 180GB, 240GB, 360GB and 480GB form factors. Performance and pricing details will come in the next 10 days or so as we get closer to the launch.

Image courtesy of VR-Zone