In a deal that has been months in the making, Western Digital today announced that their shareholders had voted to approve the $19 billion purchase of SanDisk. It was revealed that over 90% of WD’s shareholders voted for the issuing of WD common stock connected to the purchase, while 98% of SanDisk’s shareholders voted to approve the merge. Despite some potential upsets along the way, the takeover of SanDisk is expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.
Western Digital and SanDisk are both industry leading giants in their fields, with WD focusing on hard drives and disk management software while SanDisk is one of the largest providers of NAND flash memory-based products, including SD cards, SSDs, and USB drives. This purchase gives WD a solid entry into the NAND flash storage sector and should bring together the WD’s experience in the hard drive sector and SanDisk’s SSDs to create great results.
WD CEO Steve Milligan firmly believes that the merger is best for both companies, stating that “This combination brings together two tremendous companies and cultures ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities in our rapidly evolving industry.” Meanwhile, SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said the merger would allow them to “offer the broadest portfolio of industry-leading, innovative storage solutions to customers across a wide range of markets and applications.”
With SSDs rapidly gaining on HDDs in almost every way, it seems like Western Digital’s purchase of SanDisk will allow them to remain more relevant in a world that is shifting towards NAND flash storage instead of the traditional hard drive they are known for. What this merger will mean for the consumer remains to be seen, however, both companies possess a history of high quality and reliable products, so we can hope it is nothing but good.
Despite a major investor dropping out hard disk giant Western Digital(WD) is forging ahead with their plans to acquire fellow storage firm SanDisk. Originally announced 4 months ago, the original plan was for Western Digital to shell out $19 billion to take over SanDisk. That deal however, was contingent on Western Digital getting a $3.775 billion investment from the Chinese firm Unisplednour for a 15% stake, a deal that has now been terminated.
Under the original plan, WD would have paid $85.10 per SanDisk share, a figure that has dropped to $67.50. WD will be shelling out a bit more stock though since this backup plan was put in place as WD probably didn’t have enough cash on hand without the Unisplendour investment. The Chinese firm dropped its plans to take a 15% stake due to a investigation launched by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to determine if there was a national security risk in letting Western Digital and SanDisk come under Chinese influence.
While the new deal will see WD foot more of the bill, the investment does make a lot of sense. Even as HDDs remain relevant today, NAND and other forms of storage are growing stronger every day. If Western Digital is to remain relevant, it has to diversify and who better than SanDisk, a firm that ranks third in the NAND business along with it’s current and future partner Toshiba.
SanDisk, sensing the growing popularity of USB Type-C, has released its first range of dedicated thumb drives featuring the new reversible connector standard, boasting USB 3.1 transfer rates and up to 128GB of storage.
The SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C, available in 128GB, 64GB, 32GB, and 16GB models, has sequential read speeds of 150MB/s (except for the 16GB version, which reads at up to 130MB/s), beating the speeds of its previous USB Type-C drive, the Dual USB Drive Type C, which could only manage read speeds of 60MB/s. The drives are also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 Type-C ports. The devices also support the SanDisk Memory Zone app to manage and backup data across different devices.
“The super-thin SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C flash drive is designed specifically for next-generation devices with the new USB Type-C port. The reversible connector has a uniform design, so that it’s always right-side up, making it easy and fast to plug in,” the SanDisk website reads.
The SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C is available now in the US – priced at $12.99 for the 16GB model, $17.99 for the 32GB, $27.99 for the 64GB, and $49.99 for the 128GB on Amazon – with the flash drive set to hit Europe and other territories any day now. Each model comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
After I recently had a look at Mushkin’s Striker SSD, it is now time to take a closer look at the Mushkin Reactor SSD and that’s just what I am doing in today’s review. Mushkin’s Reactor solid state drive promises simultaneous capacity and performance while also keeping the initial costs of purchase in the mainstream spectrum. The Reactor drive is available in three capacities from 256GB to 1TB, but I’m taking a closer look at the 512GB model today.
The Mushkin Reactor is a basic mainstream drive that will be a great solution in any workstation system or gaming rig. It is built around the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller which is a little cheaper than the Phison S10 for example. In return, we get a drive that is cheaper to purchase. It still delivers a great performance thanks to the use of MLC NAND and it is rated for sequential operations up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing. The random access performance isn’t bad at all either and the drive comes with a rating of up to 71K IOPS reading and up to 75K IOPS writing.
With solid performance figures like these, the Reactor drive has no reason to hide behind any other competing drives. Capacity wise you got three options in this series where the 512GB model that I’m having a look at today is right in the middle. There’s also a smaller version with 256GB capacity and the larger model with 1TB capacity. That’s a lot of fast storage at an affordable price thanks to clever hardware choices.
The drive has a couple features less than the Mushkin Striker SSD that I recently reviewed, but the basics are well covered on this drive too. The Reactor has the basic S.M.A.R.T. and Trim features as well as early weak block retirement, DataRefresh, and built-in BCH ECC with up to 66 bits per 1kb. The only thing that could be considered missing is DevSleep and that’s only really relevant for notebook users anyway.
Just because the Reactor drive doesn’t have the DevSleep feature doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a great upgrade for any notebook, laptop, or ultrabook out there. The 7mm height and default 2.5-inch form factor makes the upgrade quick and easy in either case. The Reactor is also a light drive and that’s something everyone can appreciate for their portable devices. You don’t want to carry any more weight with you than absolutely necessary.
The SATA power and data connectors are default in the sense of pin connectors, as it should be, but they are also another place where Mushkin managed to save a little in order to provide you with a better-priced drive. The connectors are almost transparent when you shine a light on them, but they still appear to be an equal quality when compared to conventional connectors stability.
Mushkin’s Reactor SSD is one of the few drives these days that’s still assembled with screws, which makes my life a lot easier when showing you what the drive looks like on the inside. The enclosure itself is put together with four screws and the PCB is also secured to the case with four screws. In the photo below we also see the thermal transfer pad located on the controller that connects to the chassis. This effectively turns the entire drive into a heatsink and it’s something we’ve seen quite often in other drives because it simply works well.
Having a closer look, we see the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller next to eight NAND chips from SanDisk.
The other side of the PCB has another eight NAND chips and a Nanya RAM chip as a cache buffer.
Capacity and Performance
Optimal Data Flow: Optimized for dependable and reliable data flow
TRIM Support when used with compatible operating system
Shock-Resistant: Designed for continued reliable function
3 Year Warranty: Quality guaranteed
Dimensions: 7mm X 69.85mm X 100.5mm
Performance: Up to 560MB/sec (Read) / Up to 460MB/sec (Write)
IOPS: Up to 71,000 IOPS (Read) / Up to 75,000 IOPS (Write)
MTBF: 1,500,000 hours
Controller: Silicon Motion SM2246EN
Interface Type: SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface (backwards compatible with SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s) and SATA 1.0 (1.5Gb/s))
Temperature Range: 0-70°C
Warranty: 3 years limited
The Mushkin Reactor comes in a simple blister package that showcases the included drive itself.
It is surrounded by a simple inlay that also shows the drive’s main features on the rear. Other than that, there isn’t much to the package.
CES 2016: SanDisk always has a number of interesting products to showcase during press events, and CES 2016 was no different. While the Extreme Portable 510 was announced a few weeks ago, it’s interesting to see how small it is in person and the quality of workmanship. Unfortunately, the 510 only comes in a 480GB capacity which is a baffling decision. Nevertheless, the design is fantastic and incorporates an IP55 rubber coating which protects against dust and water splashes. According to SanDisk, it’s meant for video professionals who require a rugged, and high performance drive on-the-go. In terms of pricing, the device will cost $250 and begin entering retail channels in the next few weeks.
The company also displayed a 200GB USB flash drive which can connect wirelessly to smart devices and provide the storage many users need. This is so important on Apple handsets where the storage is locked and cannot be expanded. Technically the drive utilizes 802.11n, costs $120 and can be purchased right now.
Western Digital is one of the leading factors in traditional storage, both for consumers and enterprises alike, but a lot of the future will be in solid state drives and they naturally don’t want to be left out of that race. Western Digital isn’t entirely new to the solid state area and they already have products that utilize NAND. That position should be strengthened even more now that they have acquired SanDisk. The purchase is composed of both cash and stock.
“The offer values SanDisk common stock at $86.50 per share or a total equity value of approximately $19 billion, using a five-day volume weighted average price ending on October 20, 2015 of $79.60 per share of Western Digital common stock. If the previously announced investment in Western Digital by Unisplendour Corporation Limited closes prior to this acquisition, Western Digital will pay $85.10 per share in cash and 0.0176 shares of Western Digital common stock per share of SanDisk common stock; and if the Unisplendour transaction has not closed or has been terminated, $67.50 in cash and 0.2387 shares of Western Digital common stock per share of SanDisk common stock. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.”
At around 19 billion, this is certainly no small deal. Western Digital will gain a company with 27-years of experience in some of the best and most impressive NAND products and create a stable future for the company where they can compete on all fronts, including the NVMe based drives that we’d all like to have these days. With 15 thousand combined patents between them, they also have a strong foundry against the fierce competition in the storage market.
The transaction is still subject to approval by SanDisk shareholders, but both boards of directors in the two companies have agreed. The deal is expected to get finalized in the third quarter of 2016.
American computer data storage company Western Digital is buying one of the world’s most appreciated flash memory manufacturers, SanDisk, for $86.50 per share, which adds up to $19 billion. As you probably know by now, Western Digital specializes in manufacturing hard drives and SSDs that are designed to be installed in laptops, PCs and servers, but it also retails external drives, most of which are highly appreciated for their reliability. SanDisk is currently the world’s third largest manufacturer of flash memory, and it made a name for itself by creating USB drives and memory cards. It makes sense for Western Digital to focus its gaze on a company such as SanDisk, especially since SanDisk has been affiliated with Toshiba for quite some time now, which is one of WD’s main rivals.
However, reports say that SanDisk’s collaboration with Toshiba will not be dissolved as a result of the purchase. Even though Western Digital hopes that the deal will go through by next year’s third quarter, there are a lot of things that need to be cleared up first. This is to be expected as we’re talking about a multiple billion-dollar purchase, as multiple parties and partners need to sign off on the deal.
What do you think about Western Digital’s recent move?
China is looking to expand heavily into the storage industry with the latest acquisition rumour. According to the report, Tsinghua Group, a Chinese government-controlled investment group is looking into acquiring either SanDisk or Toshiba to get access to their NAND technology. Both Toshiba and SanDisk currently work together in a joint venture to research, develop and produce NAND memory. Other notable NAND firms are Intel and Micron (IMFT), Samsung and SK Hynix.
Tsinghua Group had earlier been looking to buy up Micron Technologies, another major NAND player. Those talks over a $23 billion deal fell apart after the US government stepped in over national security concerns. This time around, the United States won’t be able to intervene as neither firms are American. SanDisk a South Korean firm while Toshiba is Japanese. Still both of those countries may still have some issues about national security.
Of the two, it is most likely for a South Korean SanDisk deal to go through. Those two nations are on friendlier terms relatively speaking and South Korea still has Samsung and SK Hynix to rely on for national security procurement. Whether or not South Korea will want to see on their tech firms go foreign is an entirely different matter.
Thank you DigiTimes for providing us with this information
While consumers have just been treated to some of the largest SSDs they’ve been able to buy yet in the Samsung 2TB 850 EVO/Pro, the enterprise segment is already looking beyond that. SanDisk is reportedly planning to launch their data center focused 6TB and 8TB SSDs sometime in 2016. These drives will likely be part of the Optimus Max series targetting 12Gb/s SAS connectors in a 2.5″ form factor. These drives will replace the 4TB models that have just recently launched.
At 6-8TB, SSDs will be closer than ever to matching their spinning disk cousins. HDDs currently top out at around 8–10TB, a bit over double what most SSDs top out at. While hard drives aren’t likely to stay still, capacity gains have been hard to come by, so 12TB may be where HDDS end up in 2016. An 8TB SDD would finally be able to reach more than 50% capacity of the top hard drives. Given that SSDs are already so much faster than hard drives, it makes sense to target capacity next.
It is important to note that 8TB SSDs are not exactly new. Other firms have demoed high capacity SSDs before, but this marks the first time a company with NAND fabs has reached this point. If SanDisk feels that NAND has reached a state where 8TB SSDs make sense on a large scale, the market and pricing is probably good. Hopefully, consumers will benefit from the advances and maybe some of you can get a 4TB SSD to go with your new Skylake-E/Zen and Pascal/Arctic Islands builds!
Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information
Computex 2015 – SanDisk also brought along all their other storage devices such as the impressive 128GB Ultra Fit USB 3.0 drive. This is the world’s smallest high-capacity USB 3.0 drive and it can hold up to 16 hours of Full HD video while not being much bigger than the nail on your thumb. The drive still transfers files at up to 130MB/s, allowing you to transfer a full movie in less than 40 seconds.
The new Z400s SSD was also on display, a perfect balance between performance, capacity, and reliability for replacing your PC’s HDD. It’s build as a cost effective alternative to mechanical HDDs.
If the 128GB capacity from the tiny Ultra Fit drive isn’t enough, then SanDisk also has the 256GB Ultra USB 3.0 drive with up to 256GB capacity.
The SanDisk Extreme 500 is a portable SSD with a capacity up to 480GB that fits right into your pocket while being four times faster than an external HDD. It has a rugged and durable design and it is shock resistant, a perfect combination for when you’re on the go.
SanDisk also had their other drives such as the X300 and X110 in 2.5-inch and small form factor drives with them.
Enterprise users also had their part to look at with the CloudSpeed ECO Gen2 SATA3, Lighting Ultra Gen2 12Gb/s SAS, Optimus MAX 4TB SAS and Fusion ioMemory SX300 PCIe Application Accelerator.
Computex 2015 – The highlight for me at the SanDisk booth were the new, and Industries first, 2TB SATA SSD. The CloudSpeed Evo Gen II is optimized for cloud data services, video streaming, social media analytics and content repository.
The CloudSpeed ECO II is intended for data centres, but there is good news for consumers too as the also presented an external 2TB portable drive. Okay, that’s not entirely true as it only holds up to 1.92TB. The SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD doesn’t just look good, it’s also fast.
SanDisk set up a demonstration of the drive and we see transfer speeds of up to 714MB/s on sequential reads and 717MB/s on writes.
That is some seriously fast external storage, so fast that it beats what most have as internal storage
SanDisk latest SSD, the new Z400s, is aimed more at the replacement of mechanical hard drives in embedded systems than home systems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it.
The new SanDisk Z400s is available in multiple form factors and capacities. Whether you need a 7mm high 2.5-inch drive, an M.2 2242 and 2280, or an mSATA form factor, SanDisk has it covered. Capacity wise it starts at 32GB and tops out at 256GB.
The sequential performance is rated at 549MB/s reading and 330MB/s writing while the random performance is rated to 33K read and 62K write.
The Z400s strength lies in power consumption where it only draws 50 mW during active power, 20mW in slumber mode and less than 5mW with DEVSLP.
The endurance is rated to 20TB total bytes written for the 32GB, 40TB for the 64GB, and 72TB for the 128GB and 256GB models and all models are backed by a three-year warranty.
There are many areas where this drive could come in handy, from Digital Signage over POS to Security-Surveillance. Effectively anywhere you need fast storage that doesn’t draw a lot of power nor generates much heat. An SSD beats a traditional HDD on every of those aspects and also in reliability.
The new SanDisk Z400s is sampling with customers immediately in all form factors and all capacities.
We’ve seen motherboard and add-in card manufacturers getting ready with new versions to support the USB 3.1 and Type C connectors, and the mobile industry is expected to add the type C connector to most of their new models too. But a connector is no good without anything to plug into it, which makes it great to see that storage manufacturers start to release the drives to support it too.
The new Dual USB Drive features a Type C connector on one end and a USB 3.0 on the other for fast and easy transfer between next-generation devices and the PC. It will initially be available as a 32GB model and is expected to launch worldwide in Q2 2015 with more capacities are planned at a later time.
SanDisk’s new Dual USB drive will be available as a 32GB model initially with an expected worldwide launch date during Q2 2015. More capacities are planned at a later time.
Thanks to SanDisk for providing us with this information
SanDisk was the first to create the 128GB microSD card about a year ago and now they’re back once again with the World’s biggest capacity in this tiny format: 200GB
Looking at the numbers, SanDisk achieved a 56% capacity increase. Impressive. The card can achieve up to 90MB/s transfer speeds which should give more than enough transfer speed on your mobile gadgets and other places you’d like to use the card.
The 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card features a ten-year limited warranty and will be available worldwide in Q2 at an MSRP of $399.99.
Thanks to SanDisk for providing us with this information
Sandisk launched the SSD Ultra Plus late last year and now they’ve added to the series with the entry level SanDisk SSD Plus 2.5-inch drive. SSD drives do not only significantly improve the data rates compared to traditional hard disks, they also consume less power, are less prone to shock damage and create no noise. A perfect upgrade for any laptop.
The new Sandisk SSD Plus comes in two capacities, 120GB for $69.99 and 240GB for $109.99 MSRP. Both models have sequential reads up to 550MB/s while writing is limited to 350MB/s on the 240GB model and 180MB/s on the 120GB sized drive. The SanDisk SSD Plus comes with a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015.
Adding to the existing line of Ultra II, Sandisk is introducing the mSATA form factor to the series. The new mSATA SSD will be available in three capacities: 128GB ($73.99), 256GB ($115.99) and 512GB ($220.99). This line of drives can achieve up to 550MB/s sequential reads and 500MB/s writes. Random performance is rated up to 97K IOPS for the largest model. The SanDisk Ultra II mSATA SSD also includes a 3-year warranty and will be available in Q1 2015.
Thanks to SanDisk for providing us with this information
SanDisk are one of the biggest names in the storage industry and their latest products at CES2015 certainly got our attention. Their Extreme Pro offers minimum write speeds of 95 mb/s, making it a perfect option for UHD/4K video, or any ultra high-end camera that requires efficient writing of large files.
The device pictured above comes with USB 3.0 support and a lightening connector for iPhone. That may not sound too incredible, but it comes with built-in codecs that allows you to play back a wide range of media files on an iOS device; perfect for taking your media library on-the-go.
During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, SanDisk announced the new Ultra Duel USB Drive 3.0, which carries not only a conventional USB plug to connect to PCs, but also a micro-USB connector for use with Android tablets and smartphones.
As part of the reveal, SanDisk said:
“Adding to its portfolio of innovative memory solutions, including SanDisk’s current, extremely popular SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 2.0, the new SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 enables mobile users to transfer files even faster, as well as free up space on their smartphones and tablets. The drive simply connects via micro-USB to a compatible Android device and gives users up to 64GB of extra storage instantly.”
Available now, the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions and is priced between $22.99 to $64.99.
Today I’m taking a look at the SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive SDWS2, a combined USB 2.0 and Wireless thumb drive. It comes in three capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. I’ve got the 16 GB version on the table and I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do. This thumb drive is part of SanDisk’s Connect Line of storage devices that allow you to connect wirelessly to store, copy and stream files, even to multiple devices at once.
The highly portable and easy to use thumb-drive grants you mobile and wireless access to your movies, photos, music and documents. You can connect up to 8 devices simultaneously and stream media to as many as 3 devices at once. All this without the need for an Internet connection or hotspot, it has everything built in. The internal battery recharges via the USB connector and offers up to 4 hours of continuous streaming on a single charge.
SanDisk have taken a lot of well known features and put them into this thumb sized flash drive that even doubles as a micro SD card-reader. A little all-in-one wonder for the person on the go. The range of the device is 150 feet, about 45 meters, and that is the same as many routers have.
The drive has official apps for iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Android devices trough the Google Play Store. So you might be out of luck if you’re using an Android device that is hooked up to a third-party store instead of the Google Play, on the app side that is. This shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of users. Those that have these devices have the alternate option to connect to the flash drive through an internet-browser.
The Android app works great and is very straight forward to use. I’m sure the iOS version is just as easy, though it does require one step more to connect. If you don’t want to install the application, there is still the above mentioned option to connect via your web browser. SanDisk seems to have it all covered.
You can connect wireless to the drive from your PC as well, but only via the web browser. This removes the function of uploading files, but otherwise you have full access to what is stored on the drive. Of course sitting at the PC, you can just plug the drive into a free USB port and charge it at the same time.
If your network supports it, the drive also offers a pass-through to your WLAN, and it works great. My Galaxy Tab 2 had no trouble to connect to both the stick and my router at once, so I can only confirm this feature.
SanDisk have revealed a new USB drive compatible with iOS devices. The SanDisk iXpand comes included with a Lightning connector – in addition to the standard USB plug – allowing the device to be plugged into an iPhone or iPad. An accompanying app will be available from the App Store to help manage your storage device, backup camera rolls, and stream media directly from the drive, compatible with MOV and MP4 formats, as well as non-native AVI and WMV formats.
The 16GB and 64GB capacity iXpand models are available now from the SanDisk website for $59.99 and $119.99, respectively. A 32GB version is set for release later in November.
Are you ready for the future? Or at least some crazy technology! SanDisk thinks you are. Whilst at the moment it’s intended for enterprise use, SanDisk today announced and released the worlds first 400GB SSD that plugs into your DDR3 RAM slot – standard DIMM slots – in turn reducing latency write times to a mere 5ms. The extreme speeds come at a rather hefty price tag, the 200GB variant will set your company back $1800 USD, and the bigger 400GB model comes in at $2200 USD. The application of such a device is perfect for anything needing almost instantaneous read and write speeds, optimization for server environments, as well as other tasks such as high-speed trading.
Don’t fret for all you home users out there – the technology as always will fall in manufacturing costs, so hopefully we can expect to see this incredible technology powering our rigs in just a few years time. For the meantime, if you’re a person who needs copious amounts of hyperspeed memory with near RAM like speeds – SanDisk has raised the bar yet again in memory storage standards. It’s an exciting future ahead of us! More information about the SSD DIMM SanDisk drive can be found here.
Thanks to SanDisk for providing us with this information.
SanDisk is one of the oldest names in flash storage, they actually developed the first flash based SSD more than 20 years ago. Today I have the pleasure of having their Extreme PRO 480GB drive on the test bench, their newest SSD flagship for the consumer market.
This is not a drive that needs to hide anything when it comes to its specifications, as it has a lot to offer. So let’s dive right into mentioning the first thing that springs into our eyes from the packaging; the 10 Year Warranty. This really shows what trust SanDisk have in their drive, besides already calling it both Extreme and PRO, and is something not seen on any other drive in the consumer market. Yes it is true that the Samsung 850 Pro also has it, but that’s really another market segment alltogether and they came to market with it after SanDisk.
The next feature worth highlighting is the nCache Pro technology. This third level of cache will help your drive perform flawlessly through all/most tasks without any stall or stutter. You can count on it every day of every week of every year, as SanDisk says. It works by taking some of the MLC NAND Flash and using it as cache in SLC mode. The SanDisk Extreme PRO drive uses the newest version of this technology, that originally made its début in the Ultra Plus SSD a while ago.
Next our eyes fall on the transfer speeds. The drive promises us some great figures of up to 530MB/s read and 510MB/s write. The previously mentioned nCache technology together with the SanDisk 19nm MLC flash used, and not to forget the overclocked Marvel controller, shouldn’t have any trouble giving us these figures over the entire test line. The IOPS certainly don’t need to hide either with 100K read and 90k write.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO is actually a 512 GB drive under the hood, but the bytes above 480 GB are used for over-provisioning to guarantee a long life under steady performance, but also partly for the nCache feature. The drive also supports TRIM for the everyday garbage collection and SMART to monitor the drives health as well as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) to optimize incoming requests and DevSleep for increased battery life and quick system restarts.
A fact not known to many is that heat actually degrades NAND flash quite a lot, and SanDisk has built in thermal throttling on their drives to protect critical components and ensure data integrity. On top of this, the drive has a great internal heat transfer set-up as you’ll see on the next page.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO doesn’t have a big accessories package, the only thing we get along with the drive is a small card that tells us where we can find and download the pretty great SanDisk SSD Dashboard, a folded user manual and an adapter bracket with adhesive tape to increase the drive height to 9 mm. A bracket like this is either really important to you, because your laptop has a 9mm slide-in slot or it’s totally irrelevant because you’re just mounting it in your normal PC case. It’s still a great thing to add, that doesn’t cost much to produce while increasing the potential market quite a bit.
SanDisk has introduced their newest line of high performing client solid state drives, the SanDisk X300 SSD. The drive uses the latest advancements in X3 technology to deliver a great user experience with high-performance, while utilizing robust error-correction to increase reliability and provide peace of mind. SanDisk has also improved their SSD Dashboard for this drive, which is a tool that provides visibility into the drive’s performance, security, and available firmware updates.
Some of the key features of the new drive are SanDisk’s advanced 1Ynm X3 flash technology and the nCache 2.0 technology that uses a combination of SLC and TLC cache to boost your speeds. Further it has On Chip Copy (OCC) that helps the controller and memory to offload resources, it does this by performing the data moves between the different areas so they don’t need to. It also supports the new DEVSLP and InstantGo modes for decreased power consumption. The real-time on-the-fly error handling mechanism isn’t without its charm either. The Multi-Page Recovery (MPR) uses a page-level striping with distributed parity for an added layer of data protection.
“The SanDisk X300 SSD is our first X-series drive to incorporate the use of our nCache 2.0 tiered caching architecture and X3, three bit-per-cell technology, to deliver a highly optimized and reliable solution for both CIOs and their employees,” said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager, client storage solutions at SanDisk. “This mainstream corporate drive not only provides the reliability and performance companies need today, but also helps CIOs reduce total cost of ownership and shorten the time to return on investment.”
The new X300 drives are 2.5 inch form factor and have a default 7 mm height, but also come as M.2 2280 and mSATA versions. There will be four capacity sizes to choose from, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB, however the 1 TB model will only be for the 2.5-inch drives. They use the newest SATA 3.2 interface and are backwards compatible to SATA revision 1.0. When it comes to transfer speeds, this isn’t a drive that needs to hide anything and promises sequential speeds up to 530 MB/s read and 470 MB/s write. The random values are great too with 90k IOPS reading and 74k IOPS writing.
The smallest version has a TBW (total bytes written) of over 72 TB and larger models have over 80 TB. I should note here that the specification pages has some typos, and as such some of the values mentioned here could be wrong. The power consumption is 95 mW active, 70 mW slumber and less than 7 mW during DEVSLP mode. The drives will be available in October, so that should be any day now. No word on pricing yet.
Thank you SanDisk for providing us with these information
Are you ready for a whole lot more compact sized data storage? SanDisk’s upped their micro-storage game, becoming the first company in the world to announce a 512GB capacity SDXC card. SanDisk hopes that the card will help professional photographers and videographers with the 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO® SDXC UHS-I card. With more and more camera’s shooting in 4K resolutions as well as higher megapixel counts – those shooting uncompressed video and photos will certainly have their appetite for storage whet.
Over the last decade alone, SD card storage has increased by 1,000 times. All the way back in 2003 we saw the first SD card – which packed just 512MB into the card. The new 512GB SD card will be able to fit a total of 20,000 8MP RAW photos, however all that extra storage won’t come cheap. Prices are starting for the new capacity at $800 US – your wallet is going to be hurting for a while on this one.
SanDisk Corporation announced the new SanDisk Ultra II Solid State Drive with enhanced SSD Dashboard. The new drive is designed to deliver a cost-effective and easy upgrade solution for PC owners looking to improve performance, battery life, and power efficiency. The enhanced SSD Dashboard provides visibility into the drive’s performance, security, and available firmware updates, to maintain peak performance at all times.
“We live in an era where we expect to have information at our fingertips any time, anywhere, with technology that keeps us connected to both our personal and work lives on devices that won’t fail,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of retail product marketing at SanDisk. “The new SanDisk Ultra II SSD, together with the improved SSD Dashboard, provides consumers with an easy, affordable way to ensure that their PC can keep pace with their increasingly connected, information-driven lifestyle.”
The drive promises up to 28 times the perfomance and up to 15 percent longer battery life compared to a 2½” 7200 RPM HDD. It featurs sequential read speeds of up to 550 MB/s and write speeds of up to 500 MB/s and is based on the X3 NAND Flash technology and comes equipped with nCache 2.0 technology. nCache utilizes a two-tiered caching architecture to optimize drive speed and endurance. The drive is also shock resistant, which keeps data safe even if the computer is bumped or dropped.
The SanDisk SSD Dashboard comes with 17 different languages to choose from and will displays the drive’s performance, allow for manual or scheduled TRIM, update firmware when available and get tips on how to maintain the drive at its peak operation. It also has support features to get assistance from “Live Chat” and “Ask a Question via Email”. The Sandisk SSD Dashboard has the added value of an included Drive-cloning tool that works in 3 easy steps, Antivirus based on Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus and has theft recovery powered by Absolute LoJack.
“Consumers upgrading their PC for a faster experience with the SanDisk Ultra II SSD want the data migration process to be easy,” said Mike McCandless, vice president of sales and marketing, Apricorn, Inc. “We’re excited to partner with SanDisk to provide the Apricorn EZ Gig cloning software to SanDisk customers for simple data migration from slower hard disk drives. EZ Gig is available either through the new SanDisk SSD Dashboard software suite or within the SanDisk SSD Conversion kit and works with all SanDisk client SSDs.”
The SanDisk Ultra II SSD comes with a 3-year warranty and a rated endurance of 1.75 million hours. It will be available worldwide by Sandisk’s network of authorized distributors and resellers in September. It will be offered in capacities of 120GB (MSRP $79.99), 240GB (MSRP $114.99), 480GB (MSRP $219.99), and 960GB (MSRP $429.99).
Samsung continued its relentless expansion in the SSD market last year as it boosted its market share from 23.2% in 2012 to 28.5% in 2013. The figures produced by analytics firm Gartner reveal some potentially worrying trends for the SSD market. The SSD market is now tending towards an oligopoly as the five biggest vendors increased their market share from 55.4% in 2012 to 65.8% in 2013.
Intel saw a decline in its share falling from 14.7% to 13.1% market share. SanDisk showed huge growth, more than doubling their share from 5 to 11.7% in that 1 year period. Micron also made good progress with their Crucial brand, rising from 3.3 to 6.9% of the market, again that’s more than a doubling.
With Micron, SanDisk and Samsung all doing so well, who lost out? Well aside from Intel, Toshiba has also taken a fairly sizeable hit. However, the real losers are the “others” category: that’s SSD manufacturers who mainly rely on (all or some) parts produced by other vendors. These brands include Kingston, OCZ (now defunct and owned by Toshiba), Corsair, G.Skill and PNY among many others. Of course OCZ are now part of Toshiba meaning that they make their own NAND and controllers but many other brands will be forced out of the market by the “big boys” like Samsung, Intel, SanDisk, Micron and Toshiba who can all make the majority of their own parts such as the controllers, NAND, DRAM cache and firmware required for an SSD product. The advantage of making it yourself mean you have a stable reliable supply and can produce it for the cheapest cost, not to mention certain vendors may simply stop supplying parts to rival companies when things really hot up. We’ve already heard rumours that Micron may stop selling its NAND to rival SSD vendors, or reduce supply at the very least.
Image #1 courtesy of Samsung, image #2 and #3 courtesy of Gartner