Electronic Design

Micron Debuts Solid State Drives

Riding a surge in NAND-based memory devices, Micron Technology entered the growing solid state drive (SSD) market with its RealSSD family of products that includes the RealSSD Solid State Drive, RealSSD Embedded USB, and the RealSSD Module. The company's SSDs are designed for computing, server, and networking applications, and vary in density from 1 gigabyte (GB) to 64 GBs. The 1.8- and 2.5-inch RealSSD Solid State Drives for notebook and desktop computing come in 32- and 64-gigabyte densities, and are based on a single-chip controller that targets the SSD application. This negates the need for a SATA bridge chip, like most current solutions, according to the company. Since there are no platters to spin, the device consumes less than 2 watts of power while active, and is lighter than HDDs of similar densities — particularly important for Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs). Mass production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2008. Micron’s RealSSD Embedded USB products range from 1 GB to 8 GBs of storage and are designed to be integrated into a system through an embedded USB 2.0 interface. The company says these products are ideal for storing and booting an entire operating system within an industrial PC or blade server system. Production will begin by the end of 2007. Micron is hailing the RealSSD Module as a customizable "solid state storage device in a low-profile module form factor." It's lighter, easier to install, and has a smaller footprint than hard disk drives, according to the company. The modules use a commonly available SATA interface, and are 35 mm high by 133.5 mm long and less than 4 mm thick. Micron says SDDs are becoming the new storage medium, with advantages over HDDs such as lower power, faster boot-up time, increased reliability, improved performance, and reduced noise. "The storage market is ripe for innovation, and it’s an opportunity Micron is embracing given our expertise in NAND," Dean Klein, vice president of memory system development for Micron, said in a statement. "We know how to manage NAND flash to work best with controllers, allowing us to develop an optimized SSD solution for every application."

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