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Micron launches highest density SATA SS Drive in the industry

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December 5, 2016

Chip maker Micron said earlier today it has introduced a new line of data centre flash drives and claims it will be the highest-density SATA SSDs in the industry.

There are three new models and they all use 3 bits per cell (3D Flash) and have a 6 Gbps SATA interface.

Both 2.5-inch and M-2 formats will be available soon, we are told. A 7.68 TB version will be due in the first 2017 quarter.

We checked 6 Gbps SATA SSDs available from Intel, Samsung and SanDisk, and none of them reach 7.68 TB in capacity, at least not now, anyway.

Samsung's PM-863, SM-863 and 850 EVO reach the 4 TB level but not beyond. SanDisk's Ultra II, X300 and X400 top out at 1 TB each.

Intel's DC S-3520 goes up to 1.6 TB. All in all, Micron has a clear run above the 4 TB capacity level.

The ECO model is said to be read-optimized and for cloud services and content sharing workloads. The PRO is for more mixed read and write utilization with the PRO targeted at data-intensive, high-volume applications.

Micron is aiming those drives at the data centre disk replacement market as plug-in SATA drive replacements.

All we have in terms of sequential read/write bandwidth numbers for now are up to 540 MBps read and 520 MBps write capabilities, but there may well be lower write speeds at a smaller scale and also moving down range from the 5100 MAX model.

Micron asserts that the drives have consistent write performance and do better than competing drives at queue depths of 4, 8, 16 and 32 on mixed read/write workloads.

The new SSDs have a 5 year warranty and the endurance rating is less than one drive write per day (DWPD) for the ECO, one for the PRO, and five for the MAX.

The new products use a Marvell controller with Micron FlexPro firmware. This enables a 7.68 TB ECO model to be converted to a 4 TB drive with PRO characteristics. However, you can't do the change in the reverse direction.

The new drives can also meet stringent U.S. security standards such as TCH+G Enterprise and the new FIPS 140.2 specification.

We are told that there will be a second wave of 5100 announcements next month, with M.2 format products and a third one in February 2017.

We have no prices so far, but the 7.68 TB model cost could undercut 15K SAS disk drive pricing, we are told. The idea is to have these drives offered at a lower cost on a TCO basis than 10,000 RPM disk drives.

For instance, the 7.68 TB ECO is claimed to have a $65,522 five-year total cost of ownership compared to $165,277 for a 900 GB 10K disk drive, when Micron compares a 22-ECO drive chassis implementation with 10 x (24 x 900GB drive) chassis installation (at 80 percent utilization).

Source: Micron.


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