Add SK-Hynix to the growing list of SSD vendors. The memory maker recently announced its intent to buy controller maker LAMD. Now, it's launched a batch of solid-state drives. You won't find LAMD controllers in these new models, though. Some folks in Japan popped off the case and discovered SandForce controller silicon on the circuit board. Naturally, the NAND chips bear Hynix's name.
Only a couple of 2.5" models are available to start: a 128GB drive and one with twice that capacity. Note that those capacities are a little higher than the 120/240GB typical of SandForce drives. SandForce partners have the option of offering more storage, but doing so eliminates the RAID-like RAISE redundancy scheme that protects drives from physical flash failures.
According to SK-Hynix, the drives can hit sequential transfer speeds of 510 and 470MB/s with reads and writes, respectively. Their random I/O rates top out at 55k IOps for reads and 85k IOps for writes. Those numbers are roughly in line with whate we've seen from other SandForce partners, although I suspect SK-Hynix is using asynchronous ONFI NAND rather than the faster synchronous stuff. The stark white case is definitely something new.
A handful of lower-capacity mSATA drives accompanies the 2.5" models. Interestingly, the official press release says SK-Hynix has been selling mSATA SSDs to PC makers since the end of last year. The 2.5-inchers will be available first in Japan before migrating to Korea and then the US. There's no word on how much they'll cost stateside, but Hynix will have to be aggressive to keep up with the steady decline in SSD prices.
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