The proliferation of solid-state disk vendors on the market today has fostered competition and driven prices to rock-bottom levels. Prices as low as $0.22 per GB are common, and while those rock-bottom prices are on disks that feature bargain-basement performance, they still make hard drives look obsolete. Taiwanese memory specialists Adata are among the vendors fighting it out at the low-end, but the company's showings at Computex right now include something a little bit different from the usual.
The new SX8000NP M.2 SSD is a true PCI Express 3.0 x4 design with support for NVMe protocol. Adata claims the new drive is capable of 2900MB/sec reads and 1300MB/sec write. According to sources on the scene in Taipei, the SX8000NP uses a Silicon Motion SM2260H controller combined with a 512MB DDR3 cache and 3D MLC flash. It's unclear at this time who is providing the flash memory. Adata didn't provide any information on pricing or availability, but hopefully this product will shake up the NVMe disk market a bit and provide some competition to lower prices.
Adata is also showing off some more traditional SATA SSDs at Computex. The SR1030 is also a 3D MLC design, this time using a Seagate SF-3514 processor. (You may recall that Seagate purchased Sandforce from LSI two years ago.) Adata says this model is targeted at the server market, and implements Seagate's DuraClass technologies to improve durability and reliability. The SR1030 will come in capacities up to 1TB.
Meanwhile, the company is also launching a new series of SSDs branded "Ultimate" that includes SU700, SU800, and SU900 models. Of these, the most interesting are the low-end SU700 models which Adata calls "HDD replacement" drives. They use Micron 3D TLC flash and a MK8115 controller from newcomer Maxiotek in a design that entirely lacks DRAM cache. Sequential performance is good, at 554MB/sec read and 529MB/sec write, while Adata's own numbers put random read performance at around 7,000 IOPS. Still, that's much faster than a hard disk. The SU700 should be the most affordable of Adata's line, too.
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