Toshiba readies half-terabyte SSD for early 2009

Slowly, but surely, 2.5″ solid-state drives are catching up to their mechanical brethren in terms of capacity (as long as you don’t mind paying considerably more, of course). This morning, Toshiba announced a 2.5″ 512GB SSD that’s supposedly the first of its kind. Samples of the drive will start to roll out next quarter, and Toshiba will begin mass production in the second quarter of 2009.

This creatively named THNS512GG8BB SSD is based on 43nm multi-level cell NAND flash memory, and Toshiba gives it speed ratings of 240MB/s for sequential writes and 200MB/s for sequential reads. The drive connects via a standard 300MB/s Serial ATA interface, has AES encryption support, and weighs in at only 66 grams (just over two ounces).

Since buying one of these puppies will presumably involve mortgaging your house and handing over your first born, Toshiba has also announced lower-capacity models with the same perks and production schedule. The firm is prepping 256GB, 128GB, and 64GB derivatives that’ll be available with 2.5″, regular 1.8″, or bare 1.8″ form factors (see the picture above). According to this page, all of these offerings have the same performance ratings as the top-of-the-line 512GB model.

Comments closed
    • Firestarter
    • 11 years ago

    Toshiba gives it speed ratings of 240MB/s for sequential *[

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      The article has it as:
      /[<"maximum sequential read speed of 240MB per second (MBps)2 and maximum sequential write speed of 200MBps"<]/

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    Still makes me smile I got a 1TB for $99 on Black Friday.

    Ah, affordable.

      • tesla120
      • 11 years ago

      uhhh aren’t they about 100$ standard on newegg?? cuz thats how much I paid for mine….

    • Kurotetsu
    • 11 years ago

    Since SSD drive sizes are, apparently, calculated in Base 2, does that mean that size printed on the drive will actually be the size that shows up in Windows? Or will it be like hard disks still and the size Windows calculates will be always be slightly less than the size printed?

      • slash3
      • 11 years ago

      It’ll still vary a bit due to the reservation of empty space for wear leveling and such, but it should be closer to the stated size than standard hard drives are.

    • Wirko
    • 11 years ago

    SATA and PCIe may become too slow for SSDs in a couple of years. I can already see a new standard coming up – SSDs on DIMM modules, similar to today’s RAM modules, sitting directly on the motherboard.

    (That would also be in line with the usual cyclical development of computer interfaces – serial, then parallel, then multi-lane serial, then serial, then parallel, etc.)

    • tesla120
    • 11 years ago

    why do they keep pushing the boundaries for size instead of figuring out how to make these more efficiently and inexpensive?
    seriously, $140-800 will get you a 64 gig SSD by varying manufacturers all with a difference of ~50 Mbps in performance

    • henfactor
    • 11 years ago

    This is quite exciting!

    As one who never saw the first dual-core come out, watching this technology evolve at such a rapid pace is quite fascinating! (now if only I could afford one ;))

    • clone
    • 11 years ago

    128gb is all I need…. I’d make due with a 64gb if the price was right but they have me so long as the price is reasonable, if not screw them until it is.

    I’d go as high as $300 for a 128gb model…. time will tell I guess.

    • Grigory
    • 11 years ago

    I like the placement of the Flash memory chips. 🙂

      • slash3
      • 11 years ago

      I spent a good 45 seconds staring at the photo trying to determine if they had used some sort of cleverly patterned layout before simply coming to the realization that they’d jammed them on wherever they could find open PCB space.

    • Wintermane
    • 11 years ago

    I find looping such thing through rubber band chains and dangling the whole mess off the bottom drive bay is a great way to store things you cant tightly fit in a drive bay.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      agreed. 2.5 drives + rubber bands/bungie cords = 3.5 silent goodness.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    I’m actually trying to hold off on building my HTPC until at least the 256 gig ones are down in price to 1-1.5/gig–I figure that’d store most of my movies and music pretty well, so I could watch movies w/out spinning up the hard drive. I hope my PC makes it cause it’s starting to show strain.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Why bother with one of these for an HTPC? I mean, true silence is great but unless a system is entirely fanless a WD GP drive would be just as quiet once mounted inside a case and cost a lot less. The real way to go is build a server with mechanical drives for storage which you put in a closet or wherever and just have a lightweight frontend for playback.

      Spinning up a hard drive takes a few seconds…

        • paulWTAMU
        • 11 years ago

        I’m actually gonna try for a fanless system with my HTPC, or as close as I can get, since noise drives me crazy while I’m watching a movie. I figure I can get a fanless GPU, fanless case, and a low power CPU with a passive heatsink (if that’s workable, still looking around), and a quiet PSU. 😀

          • willyolio
          • 11 years ago

          a WD Green drive is already pretty quiet, low-power and i’d say is more suitable as an HTPC. at around 10 gigs per 1080p movie, i’d need 1 TB, minimum.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          Whatever floats your boat. I don’t know what personal experience you’ve got with streaming media off drives but unless something else is causing the drive to random seek drive noise is inaudible with a simple softmount in an enclosed case. Of course it’s still good to have some airflow over components imo…you may seriously want to consider making a NAS PC and just having a frontend like a Popcorn Hour.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    We are already forecasting for 2011 when we will be doing a complete server system scrap and replace. VMware on 2x quad (or more) cores, and SSDs are already high on the list. Can’t wait to see how everything pans out by then. Would love to see some FC drive shelves fully populated with SSDs. Just want to see some longevity and performance reports by then too.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    We really need to beat drive marketeers senseless until they start providing random read and (especially) random write specs in addition to STR (ie, sustained random write of 4K blocks in IOPS). As we’ve seen with Intel vs some of the others, we’re already at the point where STR is no longer the only (or even the dominant) measure of performance for SSDs. Different techs call for different specs.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 11 years ago

      I think there was an article a while back about how some manufacturers were working on new standards, including a way to accurately state their amount of write operations.

      Considering that most of them are the same very low quality MLC drives, such things should be selling points at this very moment. And yet, no one advertises anything but read and write speed when they’ve allegedly designed something new, so I’ll have to remain a bit skeptical about SSDs.

    • dermutti
    • 11 years ago

    If they price these around $1/GB, which is still WAY more than most mechanical drives, I’d love to pick up that 128GB.

    Also, when is SATA III going to be ready? Drive speeds are just about caught up with SATA II.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      I could do $1/GB. Pick up a nice 64GB for Windows/Games; that would be ideal.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      SATA 6Gb/s will be available early ’09, according to wikipediag{<:<}g §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#SATA_6Gb.2Fs<]§ edit: official name is /[

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        Ruh roh. Only 6Gb/s?!? These things are going to be well beyond 3 Gb/s by the time they’re even remotely standardized.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    performance has arrived. Price is next. I think that by the end of 09, 256 to 512GB drives will be affordable. Wonder if they’ll make 3.5″ versions just to fit in a regular desktop case, or if we’ll be forever doomed to buy kits or sleds or whatever to get them into 3.5″ bays.

    edit: maybe some genius will start producing cases with one or two 2.5″ bays. That’d be kewl.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Or maybe some genius will start producing PCIe x1 cards with mounting hardware for one or two 2.5″ SSDs. Remember HardCards?

        • Grigory
        • 11 years ago

        I had a 32MB(!) Hardcard that put me back 800$. 🙂

        • mutarasector
        • 11 years ago

        I sure do.

        This was my first: §[<http://www.amiga-hardware.com/<]§ Click on the "Microbotics - Hardframe" link under the "SCSI controllers" category. I sold it shortly after I bought it in order to buy the HC-2000+8 card by GVP which also served as a RAM expander card in addition to a SCSI Host controller/adaptor (GVP=Great Valley Products - also listed on the same page). The beauty of it was, *loooooooooong* before Plug-n-Play existed (or even Windows for that matter), these cards /[< automatically configured<]/ in the Amiga computers we used them in, only it was called "Autoconfig" instead of "Plug-n-Pray" (about 15 years before PnP actually *worked*).

      • CheetoPet
      • 11 years ago

      I’m hoping case makers will see the impending influx of 2.5″ drives & adjust their designs accordingly.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      If you’ve got case with a slot where three 3.5″ HDD would normally go (typical since those dimensions readily hold an 80mm fan at the front), it wouldn’t be too difficult to add a bracket that can hold about six of the 2.5″ units vertically with adequate convection airflow space between each.

        • jwb
        • 11 years ago

        You can already by an off-the-shelf 8×2.5″ carrier which occupies 2 3.5″ bays. These SSDs are so narrow that this could probably be expanded to 10 or 12.

        §[<http://supermicro.com/products/accessories/mobilerack/CSE-M28E1.cfm<]§

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          That many? Nice.

          • lithven
          • 11 years ago

          Incorrect. That page says 2.x5.25″. Which is still impressive.

            • jwb
            • 11 years ago

            Duh, you’re right. I mentally said “cdrom bay” when reading the original post.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        That’s a good idea. I’ve seen rack-style server cases with mounts for 2.5″ drives, but I haven’t seen anything for tower/desktop style cases. A modular drive cage (with fan mounts) should be cheap and easy for the companies like Silverstone and Coolermaster who are already doing them for 3.5″ drives. But you’re probably going to have a very common scenario (at least for a while) where people want one (or more) 2.5″ mount for their OS/program SSD, and one (or more) 3.5″ mount for their TB+ media/data drive.

      • bowman
      • 11 years ago

      Uh, why do you absolutely need to put them in 3.5″ slots? They don’t vibrate, they generate less heat, they’re small and light.. just duct tape them somewhere and leave the 3.5″ slots for your disk drives.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        I would not really want duct tape inside my PC. I’m a neat freak for wiring and hardware mounting. I use all 8 screw holes on every optical drive if the case allows it, and I use all 6 screw holes on hard drives if the case’s bays are long enough (though they rarely are). When I was in the market for a new motherboard, I bought only full-width ATX boards so I could have 9 or 10 screws holding it down. I loved heatsinks that use the mounting holes on LGA775 boards and have backplanes for the socket. I have to have everything bolted down tight. I love that industrial rigidity.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 11 years ago

          So don’t duct tape it. Just leave it sitting there. Where’s it going to go?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            did you read the rest of my post? IT MUST BE NAILED DOWN. Doesn’t matter if it’s going to go anywhere or not; it must not be allowed to do so.

            Starting to think there’s something wrong with me.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            Yeah, I saw that, but I don’t know what to tell you. I’m quite a bit OCPD myself, but I’ve done it before in an old case where I had to add a CD writer and move the hard drive.

            The things are made to be thrown around all over the place in a laptop, so even if it was literally flopping around in there for some weird reason, it would survive.

            • Wirko
            • 11 years ago

            Yes, it could be that you’re suffering from a new type of phobia, the fear that a bloodthirtsy motherboard or something would escape its cage and come chasing you in the middle of the night. Can someone with good knowledge of Latin please invent a name for that?

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Mobophobia.

            • DrDillyBar
            • 11 years ago

            I’m the same way actually. Lockdown.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    We’re getting there. Bring on the 1TB super fast SSD for $100.

    Poor mechanical HD companies, they’re gonna take a hit.

      • Corrado
      • 11 years ago

      Cuz they are CLEARLY not building any SSDs. Samsung and Toshiba both make mechanical and SS drives.

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        seagate, on the other hand, just tries to sue the technology away.

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