Micron shrinks C400 SSD to mSATA size

A new generation of ultrabooks is coming, and Micron has rolled out a fresh mini SSD to greet them. The company's RealSSD C400, which is sold through retail channels as the Crucial m4, has been shrunk down to fit the mSATA form factor. The drive measures 1.2" x 2" (30 x 51 mm) and weighs just 10 grams.

Despite its small size, the C400 boasts a 6Gbps Marvell 9174 flash controller and up to 256GB of 25-nm MLC NAND. It can also be had in 128, 64, and 32GB capacities. Here's a quick rundown of the performance specifications:

Capacity 128KB sequential (MB/s) 4KB random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
32GB 440 50 45,000 15,000
64GB 500 95 45,000 20,000
128GB 500 175 45,000 35,000
256GB 500 260 45,000 50,000

Using the 32GB model as anything other than a solid-state cache will require some serious belt-tightening, and that 50MB/s sequential write rate is worryingly low. Impressively, though, the performance ratings of the mSATA models are identical to those of their 2.5" counterparts. AnandTech's review of the 128GB model shows it keeping up with a 2.5" Crucial m4 of the same capacity.

With Gigabyte's 7-series motherboards employing mSATA slots and some small-form-factor systems jumping on the bandwagon, we could see more mini SSDs outside of ultra-slim notebooks. The RealSSD C400 is really only meant to be sold to major PC builders. However, Micron says a Crucial-branded version of the drive is due to hit consumer channels this quarter.

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