More information about the unconventional SSD used in Apple’s new MacBook Air. As I discussed in my previous coverage of this new flash form factor, it resembles a PCI Express Mini Card but is much smaller. Toshiba has now proved my speculation that the device uses SATA signals rather than the PCI Express lane used by the similar AirPort card. We also know that the lauded performance of the device is due to its chips and controller rather than skipping SATA in favor of PCIe as some had speculated.
Perhaps the previous discussion of spindles left you exhausted, imagining a spindly-legged centipede of a storage system, trying and failing to run on stilts. The Rule of Spindles would be the end of the story were it not for the second horseman: Cache. He stands in front of the spindles, quickly dispatching requests using solid state memory rather than spinning disks. Cache also acts as a buffer, allowing writes to queue up without forcing the requesters to wait in line.
There has been much speculation that a new generation of hybrid flash/hard disk drives was right around the corner, and Provantage confirmed it today: The reseller posted a family of “Momentus XT” 2.5″ laptop drives for sale on their web site, shipping in 3-4 weeks. Many other sites began listing the drives as well, and The Register got the scoop, benchmarks, and official comment.
This is part of an ongoing series of longer articles I am posting every Sunday. The tech industry has been buzzing about solid state drives (SSDs) again lately, but many questions remain. Even after many major vendors (Apple, EMC, and Dell to name a few) have introduced NAND flash-based disk into their core products, it is […]
Solid state (NAND flash) storage is all the rage right now, but there are many lingering questions regarding its true performance, reliability, and cost. But no question is more important in determining its ultimate usefulness than that of location: Where should flash storage be placed to maximize return on investment? Storage companies have argued that […]