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Micron lights touchpaper on flash rocket

SSD now stands for supersonic drive

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Micron has announced what looks like a blazingly fast multi-level cell solid state drive (SSD), which supports the 6Gbit/s SATA interface.

The RealSSD C300 is built using the 34nm process Micron and Intel have developed. It comes in both 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors and has 128GB and 256GB capacity points. The read speed is, frankly, amazing, at up to 355MB/sec. The write speed is less impressive, being up to 215MB/sec but this is multi-level cell (MLC) flash, 2X MLC we reckon, not the faster single level cell system.

Micron provides us with a PC Mark Vantage HDD Suite benchmark score of 45,000 using the 3Gbit/s SATA interface. That seems huge, with quick checks showing a Kingston SSDNow V+ series 64GB SSD scoring 21,563 on the same benchmark. An OCZ V2 60GB SSD ran at 13,523.

It has an ONFI (Open NAND Flash Interface) 2.1 synchronous NAND function which means it will work with operating systems that support that and contribute to quicker boot, hibernation entry and recovery activities. Micron says the C300 is for desktops and notebooks and it is, Micron claims, "the fastest PC SSD leveraging the industry standard SATA 3Gbit/s interface." The 6Gbit/s SATA interface is there ready and waiting for motherboards supporting it.

Micron is sampling the C300 now with general availability expected in the first quarter next year. This technology is promising as Intel - Micron's NAND partner - can be expected to use similar technology in its X18 and X25 line of SSDs. ®

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