Feeds

WD shipping consumer SSDs

Looking for silicon edge

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Western Digital has started shipping consumer-focused solid-state drives (SSDs).

The SiliconEdge Blue family is a range of 2.5-inch form factor SSDs storing up to 256GB of data, and having a 3Gbit/s SATA interface. The read speed is up to 250MB/sec and the write speed up to 170MB/sec. WD says the products have "maximum tolerance for drops, shock and vibration along with silent and low-power operation."

Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSD

The operational lifespan is said to be unlimited for reads and 42.1GB/day for writes with the 256GB version, 21GB/day for the 128GB model, and 10.5GB/day for the 64GB product.

These are multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs - we don't know the number of bits yet, but it's probably either two or three - with wear-levelling algorithms, error correction control, and support for TRIM and Native Command Queuing (NCQ).

WD says they're designed for use both by OEMs, who may use them for "write-intensive, 24/7 ... applications", and consumers, such as technology enthusiasts, gamers and road warriors, looking more for read-intensive application use.

It seems clear that these new SSDs are developments of WD's existing SiliconDrive III product range which are sold into the communications, industrial, embedded computing, data centre, aerospace, military and OEM medical markets. Here we have a definite range expansion into the consumer market.

The obvious competing products seem to be the Intel X25-M SSDs, as well as products from Seagate, Micron, OCZ, Vertex, and others. Intel's X25-M is a similar 2.5-inch, 3Gbit/s SATA, MLC product (2 bits per cell) with either 80 or 160GB capacities. It is built on a 34nm process that is transitioning to a 25nm one, meaning Intel could increase capacity inside the same form factor. Apparently Intel also has 3-bit MLC technology using the 34nm process, so it has a couple of options for increasing X25-M capacity if it wishes.

Seagate's enterprise-oriented Pulsar SSDs are 2.5-inch form factor, 3Gbit/s SATA products built with single level cell (SLC) technology and available at 50, 100 and 200GB capacity points. They come with a 5-year warranty and can be assumed to be faster than the MLC SiliconEdge Blue products.

Micron's RealSSD C300 has a faster 6Gbit/s interface and blistering speed; reads being up to 355MB/sec and writes as fast as 215MB/sec. The net of this is that Intel's X25-M will be the main competition, together with OCZ and other suppliers' consumer products.

WD's SiliconEdge Blue SSDs have manufacturer's suggested retail pricing (MSRP) of $279 for a 64GB model, $529 for a 128GB version and $999 for the 256GB product. All three models have a 3-year limited warranty. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.