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Samsung gears up to make half-terabyte flash drives

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Samsung is close to volume production of half-terabyte PC/notebook solid state drives (SSD) with impressively fast read and write speeds.

The product, which doubles the 256GB capacity of the previous Samsung client SSD and will ship a year after it, should be mass-produced next month. Samsung says it uses "state of the art" toggle-mode dual-data rate (DDR) flash delivering 220MB/s sequential write and 250MB/s sequential read speeds. Its current PC SSD gets a maximum 220MB/s read speed and 200MB/s write speed from its two-bit multi-level cell (MLC) design.

Toggle-mode DDR NAND has a DDR interface that is said to bump up write performance by 50 per cent and read performance by 125 per cent. JEDEC is standardising it, which means other suppliers should ship the technology.

The new SSD is based on 30nm-class, 32Gbit chips and has a 3Gbit/s SATA interface. Its controller analyses the SSD's frequency of use and user preferences to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook's battery life for an hour or more. That sounds like a very nice feature.

It includes AES 256-bit encryption, making it a good bet for data security if the device using it gets hacked, stolen or lost, and supports the Windows TRIM feature. It's said to have a streamlined Boot operation as well as faster application access, giving it nine times faster random data access than a typical notebook hard drive.

There's no word on prices, endurance or whether its single-level cell or multi-level cell technology. We assume it's two-bit MLC and will have relatively high prices considering its capacity and performance. State-of-the-art toggling will not come cheap. ®

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