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Hitachi GST solid state drive spotted at convention

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A Hitachi GST solid state drive (SSD) is being shown at the Hitachi uValue 2010 convention in Tokyo.

There is very little information available but we know it's a 2.5-inch form factor product with SAS and FCAL (Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop) interfaces, making it a product to fit into a 2.5-inch small form factor disk drive slot in a SAS or Fibre Channel disk drive array. Currently STEC is the only supplier of Fibre Channel interface SSDs with the ZeusIOPS line, available in both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factors. Most enterprise drive array manufacturers offer STEC SSDs. With this product Hitachi GST could offer itself as a second source to small form factor ZeusIOPS SSDs.

There was no indication as to whether the Hitachi GST SSD is a single level cell (SLC) or multi-level cell (MLC) device.

It was shown alongside two UltraStar 2.5-inch enterprise hard disk drives, one a 10,000rpm device, the other a 15,000rpm product, suggesting that it might be branded UltraStar as well, and intended for use in enterprise drive arrays. As such the probability is that it will at least come with an SLC flavour since that is faster than MLC.

The exhibit labelling did not mention Intel. Hitachi GST is known to be working with Intel to produce an SSD.

No capacity figures were quoted. According to stand staff, several capacity point versions of the SSD will be announced later this year. We counted what looked like eight dies on the exhibited device, which had its top cover removed. It's fairly reasonable to imagine three capacity points, such as 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, or 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. We will have to wait and see. ®

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