By Dave Simpson
November 16, 2010 – Hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer Hitachi Global Storage Technologies entered the solid-state disk (SSD) drive market today with the introduction of drives that are available with either SAS or Fibre Channel interfaces.
Hitachi GST’s Ultrastar SSD400S drives are the result of a partnership with Intel. The SSD400S controllers were jointly developed by Hitachi and Intel, and Intel supplies the 34nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND devices.
Hitachi is currently shipping limited quantities of the SSDs to OEMs, with production shipments expected to ramp in the first half of 2011, according to Dean Amini, Hitachi GST’s director of enterprise product marketing.
The Ultrastar SSD400S SSDs are available in 100GB, 200GB and 400GB models. The SAS drives come in a 2.5-inch form factor and the Fibre Channel models come in a 3.5-inch form factor.
On the 400GB SAS version, Hitachi GST claims performance of 535MBps on sequential reads and 500MBps on sequential writes with 64KB block sizes. On the 400GB Fibre Channel drives, the company claims performance of 390MBps on sequential reads and 340MBps on sequential writes with 64KB block sizes. Random read/write performance is specified at 46,000/13,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) at 4KB block sizes. All performance figures are for single-port configurations.
In terms of reliability, Hitachi GST specifies a mean time between failure of two million hours. And in terms of endurance, the company claims that the 400GB model can withstand 35PB of random writes, which translates into 19.2TB per day for five years. The drives come with a five-year warranty.
Hitachi uses a number of technologies to extend the life and reliability of NAND flash, including wear leveling, read disturb, write amplification, and bad block management technology.
The SSDs consume 2.0 watts in idle mode, and 6.0 watts in operation mode.
Hitachi GST’s Ultrastar SSD400S drives are designed for enterprise-class applications, as opposed to desktop or portable applications. IDC expects unit shipments of enterprise SSDs to grow at a 74% CAGR through 2014, with revenue growing at a 44% rate.
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