SanDisk Launches Company's First Self-Encrypting SSD

By Pedro Hernandez

After targeting data center storage systems with the company's new 4 TB enterprise-grade SAS solid-state drives (SSDs), SanDisk is now turning its attention to corporate PCs.

The flash chip manufacturer has released the X300s, SanDisk's first self-encrypting SSD for securely storing data on business PCs and laptops. Available in 2.5-inch and single-sided M.2 2280 form factors, the latter of which is a compact storage board for that dispenses with an enclosure, X300s SSDs offer 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of capacity. The 2.5-inch version maxes out at 1 TB while the M.2 2280 SSD supports up to 512 GB.

SanDisk X300s SSDs, made with the company's 1Ynm (19 nm) multi-level NAND process technology, sport a 6 Gb per second SATA 3.1 interface and deliver sequential read and write performance of up to 520 MB per second and 460 MB per second, respectively. Random read performance is rated at up to 96,000 IOPS while random writes clock in at 80,000 IOPS.

At load, X300s SSDs consume 0.12 watts of electricity. The device carries a mean time between failure of 2 million hours. An integrated thermal sensor steps down the drive's performance when the drive detects potentially dangerous spikes in temperature.

Tucked into those specifications is the new SSD's main draw: enhanced, hardware-based security for notebook PC. X300s can help businesses keep a lid on sensitive data, even if the notebooks containing them are lost or pilfered, according to SanDisk's Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager of client storage solutions.

Highlighting the risk, SanDisk cited results from a 2013 study from Forrester Research indicating that of all data security breaches, 32 percent could be traced back to the loss or theft of corporate laptops. X300s SSDs minimize the dangers of wayward PCs with a hardware crypto engine that supports the AES 256-bit FIPS 197 standard.

X300s safeguards data with full-disk encryption, minus the performance penalty exacted by software-based solutions. It supports the Trusted Computing Group's (TCG) Opal 2.0 and Microsoft Hard Drive Encryption (Opal 2.0 plus IEEE 1667) standards for secure client storage management.

"For the enterprises that deploy hundreds or even thousands of laptops, it’s essential that their IT departments be able to centrally and securely manage these devices," said Conley in a statement. X300s, he claimed, "helps corporate IT leaders not only deliver the heightened performance and lower TCO that flash is known for, but also addresses data protection and security needs, without business disruption."

In related flash storage news, the company also announced a joint venture with rival flash chip maker Toshiba.

The companies are teaming to produce next-gen 3D NAND memory at a new, environmentally-friendly semiconductor fabrication facility that will replace Toshiba's NAND Flash memory Fab 2 plant at the company's Yokkaichi Operations site in Japan. Toshiba and SanDisk plan to use the plant to shift from today's 2D NAND manufacturing processes to 3D NAND in 2016.

"We are confident that our joint venture with SanDisk will allow us to produce cost competitive next generation memories at Yokkaichi," stated Toshiba corporate senior vice president Yasuo Naruke in prepared remarks.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on May 15, 2014