SanDisk's 128GB 2nd Gen iSSD Redefines Smartphone Storage
6/1/2011 by: Anshel Sag
Even though Jen-Hsun Huang boldy proclaimed that the revolution in tablet performance will come from them, not Intel and that in five years tablets will outpace desktops, there is a significant problem with that plan to which neither nVidia, Qualcomm or TI cannot address: storage space and more importantly, bandwidth.
Right now, storage speed in cellphones is measured in gigabytes per second, not in tens or more necessary, hundreds of gigabytes per second and that is one of reasons why it doesn't matter if you're using an iOS, Android or webOS device, some apps will simply glitch and reduce your smooth experience simply because that storage or system memory bottleneck.
SanDisk iSSD Series is very compact in size, here compared to a 7" Archos tablet
SanDisk is no newcomer to the embedded SSD market. Back in August of 2010, SanDisk announced their first generation iSSD which was capable of sizes up-to 64GB and relatively measly 160MB/s read and 100MB/s write. Those numbers didn’t seem too bad for a first generation embedded SSD and they were best-in-class by a mile (compare 100MB/s write to approx. 20-25MB/s read and 5-15MB/s write on microSD card, todays' standard for Android phone storage), but now their 2nd generation makes those numbers seem like a joke and makes today's superphones - relics of stone age.
SanDisk claims that the new line of iSSDs will be able to do almost desktop-like performance, with 450MB/s read and 160MB/s write. These figures nearly triple those of the previous generation of iSSDs. Meanwhile SanDisk has also managed to double the maximum capacity that their tiny little iSSD is capable of storing up-to a fairly large 128GB. Considering the size, this is quite an achievement and could lead to smartphones and tablets coming with 128GB of storage as a pinnacle standard. Because of these speeds, SanDisk claims that these will be running on SATA-3 6Gbps and only consume about ~10mw in slumber power mode.
The U100, on the otherhand, is the slightly bigger and faster new brother to the embedded market. While the iSSD can only be installed via BGA (Ball Grid Array), the U100 SSD can be installed via half-slim SATA, mSATA and mSATA mini. Even so, it will still be 2.5" cased which seems a little counter productive when you consider that its usefulness is in its size not just its speed. Even so, the U100 is capable of speeds upto 450MB/s read and 340MB/s write which indicates that the U100 is a much better write drive for ultra-thin notebooks. Furthermore, it comes in a larger 256GB capacity which further facilitates OEMs in placing lots of storage in a smaller place.
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