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Samsung ultra-fast, cheap 256GB SSD due this year

updated 10:55 pm EDT, Sun May 25, 2008

Samsung 256GB SSD

Samsung late on Sunday promised what it says is a breakthrough in solid-state drives with the launch of its first 256GB SSD. The drive offers twice the capacity of the Korean firm's previous 128GB SSD but is also much faster. The 256GB edition reads sequential data at 200MB per second, twice the rate of the original model, while also seeing an even greater increase in write speeds: where the earlier drive writes at 70MB per second, the new SSD writes at 160MB per second. This comes in a chassis that is also described as one of Samsung's thinnest at 9.5mm (0.37in), making it suitable for very thin and light notebooks.

More important still is the cost of the technology behind the drive, Samsung says. Rather than use costly single-level cell (SLC) technology, the company has managed to develop a multi-level cell (MLC) storage drive that transfers as quickly as the best SLC storage while costing much less to produce than past SSDs. Improvements to the storage controller have also extended the longevity to as long as SLC drives, giving the 256GB drive longevity as good or better than some rotating hard disks.

Samsung expects its new drive to be sampling for computer manufacturers by September and shipping to those clients by the end of the year; this applies to both a 2.5-inch drive for more traditional notebooks and a 1.8-inch drive for ultraportables and other much smaller devices. Costs haven't yet been announced.

The company is one of the most frequent suppliers of SSDs to PC makers and sees its 1.8-inch 64GB drive in use by Apple's MacBook Air, the Lenovo ThinkPad X300, and several PC models from Dell and its sub-label Alienware. No customers have been named by Samsung, though the firm notes that it's involved in designing for "all of the top PC and server manufacturers" in the US, Asia, and Europe.

By Electronista Staff


  1. lockhartt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000


    sign me up

    Now SSD is getting interesting.

  1. tomodachi

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002



    "Costs haven't yet been announced"

    And yet your headline includes the word "cheap"?

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    250gb iPhone/iPod...

    ...would be welcome in my world...

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006



    Less than $1,000 for 64GB is cheap. Undoubtedly SSD is the future of laptop storage (and hey, maybe even desktop). Your home media/data centre has a nice RAID unit of around 4 TB in size, your mobile stuff has less, but yet still more than enough.

    I may just be being an old f***, but the first time I got a 1GB hard drive I was all "How would you ever fill this thing up?" - it was an FWB 1/2 height drive and seemed impossible at the time.

  1. hybrid

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004



    Doesn't Flash memory have a limited number of read/write cycles? What's the estimated life expectancy of some of these solid state drives?

  1. Commodus

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2002


    Drive lifetimes

    I've heard the MTBF is between 1 and 2 million hours for most of these drives. It's not spectacular, but since there's 8,760 hours in one year, there's a good chance you'll never see an SSD die in its usable lifetime!

  1. freudling


    Joined: Mar 2005



    What is the catch Samsung?

  1. DocMacPS

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2007


    SSD Bloodbath - Next Year

    Can't hardly keep up with the SSD Drive Market - right now it's more about annoucements than readily available - let alone affordable product. But I think this market is gonna be unlike any in tech history - I foresee a VERY rapid bloodbath in pricing/capacity/speed in the consumer marketplace. So NOW ain't the time to buy, that's for sure.

  1. zing77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    $450 or less is about right...

    Well to be cheap this 256GB SSD should NOT be over $450 since I paid $225 for a 128GB PNY SSD which is just as fast. Actually it's faster on reads.

  1. zing77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    $450 or less is about right continued.

    I forgot to say, the writes are also the same speed on the PNY 128GB.

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