updated 11:10 am EDT, Wed August 18, 2010
SanDisk iSSD could lead to ultra-fast iPad
SanDisk today unveiled an entirely new class of solid-state drive that could lead to much faster portable devices. iSSD fits the entire flash memory and controller into a single, small chip but with much more speed than usual NAND flash. It competes with much larger SSDs and can hit peak read speeds of 160MB per second and writes at 100MB per second, or faster than many desktop hard disks.
The chip uses a SATA interface but can be soldered directly on to a circuit board and can take up virtually no more space than typical embedded memory. SanDisk will make the storage in capacities from 4GB to 64GB and is eager to claim that production samples are already being tested by "top-tier manufacturers." It didn't provide clues but teased equally that the iSSD will work with "all leading operating systems."
Dramatically upgraded flash memory speeds could be a significant boon to companies like Apple. It remains one of the largest customers of flash memory in the world and now needs it for more computer-like tasks with the launch of the iPad. Whether or not it would do so isn't as certain; it normally sources memory from Samsung, partly due to the Korean firm's very large manufacturing scale.
Other devices that could use the iSSD could include sufficiently large smartphones, high-end media players, smartbooks and more advanced netbooks.