Acquisition to bolster existing SanDisk enterprise storage devices
Storage manufacturer SanDisk is acquiring enterprise solid state drive developer Smart Storage Systems. The "definitive agreement" to purchase the company sees SanDisk paying approximately $307 million in cash and "equity-based incentive awards" to Silver Lake Partners, with the boardroom-approved deal expected to be completed in August.
Uses iSSD to cache data for faster transfers
Western Digital has revealed it is working with SanDisk for its 5mm (0.2-inches) thick solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) that it revealed last month. The WD Black SSHD storage, aimed at notebook manufacturers aiming to create thinner devices, uses SanDisk's flash memory technology for the solid-state portion, which works alongside the WD-created hard disk.
Backed by AES encryption, cloud storage software
On Thursday, SanDisk announced four new products enhancing existing product lines. Newly unveiled are the Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card, the Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive, the thin Cruzer Pop USB Drive, and a new high-capacity Cruzer Glide. Each product emphasizes something different -- the SDHC card boasts fast read/write speed for a card, the Extreme USB 3.0 sports the new faster USB interface, the Cruzer Pop is extremely thin, and the extension of the Cruzer Glide line provides mass USB flash storage.
ETSI postpones nano-SIM vote due to divisions
Standards body ETSI has put the controversial nano-SIM vote on hold following a tumultuous build-up ahead of their latest meeting. According to FOSS Patents, the deep divisions between various smartphone makers including Apple, RIM and Nokia made it impossible to move forward with the vote as planned. Matters were further inflamed ahead of the vote with RIM also accusing Apple of vote-stacking by using proxies to conceal the identity of at least three member voters whom RIM has alleged actually work for Apple.
Media on multiple devices, supports UltraViolet
Some of the same studios that developed the the UltraViolet digital standard are launching a new initiative to make content available across multiple devices. SanDisk, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Western Digital
have formed a new working group dubbed the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) to develop a new digital rights management (DRM) protocol that would make digital media available across multiple devices and through the cloud. The group will develop the system under the working title "Project Phenix."
SanDisk 128Gb chip sets size record
SanDisk's NAND flash lineup may have set a record Wednesday after the company claimed to have the world's smallest 128-gigabit (16GB) memory chip. The 19 nanometer, three-bit-per-cell storage has a footprint of about 170mm square (0.26in square), or less than that of a penny. It's also relatively quick for its capacity and size at 144Mbps (18MB) per second.
Kinnucan accused of fraud
A slew of insider trading charges were leveled Friday against a Portland, Oregon-based analyst who allegedly provided significant leaks regarding the technology industry. Consultant John Kinnucan was accused of two counts each of securities fraud and conspiracy for reportedly passing on secret information about F5, Flextronics, and SanDisk to hedge funds that in turn unfairly benefited from the information to a combined $1.58 million. Sources at Flextronics and SanDisk ended up relating information about Apple's iPhone patterns.
Acquisition said to benefit enterprise products
SanDisk has announced that it has moved to acquire FlashSoft, a software company that specializes in flash storage for enterprise products. The latter company's software is geared for Windows, Linux and VMware platforms, helping to improve application performance by implementing SSD-based data caching that operates alongside standard disk drives.
SanDisk puts out two very high-end SSDs
SanDisk in a late Tuesday refresh tackled the very high end of solid-state drives still accessible to the public. The Extreme SSD is meant as much for gamers as for pro users and matches the performance of other fast drives with peak read speeds of 550MB per second and peak writes at 520MB per second. Its edge may be through the input-output rate, which tops at 83,000IOPS for writes and 44,000IOPS for reads.
iFixIt gives Droid 4 poorest 4 out of 10 score
The Motorola Droid 4 is the latest subject of iFixit's teardowns. The team managed to remove the non user-removable battery fairly easily, though the hardware QWERTY keyboard is oddly integrated into the motherboard and difficult to repair. This was the main reason iFixit gave the Droid 4 its lowest repairability score to date, at 4 out of 10.
Next Generation Secure Memory standard detailed
A coalition of companies have proposed the Next Generation Secure Memory standard to lock down movies and other content stored on flash memory. Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony, and Toshiba are working on a system that would put unique IDs on embedded and removable storage like SD cards and encrypt content based on public keys. The move would let studios offer movies on a non-disc physical format but theoretically keep it from being freely copied without relying on protection in the file itself.
iFixIt gives Nook Tablet a 6/10 repair score
The iFixIt crew has just obtained the Nook Tablet conducted its traditional teardown in search of its repairability and parts. The full color e-book reader has a unique built-in design element that is the carabineer clip on its corner. The microSD card slot is right beside it and it's surrounded by two small circles that hide screws.
iPod introduced 10 years ago today
Apple's iPod on Sunday marked its tenth anniversary in a very different landscape. The MP3 player was unveiled on October 23, 2001 at an event in Apple's Town Hall at its Cupertino headquarters in what's now considered one of the late Steve Jobs' crowning achievements. Its first iPod, available in just a 5GB capacity with only Mac and FireWire support, reached stores on November 10 that year for $399.
ASUS UX21 has similar basic design idea as Apple
A new teardown of the ASUS Zenbook UX21 at AnandTech has shown that its internal design, just like the outside, is very similar to the MacBook Air. Partly out of necessity, the 11-inch ultrabook uses the same basic concept of a two-board core area at the back while the front two thirds are dominated by four discrete lithium batteries. Likewise, it uses the same stick-based SSD format, although here the drives are supplied by ADATA (128GB) and SanDisk (256GB) rather than Samsung and Toshiba.
iPod nano 7G look shows new flash memory
A new teardown of the seventh-generation iPod nano has uncovered more changes than the otherwise modest update would suggest. iFixit discovered that Apple has switched from its favorite flash memory suppliers, Samsung and Toshiba, to SanDisk. While SanDisk has often partnered with Toshiba in the past, the step will see the company for the first time end up making flash memory for the iPod it had said it could defeat years ago.
SanDisk updates range of mobile storage devices
SanDisk introduced a slew of new or updated storage on Wednesday, starting with the Memory Vault. Meant for long-term data storage such as family photos, the drive uses solid-state storage and the company's Chronolock technology for preserving data for up to a claimed 100 years. It ships in 8GB and 16GB capacities, priced at $50 and $80, respectively.
Droid Bionic gets unofficial parts breakdown
Motorola's just-shipped Droid Bionic has been given a teardown that shows surprisingly easy access. The iFixit look found that 11 standard screws guard the inside, and just a minimum of screws and other extras keep components in place. The Verizon phone's internals are also very modular and keep many components, like the camera or LCD, replaceable individually instead of being tied together on expensive ribbon cables.
Samsung drops all references to Tab 7.7 at IFA
(Update: confirmed Apple move) Samsung on Saturday suddenly pulled the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and all references to it from the IFA show floor. Along with removing demo units, the company has been hiding some references with curtains and pulling decals that refer to it by name. In a podcast, Netbook News noted that the Android tablets had been replaced with Wave 3 units.
SanDisk intros tiny, Mac-ready Sansa Clip Zip
After two years' silence in the category, SanDisk returned to mini MP3 players in earnest with the Sansa Clip Zip. It stands as the first clippable Sansa with a real color screen and aims to challenge the iPod shuffle by providing the features of a full player, but at the price and size of Apple's least expensive player. Although it has just a 1.1-inch LCD, it gives an 83 percent improvement over the earlier, lower-resolution two-tone OLEDs and can display album art.
New SanDisk Ultra SSDs inbound
SanDisk has started shipping its latest SSDs to retailers. The SanDisk Ultra SATA II range is being pitched at enthusiasts interested in upgrading their own desktops or notebooks or extending the life of an older piece of equipment. SanDisk argue that replacing a traditional spinning hard drive with an SSD is more cost-effective than buying a new computer.
Droid 3 torn down by iFixit
A new teardown of Verizon's just-launched Motorola Droid 3 has shown a link to its rival at Verizon, the iPhone 4. iFixit's disassembly found that the Droid 3 was using the same Qualcomm MDM6600 as in the CDMA iPhone 4. Unlike the Apple-made device, though, the Droid 3 makes full use of its chip and can roam in Europe and elsewhere with both GSM and HSPA 3G.
iSuppli gives HP TouchPad an early cost breakdown
iSuppli on Sunday estimated that the HP TouchPad cost $306.65 to make. The raw parts cost for a 16GB Wi-Fi model is about $17 less than a 3G iPad 2 and suggests HP's Palm team opted to focus on a similar level of quality and profit margin.
SanDisk U100, i100, iNAND Extreme arrive
SanDisk kicked off Computex with a trio of flash-based storage devices made for everything from phones through to ultraportables. The SanDisk SSD line gets the U100, a raw SATA III card that gives thin-and-light notebooks speed closer to desktop SSDs. They can read and write at high peak speeds of 450MB and 340MB per second respectively and yet can fit in anything from a half-sized, slim SSD card through to 2.5-inch, enclosed designs meant for conventional notebooks.
Gives Sandisk access to $4.2 billion market
SanDisk has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Pliant Technology for $327 million in cash plus incentives. Sandisk's focus primarily has been on the consumer market, either directly or through OEMs. Pliant makes high performance SSD drives with SAS (SCSI) interfaces. Acquiring Pliant puts the company in a better position to go after the enterprise SSD storage market.
Samsung Alex Chrome OS netbook pops up
Details of Samsung's first Chrome OS netbook escaped late Wednesday with a code page (since pulled) for Chromium OS. Codenamed Alex, it would have the same 1280x800 screen resolution as the Cr-48 but pack a significantly newer dual-core, 1.5GHz Atom N550. Also spotted were 2GB of RAM and one of SanDisk's P4 mini-SSDs supplying storage.
BlackBerry PlayBook gets iFixit dissection
RIM scored a minor victory on Tuesday after a teardown of the BlackBerry PlayBook by iFixit came down in its favor. The inaugural tablet's repair friendliness reached seven out of 10, higher than the iPad 2's four, for components that could be much more easily extracted. Despite the smaller and largely very thin design, the back cover, mid-plane construction, and individual components could all be swapped out easily if necessary.
Microsoft said axing Zune players permanently
Microsoft will mark the end to a sidetrack in its history by phasing out its Zune hardware once and for all, according to a Bloomberg source said. Under the strategy, the company would keep selling the existing Zune HD but would phase it out entirely once considered obsolete. The Zune software would be left, as would the Zune Marketplace key to getting content for Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360.
SanDisk card from MetroPCS to track content
The bundled SanDisk microSD memory card with the Samsung Galaxy Indulge at MetroPCS will be capable of tracking what users put on it, SlashGear reported on Tuesday. Each time the user places something on the card, the information will be sent to MetroPCS servers. This will allow the carrier to personalize the content they offer users in the future, though the statistics will remain anonymous.
SanDisk, Imation settle differences out of court
SanDisk and Imation on Wednesday announced they had come to a cross-license deal that will allow the latter to use the former's patents in its flash memory products. The agreement settles two cases filed by SanDisk in Federal District Court against Imation that are believed to date back to 2007. The deal will see Imation pay royalties to SanDisk for technology used in its USB flash drives and solid state drives.
SanDisk UHS-I SDHC cards sport 45MBps speeds
SanDisk on Monday introduced its new line of Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I memory cards. They meet the Ultra High Speed (UHS) SD 3.0 specification that allows them to reach 45MBps read and write speeds. Also supported is the UHS Speed Class 1 video rating that guarantees 10MBps minimum sustained write speeds capable of recording 1080p videos or even 3D content.
Also intros new security features, flash drives
SanDisk today unveiled several new additions to its product range. Heading up the announcements is what SanDisk is referring to as the world’s fastest high capacity CompactFlash card. The new CF card comes with 128GB of storage and with write speeds of up to 100MB/s. With CompactFlash remaining a format of choice for professional photographers using DSLR cameras, the new CF card incorporates a feature set aimed at professional photographers and videographers. It supports imaging applications requiring 1920x1080 resolution, up to 50Mbps bit rate and 4:2:2 color sampling.
Apple CEO named decade's best over Amazon, Google
A year-end wrap-up has named Apple chief Steve Jobs the CEO of the decade. The nod from MarketWatch put him ahead of other well-known tech executives that defined the period, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Eric Schmidt. He also trumped those outside of the field, such as Starbucks' Howard Schultz and engine maker Cummins' Tim Solso.
Nikon, SanDisk and Sony work on 500MB sec CF cards
Nikon, SanDisk and Sony today proposed a format to the CompactFlash Association that would dramatically increase the performance of CF cards. The revamp would switch from an internal Parallel ATA interface to PCI Express, giving as much as 500MB per second of headroom. It would be three times faster than the 167MB CF 6.0 spec finished just this month and still faster than the 375MB per second CFast standard, which uses SATA.
Samsung Galaxy Tab gets US teardown
Samsung's Galaxy Tab was given an American teardown today by iFixit that contrasted the similarity to Apple on the outside with the difference inside. The design is "definitely mimicking Apple" in its shell and has a proprietary dock connector that's virtually identical to the 30-pin layout. Samsung has also unintentionally duplicated Apple's sealed-in design since users need two separate tools to pry open the plastic frame, although it doesn't have retaining clips that could be broken.
iSupply finds Galaxy Tab overpriced versus iPad
Samsung may be charging a premium on the Galaxy Tab despite it actually costing less to make than an iPad, iSuppli estimated today in a cost breakdown. Although the Galaxy Tab is within $30 of a 3G iPad in stores, it only costs about $205.22 in raw parts where Apple's larger 16GB tablet costs $59 more to produce. Analysts indirectly accused Samsung of making an upsized Galaxy S phone but charging a tablet premium.
iFixit finds Toshiba SSD in smaller MacBook Air
An ongoing teardown of the new 11-inch MacBook Air by iFixit has discovered extra details beyond just what Apple showed during its own keynote. The ultraportable's SSD was already known to be custom since none take up its very narrow shape, but the 64GB example here is now known to be entirely Toshiba-derived and uses the Japanese firm's memory controller and four 16GB chips from the same firm. It won't be user-replaceable but, at half the thickness and less overall area, is key to the system's thin design.
SanDisk pSSD and Samsung drive for MacBook Air
Apple's new MacBook Air may go lean by relying on relatively unused SSD technology, a tentative note by Lazard Capital investment analyst Danile Amir. Apart from backing a 11.6-inch model and SSD-only storage, he was told by an unnamed source that SanDisk and Samsung would supply at least 64GB and 128GB drives. Amir expected the drives would be relatively cheap at $100 to $200 in raw costs versus several hundred dollars, as in the past.
11.6-inch MacBook Air allegedly locked for Oct. 20
Apple's October 20 event should focus on the rumored 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a particular twist in storage, a leak this afternoon claimed. Multiple sources, at least one known to be accurate, said the ultraportable would use barebones SSDs for storage instead of the 1.8-inch fully enclosed drives used now. These wouldn't be as easily replaceable by users, AppleInsider said, but take up much less space in the tight confines of an even smaller system.
Kingston announces 32GB microSDHC memory cards
Kingston on Wednesday introduced its first 32GB microSDHC memory card. The Class 4 card will ship on October 11, and effectively doubles the largest microSDHC offering from the memory maker. The company trailsSanDisk, who was first with a 32GB microSDHC card.
Early take on Apple's sixth-generation iPod nano
When Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled his company’s new iPod Nano, some Apple lovers cringed. The device that was once so useful, they complained, has become a glorified iPod shuffle. But they might not necessarily have had reason to fear; in fact, the truth might just be the opposite.
ExoPC tablet takes advance sales
ExoPC this weekend acted on its promises and started taking pre-orders for the ExoPC Slate. The Windows tablet will first ship with a "fast" 64GB SanDisk SSD but without the initially hoped for GPS, since the current chip isn't working properly. In exchange, the price is dropping to $750 Canadian ($724 US), regardless of whether or not GPS is added back.
Microsoft hinting at last hurrah for Zune HD
Microsoft may give the Zune HD one last try, but not for some time, a source hinted Wednesday. The device mentioned to ZDNet would, as predicted, use at least some of Windows Phone 7 but wouldn't ship until sometime in 2011. Given its early development, most hardware was unknown, although it would keep using an ARM processor much like the NVIDIA Tegra used today.
SanDisk Sansa Fuse Plus gets new UI, many formats
After a long silence, SanDisk today finally updated its core MP3 players with the Sansa Fuze+. The MP3 player is first a reworking of SanDisk's interface and drops the iPod-like jogwheel for a capacitive touch directional pad. Its software interface is also new and brings a simpler if Zune-inspired "film strip" interface that puts major categories at top and provides either quick access from the top level or a launch into a deeper level.
Acer Chrome OS netbooks surface in logs
A discovery late Monday has revealed that Google may already be testing Acer-made netbooks running Chrome OS. An "Acer ZGA" system has surfaced in a Linux kernel changelog that would be consistent with Aspire One netbooks made by Quanta and which has shown in Google's own bug trackers for the open-source version of Chrome OS, Chromium OS. The details found by Macles make clear references to Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N455 and a SanDisk pSSD for storage.
SanDisk Sansa Fuze Plus leaks out
SanDisk is finally upgrading its core MP3 player line, a leak this evening showed. The Sansa Fuze+ should replace the 2.5 year old original with a fresher design that uses capacitive touch buttons and a color OLED display. It would address some longstanding complaints with support for AAC and H.264, although Engadget's spec notes SanDisk is keeping the largely unused slotRadio format an option for its microSDHC slot.
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.
Analyst sees new two new MacBook Air models
Apple is planning a huge ramp in production for a new MacBook Air that could suggest a much more mainstream design, BMO analyst Keith Bachman said today. An investigation into the supply chain suggested that two models are enroute in September that would ship in numbers far larger than for the existing Air. The researcher didn't yet have specs but believed the volume was a sign it would cost significantly less than the $1,499 Apple asks today.
SanDisk Cruzer Blade packs 16GB in paperclip size
SanDisk today brought out what it says is its smallest-ever USB flash drive. The Cruzer Blade is about as long as a paperclip but holds as much as 16GB of storage inside. It should be small enough overall to fit on a keychain without adding significant bulk.
SanDisk outs SD WORM cards for forensics
SanDisk on Wednesday began shipping a new SD memory card for forensic applications. The SanDisk SD WORM is only available in a 1GB capacity, and can only be written once but read many times for tamper-proof archiving that might be essential for evidence in a court case. The card is said to be capable of safely storing files for up to 100 years.
SanDisk intros fourth-generation SSDs for OEMs
At Computex on Tuesday, SanDisk showed off its latest solid state drives. The SSD G4 is meant to replace notebook hard drives, with the SSD P4 an OEM offering that will help notebook and tablet makers build thinner hardware. These fourth-generation SanDisk SSDs also offer twice the capacity of their predecessors, at up to 256GB and 128GB, respectively.