FLASH STORAGE MAKER Adata has launched two solid state disk (SSD) storage drives today, the XPG SX300 and the Premier Pro SP300, for mini-SATA (mSATA) enabled motherboards.
Adata's main driver (no pun intended) behind the launch is that the SSDs can also be used as cache drives instead of main storage, allowing systems to gain speed boosts comparable to those having SSDs as primary data storage drives.
The XPG SX300 is a high-end mSATA drive aimed at users wanting a more powerful and faster standard SSD in a smaller package.
Adata claims that read and write speeds can reach 550MB/s and 505MB/s, respectively, on the SX300, with a maximum 4K random write rate of 85,000 Input and Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). It has a 6Gbit/s interface and comes in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.
The Premier Pro SP300, which comes in 24GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, is targeted more at users who want to upgrade their existing systems and use it as a caching drive. It has a SATA 3Gbit/s interface. Read and write speeds reach 280MB/s and 260MB/s, respectively, with a maximum 4K random write rate of 46,000 IOPS.
Adata said that the SP300 is for use in conjunction with a larger but slower mechanical hard drive configerations to increase a system's storage read and write speeds.
Adata said both SSD drives take advantage of Intel's smart response technology (SRT), which was introduced in its Z68 chipset launched last year.
The flash memory firm also claimed that the SSD drives use NAND Flash components optimised in the firmware to increase storage capacity by seven per cent more than other SSDs that use a Sandforce controller.
"Everything is becoming smaller. The big PC desktop systems are shrinking and this is why we are producing these drives at the same quality as standard SSDs," Asata's marketing manager, Alex Ruedinger told The INQUIRER.
"Of course the price is a little higher than standard SSDs, but the space on the mSATA is very limited so we cannot use as many flash integrated circuits (ICs) as on a bigger SSDs."
Talking about the future of mSATA drives, Ruedinger said he expects prices to drop by the end of the year.
"The price war is ongoing and the price drops with every die shrink," he said. "We are currently working with 25 nanometer ICs. The new die shrink will be at the end of quarter three, beginning of quarter four this year when everything will shrink to 19 or 21 nanometers. This will cause a 20 per cent loss in pricing, which is very good for the end users."
The Adata XPG SX300 SSD drives are available for $109.99 for the 64GB drive, $179.99 for the 128GB model and $349.99 for the top end 256GB unit. The SP300 SSD drives will set you back $59.99 for the 24GB drive, $69.99 for the 32GB model and $103.99 for the largest 64GB version. µ