SSD Technology Takes Center Stage At CES


SSD technology is taking center stage at CES as several vendors introduce either new SSDs or new devices such as tablet PCs which use the drives.

The new crop of SSDs and devices featuring SSDs comes as the IT industry looks for ways to more widely adopt the technology in server, storage, PC, and consumer devices.

OCZ Technology Group, a San Jose, Calif.-based SSD vendor, on Thursday introduced new drives for the gamer and prosumer and the enterprise markets.

The company unveiled its new Vertex 3 Pro SSDs, which feature a 6-Gbps SATA interface and SandForce controller technology giving them performance of up to 80,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) and 550 MBps transfer rate.

OCZ also used CES to introduce the new Z-Drive R3 SSD. The Z-Drive R3 features a PCIe interface, capacity of up to 1.2 TBs, and performance of over 135,000 IOPS and 1-GBps transfer rate.

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Irvine, Calif., used CES to demonstrate how its recently-introduced SATA-based SSDs work in rugged environments by displaying a drive that operates while submerged in an aquarium. The company is also running two PCs, one with a traditional hard drive and one with an SSD, on a vibrating table to show how the hard drive stops operating due to the vibration while the SSD continues to work.

SSDs are also being found in many consumer devices at CES, including tablet PCs from companies such as ASUS and Motion.

ASUS used CES to unveil its ASUS Eee Slate EP121 tablet PC, which includes a modular 32-GB or a 64-GB SSD from SanDisk, a Milpitas, Calif.-based SSD vendor.

Tablet PC maker Motion Computing used CES to introduce its new CL900 ruggedized tablet PC featuring the Intel Atom processor, Windows 7, and either a 30-GB or 62-GB SSD. It is slated to ship early next quarter, the Austin, Texas-based company said.

Chip developer Marvell, Santa Clara, Calif., used CES to introduce a new 6-Gbps SATA controller for storage and PC vendors that allows a traditional hard drive and an SSD to operate together as if they were a single high-speed drive. The chip, expected to ship this quarter, uses intelligent algorithms to pin hot data files and directories in an SSD for fastest access while all data is stored in a large-capacity hard drive.