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Marvell, Plextor make new SSD announcements

John Hilliard

The solid-state storage market is strong right now, and it has seen increased growth over the past year. According to the market research firm IHS iSuppli, third-quarter NAND

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flash revenue rose by 5% over second-quarter revenue, to $4.5 billion, while profits nearly doubled. Marvell and Plextor recently announced the availability of solid-state drives -- new SSDs that occupy opposite ends of this increasingly crowded space.

Marvell's new enterprise-class PCIe SSD

Marvell announced the DragonFly NVDRIVE PCIe SSD, a new SSD that the company said is intended for "large-scale" Internet and cloud computing data centers. The drives are available with either 750 GB or 1.5 TB of storage, the company said, and prices begin at $2,995.

Marvell said the NVDRIVE uses non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) with onboard SSD modules for random read- and write-heavy application workloads that the company claims will offer better performance than disk-based solutions. The PCIe SSD uses automatic caching for data tiering, and supports RAID and peer-to-peer synchronous mirroring to help protect data. It also supports several storage protocols, including SCSI (local DAS), NFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and FCP.

Plextor goes small in new SSD launches for Q1

Plextor said that its M5M mSATA SSD is designed for ultrabooks and is about one-eighth the size of a standard 2.5-inch drive. Offered in 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB versions, with write speeds of 160 MBps, 320 MBps and 430 MBps, respectively, all three models offer read speeds of 540 MBps and include a Marvell 88SS9187 controller, the company said.

A separate model, the NGFF SSD, is designed to be much smaller than current mSATA models, according to Plextor. The NGFF (which the company said stands for "Next Generation Form Factor") measures 42 mm by 22 mm and is 2.5 mm thick. It is supposed to offer a 700 MBps read speed and a 550 MBps write speed, and should be available in both 128 GB and 256 GB capacities. The company said this drive will also be intended for ultrabooks.

Plextor also announced an enterprise SSD that is available from the company by custom order. Available in either single-level cell or multi-level cell NAND, the company said the SLC version is designed for "extreme reliability" while the MLC version features "power protection" that guards against data loss in case of power outages.


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