Crucial Micron is making serious SSD strides forward this morning with the much anticipated announcement of their new M500 Series SSD family. The good news isn’t limited to the typical consumer notebook form factor SSD, however, as mSATA and a new M.2 form factor are also included with this release. Add to that the news that the M500 will also be available in a 960GB version AT UNDER $600 and Crucial Micron is once again heating up the SSD pricing wars!
To start, both the Micron business/OEM version and Crucial consumer version of this new release carries the M500 nameright. The M500 contains the Marvell 88SS9187 controller and Micron’s own 20nm 128Gb MLC NAND flash memory which will be the first release on the market to enable 1TB capacities at sub $600 price points.
The M500 2.5″ form factor is available in capacities of 120, 240, 480 and 960GB and speaks to performance of 500MB/s read and 400MB/s write with up to 80,000 IOPS with a three year warranty. The M500 SSD also incorporates the following specially designed features to provide users with peace of mind that their data is protected:
- Hardware encryption technology (TCG Opal 2.0 + IEEE 1667) designed to maintain data security in the event of device theft or loss3;
- Greater thermal management enables the drive to work with the host computer to dynamically adjust power consumption based on usage demands, helping designers face the challenges of ultra-small, thermally constrained systems; and
- Expanded power-loss protection and advanced error recovery techniques deliver class-leading reliability. Data integrity is protected even during unexpected power loss.
The M500 is also available in both mSATA and the newer M.2 NGFF (Next generation Form Factor) specification with capacities available in 120, 240 and 480GB which will be an amazing storage capacity for todays new ultrabook family.
Something that we can see with the mSATA version and that will be present in all M500 SSDs are the inclusion of several very small power capacitors. These capacitors enable the SSD to ensure that all active data reaches safe storage in the memory should a power failure occur. Although this has been commonplace for the more expensive enterprise varients for some time, Crucial Micron is now making this standard with the entire M500 family.
Here is an initial look at the new M.2 NGFF form factor which is expected to become the new industry standard. One thing this design is expected to enable is a seperate dual sided SSD that is capable of actual hosing two seperate SSDs on one ‘gumstick’ or ‘blade’. This form factor also enables higher capacities such as we will see with the 480GB Micron release.