PureSilicon, well known for their SSD products aimed at military and server applications, has announced the release of their Kage K1 series of SSDs which will be offered with both SATA III and USB 3.0 interfaces.
The SATA drive is built around a Sandforce controller and will offer read and write speeds of 540 MB/s and 520 MB/s respectively not to mention up to 60K random read/write IOPS.
It will be available in capacities of up to 400GB.
In addition, the new products will integrate eMLC nand instead of SLC in order to facilitate lower costs.
The drives will feature many of the technologies offered in pureSilicon’s higher end Nitro and Renegade lines, including self-encrypting technology and voltstream, which continuously monitors power quality and utilizes a ceramic capacitor based fail-safe mechanism. Similar technology was recently employed in Intel’s 710 SSDs, which are also aimed at the enterprise market.
The advanced features and lower maximum capacity points toward the fact that pureSilicon is using a more enterprise oriented firmware and Sandforce controller which can be a kind of double-edged sword, because although reliability will be significantly enhanced, many users will no doubt find themselves missing the storage capacity eaten up by the extra overprovisioning. The other issue is one of cost, as moving up to an SF-2500/2600 significantly increases the baseline price of a product. Given the target market, however, these potential drawbacks are actually more than acceptable.
Also being released is a USB 3.0 SSD which the company is touting as “Impossibly Thin” at 4.5mm. Available in capacities of up to 240 GB, this drive is also Sandforce based, and will offer sequential read speeds of 400MB/s.
It’s interesting to note that while most USB flash drives offer a queue depth of 1, the K1’s goes all the way to 32, increasing the likelihood that it will be able to efficiently utilize available bandwidth. This due to the drive’s use of a USB-attached SCSI interface, which is apparently far more capable than the standard mass storage device driver.
PureSilicon is targeting both drives at the high-end mainstream segment of the SSD market that will probably find many of the additional features to be quite useful. I know I wouldn’t mind owning one of these devices, if only because of how cool they look. (I suppose the enhanced reliability of eMLC flash could be an incentive as well.) Pricing for the USB drive starts at $230 while the SATA SDD will weigh in at a much heftier starting price of $975. Those interested should look for both products to be available in the latter part of Q1.
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