Monster Digital, up until now known primarily for their flash memory cards, has announced that it is branching out into the SSD market. With a strong background in flash technology, the shift certainly makes sense.
The new SSDs, named the Le Mans, will be ‘SandForce Driven’ sporting read speeds and write speeds of 550MB/s – 515MB/s which is typical of 6Gbps SF-2200 devices. This new partnership is also a vote of confidence for the recent SandForce purchase by LSI.
The key difference here is the large amounts of over provisioning that will be used on the drives. The smaller 80GB device will pack 80% over provisioning, while the 400GB capacity drive is 28% over provisioned.
This makes one wonder if these are aimed for RAID usage, as usually devices with such large amounts of over provisioning are aimed at the enterprise sector. Over provisioning in such large amounts allows for double digit multiplications of NAND endurance. Over provisioning also allows for much more efficient and steady performance in environments where TRIM is not used, such as RAID setups.
The smaller 80GB device is practically begging to be used with something such as Intels Smart Response Technology. This technology allows users to use a small SSD as the front-end for a large HDD, accelerating commonly used files. Devices with high write endurance work extremely well in these scenarios, as the constant writing due to caching typically leads to performance degradation and endurance concerns.
There is also the consideration that the device is using Toshiba synchronous MLC NAND. Some of this large amount of extra performance and endurance that is gained from over provisioning is sure to be intended to offset the usage of MLC in heavy write workload situations.
Monster Digital, formerly known as SDJ Technologies, is now falling under the umbrella of the Monster company. Monster is well known for their high performance headphones and consumer electronics accessories. The merging of these two companies was announced on November 1st. The merging will afford the former SDJ Technologies the brand name, retail distribution network, training, marketing and customer service resources of the parent company.
Monster Digital emerges a very strong company with improved resources at its disposal, so look for some great stuff to come forward from them soon! We will be covering their booth at CES as well, so stay tuned…