Samsung mass producing 256GB SSDs

The manufacturer claims its 2.5-inch, quarter-terabyte solid-state drives offer the 'highest overall performance' of any SSDs being used in the PC industry today

Samsung is now mass producing 256GB solid-state drives, the manufacturer announced on Wednesday.

The company first revealed the 256GB multi-level cell solid-state drives (SSDs) in May. Samsung now offers SSDs with 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities for low-density designs and 64GB, 128GB and 256GB alternatives for the higher densities, the company said in a statement.

The 2.5-inch SSD is larger in capacity than any solid-state drive found in notebook computers until now. The largest equivalent hard-disk drive (HDD) for notebooks is 1TB in capacity.

Although SSDs are pricier per gigabyte than their mechanical, moving-parts counterparts, they tend to operate faster and on less power, and are also usually smaller and lighter. They have become particularly popular in the past year or two because of their use in the growing netbook segment.

Samsung claims its 256GB SSD offers the "highest overall performance [of all SSDs] in the personal-computer industry". Sequential read rates on the component are 220MBps and sequential write rates are 200MBps. Erase cycles on the SSD run to 100GB per second.

"Getting our… 256GB SSD in a notebook is analogous to having a 15,000rpm drive, without all of its size, noise, power and heating drawbacks," said Samsung's vice president of memory marketing, Jim Elliott, in the statement. The SSD "launches applications 10 times faster than the fastest 7,200rpm notebook HDD", Samsung suggested.

Samsung claims that the new SSD draws much less power — around 1.1 watts — than the two or more watts used by a "comparable" HDD.

Corporate users can choose to get the 256GB with full disk encryption built in, Samsung said.