SanDisk unveils fast SSDs for mobile devices

The U100 and i100 solid-state drives come with Sata 3.0 to boost input/output efficiency and are designed with a low-power architecture to reduce battery drain when idle

SanDisk is getting ready to release two solid-state drives with the Sata 3.0 communications interface, targeted at mobile devices.

The standalone U100 is aimed at use with notebooks, while the i100 is designed for integration into tablets and thin notebooks, the Californian company said in its announcement on Tuesday.

The hard-drive maker consulted industry "stakeholders" when creating the new solid-state drives (SSDs) to make sure they reflect "fast-moving market requirements", Rizwan Ahmed, an SSD marketing director for the company, said in the statement.

"We develop low-power, high-performance Sata SSDs that optimally fit into a growing number of thin-client devices," Ahmed added.

The i100 is part of SanDisk's family of tiny iSSDs. Its face measurement is 16mm by 20mm — about the size of a postage stamp. Its depth is 1.4mm for capacities up to 64GB, and 1.85mm for 128GB.

Both new drives support Sata 3.0, which is designed to work at 6Gbps, twice the rate provided by its predecessor Sata 2.0. Consequently, the SSDs can provide better multitasking, multimedia synchronisation, file-transfer rates and overall system responsiveness compared with earlier SSDs, according to SanDisk.

In addition, the i100 and the U100 are capable of 450MBps of sequential reads. The i100 can handle up to 160MBps of sequential writes, while the U100 can do 340MBps. As for storage capacity, the i100 ranges from 8GB to 128GB, while the U100 goes from 8GB to 256GB.

For comparison, Intel's flagship 25nm 320 series of SSDs have demonstrated sequential writes of 220MBps and sequential reads of 270MBps and are available in capacities up to 600GB. However, the 320 series are only available with 3Gbps Sata.

Both SSDs use a low-power architecture that allows them to use Sata Device Initiated Power Management (DIPM) to consume less than 10 milliwatts (mW) when idle, compared with100mW for the Intel SSDs.

The drives are in the sampling stage now, before mass production, which is set for the third quarter. Pricing was not disclosed.

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