Toshiba brings out business-card-sized SSDs

One of the modules, made using a 32nm manufacturing process, uses the newly announced mini-Sata interface specification that is intended for SSDs in netbooks and other portable devices
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Toshiba has unveiled solid-state drives based on the new mini-Sata interface standard, which lets manufacturers create very small drives for use in netbooks and other portable or embedded devices.

The Japanese hardware maker introduced the two 32nm SG2 SSD modules, each of which comes in two capacities, on Monday. In a separate announcement the same day, the Sata-IO consortium said it is developing mini-Sata (mSata).

The new interface specification will provide "a high-performance, cost-effective storage solution for smaller devices like notebooks and netbooks", said the consortium, which includes Toshiba.

One of Toshiba's SG2 modules uses an mSata interface, while the other uses a standard Sata II connector in a 'Half-Slim' caseless format. The modules, which come in capacities of 30GB and 62GB, are each smaller than a business card, according to the manufacturer. The mSata module measures 30mm x 4.75mm x 50.95mm, while the Sata II module measures 54mm x 4mm x 39mm.

The company said that the 62GB version of the module is one-seventh the volume and one-eighth the weight of the standard, 2.5-inch SSDs currently used in netbooks.

"Our latest 32nm mSata and Half-Slim caseless modules enable hardware designers to add the performance and reliability advantages of a solid-state drive in a smaller, footprint for notebooks, portable electronics and other embedded storage applications," Toshiba memory chief Scott Nelson said in a statement.

The SG2 modules have interface speeds of up to 3Gbps, a maximum sequential read speed of 180MBps and a maximum sequential write speed of 70MBps. The modules will go into volume production in October, Toshiba said.

Other manufacturers working on the mSata specification include Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, SanDisk and STEC.

Toshiba SSDs

Toshiba's new 32nm SSD modules come in two flavours — one with a standard Sata II interface and the other with a new mSata interface
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