Each year I that attend CES, I can’t help but swing by the huge HDTVs and see the new “world’s biggest” set. It’s a status symbol of course, but this year might be the first time I focus more on the “world’s biggest” Solid State Disk capacity. For that I’ll be hitting up Toshiba’s booth for sure as they’ve pre-announced their 512GB unit that will be showcased at CES.
Manufacturing samples won’t be doled out until the first quarter of the year and Toshiba says that actual shipping products won’t appear for a few months after that. The new drives take advantage of 43nm Multi-Level Cell flash modules and will be available in 64-, 128-, and 256GB capacities as well. The “extra-large” 512GB unit will appear in a 2.5-inch enclosure, which is fairly common in most notebooks today. Smaller capacity units will also come in a 1.8-inch size option, making it usable in digital audio players and other handheld consumer electronics. Each model offers a SATA-2 interface and offers speeds of up to 240MBps for data reads and 200MBps for data writes.
No word on pricing yet, which will likely determine if I was correct in thinking that 2009 will be the year that SSD becomes mainstream. Early in the SSD market the other barrier was the limited capacity, as 16- and 32GB were the norm less than two years ago. Now that the capacities are approaching or exceeding traditional magnetic media, we’ll have to see if that cost per GB of storage comes down.