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Micron Announces New and Powerful SSD

Micron Technology have announced their latest solid state drive which they claim will be their most powerful drive created to date. Not only will the drive had improved power efficiency, increased durability and lifespan, but it also boasts improved performance.

The drive is called the M600 SATA SSD and is being positioned within the high-end of Micron’s products. It replaces the existing M550 model as the most powerful and is a step above the M510 and M500.

The drive will not be available to consumers, nor do the company have any plans to open it up to the wider market. Although this may change in the future, currently the new drive will only be available to original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, and businesses.

The M600 is being marketed as a great drive for mobile computing applications, which include devices like ultrabooks and tablets. It would also be suitable for PC desktops that have a focus on performance or systems that are used for video capture.

“Micron's M600 delivers the power efficiency and performance that helps to enable instant-on performance and responsiveness as well as the all-day battery life demanded by next-generation computing systems,” said Greg Wong, principal analyst at Forward Insights.

The drive is expected to launch at a $450 price point and a 1TB capacity. That’s certainly no small expense and shows that the prices of solid state drives have not really dropped drastically since they were first introduced. Those looking for cheaper options are still better off served with a hard disk drive, although they don’t offer the same performance.

Less than 2 milliwatts will be drawn from the drive when it’s in sleep mode (when no data is being read or written) and around 150mW during use. Micron claim that this will be a great advantage to laptop users as it’ll provide them a longer battery life from a single charge. The company cited that standard laptop hard drives require 130mW while idle and up to 10 times more power to spin their platters; the M600 certainly outperforms on this front.

Micron is using dynamic write acceleration in the new drive. This means that the drive’s NAND flash components will act more like multi-level cell or single-level cell memory (which is a higher grade) on the fly. This technology is dynamic, which allows the drive to disable as much NAND memory as necessary in order to boost performance. No change is seen by the end user – it’s all performed in the background.

The efficiency of the drive is claimed by Micron because it can reach a total of 400TB total written, which amounts to 220GB a day for five years. The company hope that this will stop consumers worrying about the longevity of SSDs.

“The M600 sets a new bar for power, security and efficiency in client SSDs and delivers on our vision to provide the most advanced storage solutions,” said Darren Thomas, the vice president of Micron's storage unit. “OEMs expect Micron to deliver leading-edge SSDs that give their products an advantage and a noticeably better user experience. The M600 fulfils that promise.”

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