Toshiba has publicly released the same solid state drives used in the popular Apple MacBook Air notebooks, so any interested consumers can now purchase the super slim drives.
The new Blade X-Gale SSDs look like traditional sticks of RAM memory, reminding us of Viking’s SATADIMM SSD’s that actually lock into motherboard RAM slots. The Blade X-Gale SSDs use the SATA 2 interface to connect to the host systems. Two drives from the new line are just 2.2mm thick and the other drives are 3.7mm in thickness — still significantly thinner than mSATA SSDs used today.
The drives can reach read speeds up to 220MBps and write speeds up to 180MBps, using multi-level NAND technology to reach higher speeds.
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and other OEMs have access to the Toshiba SSDs, but have been relatively hesitant to embrace the products. Furthermore, there has been concern regarding the thinner drives, but Toshiba said they’ll work appropriately when implemented in the correct form factor.
The new SSD is marketed as a storage solution for mobile products that need to fit into a small space. Storage capacities will include the same three sizes found in the MacBook Air: 64 GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Toshiba and a few other companies have shown renewed vigor in SSD development, but there is still a lot left to be done. Toshiba, Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi currently control the HDD market — and each one is branching out to SSDs with a similar focus of increasing storage capacities while making the drives smaller.
Flash storage (i.e. SSDs) are expected to become more popular over time, but their use in netbooks, tablets and notebooks hasn’t picked up the same way some people expected. Aside from Apple’s continued use of flash technology in its notebooks, other manufacturers haven’t been as anxious to embrace SSDs, most likely due to the higher costs.