With SSDs becoming more and more popular, the race to make them faster, denser and cheaper is heating up. Not to be left behind, Toshiba has announced on Friday a new high-density 256 GB MLC-based SSD. While not appearing to be the fastest SSD around, the drive offers good performance, a large storage capacity and a potentially low price.
The new Toshiba 256 GB SSD features an original MLC controller that Toshiba says achieves higher read/write speeds, parallel data transfers and wear leveling. The maximum sequential read and write speeds of the new SSD are claimed to be 120 MB/s and 70 MB/s, respectively. Multi-level Cell (MLC) flash memory is generally considered to be slower than single-level Cell (SLC) flash memory, but benefits from by being cheaper to manufacture. The new Toshiba 256 GB SDD uses a SATA 3.0 Gb/s interface and is available in a 2.5-inch form factor.
While 256 GB SSDs are still rather new, Toshiba will be facing some strong competition in the high-density SSD market by year’s end, as demonstrated in the below comparison. It should be noted that not all the SSDs listed below are yet available and that the maximum read and write speeds are based on the manufacture’s claims.
|Sizes||Max Seq. Read||Max Seq. Write||Form Factor||SSD Type||Interface|
|Toshiba SSD||256 GB||120 MB/s||70 MB/s||2.5-inch||MLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Micron SSD||256 GB||250 MB/s||100 MB/s||2.5-inch||MLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Samsung SSD||256 GB||200 MB/s||160 MB/s||2.5-inch||MLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Intel X25-E||32, 64 GB||250 MB/s||170 MB/s||2.5-inch||SLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Intel X25-M||80, 160 GB||250 MB/s||70 MB/s||2.5-inch||MLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Super Talent MD PX||32, 64 GB||170 MB/s||130 MB/s||2.5-inch||SLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Super Talent MD OX||32, 64, 128 GB||150 MB/s||100 MB/s||2.5-inch||MLC||SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
Alongside the new 256 GB SSD, Toshiba also launched on Friday a series of flash modules designed mainly for netbooks and other mobile devices. These small SSDs are available in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities, and are compatible with the SATA interface. As expected, these flash modules are not particularly fast, offering claimed maximum read and write speeds of 80 MB/s and 50 MB/s, respectively. Considering these flash modules are designed for use in netbooks however, the claimed speeds actually seem to be quite good.
Both the new Toshiba 256 GB SSD and the new series of flash modules are available now in sample quantities, with mass production to begin later this year. There is no word on pricing.