Intel Developer Forum, Day Three: All About Power

Toshiba, SSDs, And More USB 3.0

Toshiba and SSDs

Competing in a market that’s been targeted by the world’s largest semiconductor company is no easy task. Given Intel’s push into the SSD (solid state storage) market, Toshiba has tried to differentiate itself from Intel’s more commodity-like approach. For example, Toshiba offers a half-terabyte SSD, while Intel’s current largest SSD is 160GB.

Now Toshiba is pushing into alternative form factors, such as a mSATA (mini-SATA) configuration in 30GB and 62GB sizes, suitable for netbooks or server boot drives. These drives plug directly into a mini-PCI interface and are substantially smaller (up to 1/7th the size of a 2.5-inch form factor). Toshiba will also be offering similar configurations in a “half-slim” form factor, smaller than a business card, with no actual case, that plugs directly into a SATA port.

USB 3.0 Update

We mentioned USB 3.0 (also known as “SuperSpeed USB”) in our day two IDF update. We’re updating that brief mention today with an update after a technical session on USB 3.0’s steady march towards actual products.

Up to 10x performance increase--480 Mb/s to 5 Gb/s
Fast Sync-N-Go to minimize user wait time
Optimize power efficiency--uses 1/3 the power of USB 2.0; no device polling and lower active and idle power requirements
Backward compatible with USB 2.0.

NEC announced the first SuperSpeed USB host controller, the uDP 720200. Asus had a PCI Express interface card based on the NEC chip, running in several PCs, connected to various peripherals.

Asus is also showing its previously-announced P6X58 Premium motherboard with the NEC controller built directly onto the motherboard. The system was connected to a solid state drive streaming data off at 250MB/sec, around eight times faster than similar USB 2.0 products. Fujitsu demoed a laptop PC with the NEC host controller, too.

Given Intel’s public roadmaps, it may be a good year before we see SuperSpeed USB embedded into PC core logic. Then there’s the issue of software support. At the USB 3.0 technical session, senior program manager Lars Guisti of Microsoft gave an update on how SuperSpeed USB’s XHCI driver stack might be implemented into Windows.

It’s a fairly complex driver stack, given support for backward compatibility, the new power management features, and higher data speeds. Microsoft will be delivering native support for XHCI in some future Windows update, but the timing is uncertain.

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  • burnley14
    It sounds like Toshiba is developing a SSD that plugs directly into a SATA port, which sounds ideal as long as it's bootable, even if the storage is limited. Now just work on making it cheaper . . .
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  • ceteras
    burnley14It sounds like Toshiba is developing a SSD that plugs directly into a SATA port, which sounds ideal as long as it's bootable, even if the storage is limited. Now just work on making it cheaper . . .

    What do you mean by "as long as it's bootable". How on Earth do you imagine they could make it non-bootable?

    A SSD that plugs directly into a SATA port would be a standard SATA device, only smaller, and using the right connector to fit the one on the mainboard. Of course it needs another one for power.

    Perhaps it will look like this one, only it should be even smaller and a lot faster.
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  • Anonymous
    To me, Clarkdale is definitely the most interesting of the new Intel products. With built-in HD acceleration and high-definition audio bitstreaming (according to Anandtech), it looks like this is going to be THE chip for HTPC applications. At least it will be if they can ensure that 24p output works smoothly (it didn't with the G45, at least at first - not sure if that was ever fixed), and ensure that there are no other major showstoppers.

    Intel is usually pretty good about Linux driver support, so I really hope that their Linux drivers will support the TrueHD/DTS-MA bitstreaming functions. It would be great if XBMC for Linux could bitstream these formats from MKV files. This would ensure zero quality loss from Blu-Ray backups.
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  • alexie
    paying $200 to CPU+GPU and also paying 50-70$ or more to mainboard for a PC with clarkdale and also paying another $100 or more for extra GPU???
    I'd rather go core i5 :)
    I think Intel needs to make something more to clarkdale for us to buy it.
    Do you?
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  • WINTERLORD
    from the way it was worded about intel aqnd gulftown 6core processor well with all the intigration of stuff ect. i sure hopoe gulftown aint a disappiontment. also i was under the impression that the 1366 would support an 8core 16 process through hyper thread. hope all this stuff holds true in the long run would sure like to see it stay on the 1366 socket awhile
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  • Anonymous
    I hope the integrated GPU can work together with the discrete GPU to add some value. At least be able to switch between them without going to the BIOS.
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  • anamaniac
    Very impressive.
    For some, the integrated GPU works perfectly fine. Unless gaming/CAD/photoshop etc., you have no use for anything else.
    I know this would work fine for most. Starcraft/Warcraft3/WoW (guess this would be a large market share they would want to target)/CS:S etc. would all run perfectly fine on it. Most people can use a solo core and never even notice.
    Honestly, my old integrated graphics/1.6Hz celeron (not a atom) works just fine (well, before it burned out recently). My i7 and descrete graphics is just for hardcire gaming AND bragging rights.

    I imagine this will be far under $200 (Intel claimed its integrated graphics cost OEMs about $7 a peice, and being a dual core, it's gonna be cheap likely). Lets assume $150 CPU, $100 MOBO, $50 RAM, $50 HDD, $20 DVD, $30 case, $40 PSU, $5 mouse, $15 keyboard, $20 speakers, $100 1024p monitor and it all racks to $580 for a complete system that would still kick ass.

    It's a dual core, it's not aimed for gamers, so deal with it. =D
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