TDK Launches 1.8" MicroSATA Solid State Disk Drives


Tokyo (Japan) - TDK is expanding its family of solid state disk (SSD) drives with a microSATA version that will be available with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB of capacity. Don’t expect a lot of performance or a low price, but these drives promise enough reliability for 10 years of read/write cycles and are small enough to fit into compact handheld devices such as MP3 players and MIDs.

The SSD HS1 series is TDK’s first product that comes out of a joint-venture with PQI, one of the first companies that have presented consumer-targeted solid state disk drives about three years ago. What makes this new series special is its size and the fact that it is based on the 1.8" microSATA specification, which defines the currently smallest SSD devices with a SATA interface.

The first company to announce a microSATA SSD was PNY, which said last year that it would be offering such drives with capacities of 32 GB and 64 GB by the third quarter of last year. We don’t know whether those drives actually became available, but as of today we are not aware of any U.S. retailer carrying these drives.

TDK’s drives use a SATA Gen1 1.5 Gb/s interface, which limits the performance of the drive at a lower level by default. According to the manufacturer, the HS1 series achieves a 100 MB/s burst read and 50 MB/s burst write performance. Samsung recently announced SSDs that offer more than twice the speed.

However, TDK claims that its drives are extremely reliable, integrating a 128-bit AES internal security system encrypts data for storage in the flash memory without reducing data transmission speeds within the SSD controller as well as the capability to detect errors up to seven bits in 512 bytes. According to TDK the drive supports 10 years of rewrites.

At least sample prices of these drives remain in a stratospheric range. TDK is selling the 64 GB version for $2000, the 32 GB model for $1500 and the 16 GB unit for $900.