A Closer Look
Mushkin ships its Reactor drives in a blister pack to keep costs down. This shifts the responsibility for packaging to the company's distributors. Fortunately, SSDs are very robust and not particularly susceptible to shipping damage.
Mushkin uses a 7mm z-height chassis for the Reactor, so it fits in notebooks that require the thinner form factor.
The mounting points are right where they need to be, making installation on a drive sled or desktop adapter bracket effortless.
The SATA power and data connectors are a little different, as you can see. This is an interface that we expect to see on more products in the future, though.
Mushkin fully populates the Silicon Motion SM2246EN four-channel controller. The company also uses Samsung DRAM for the Reactor's page buffer.
The Silicon Motion SM2246EN has a thermal pad between it and the chassis, turning the metal enclosure into a sink for dissipating the controller's waste heat.
There are 16 packages of Micron L95B NAND; the controller is clearly utilized to its fullest on this drive.
Here's a closer shot of the Reactor's edge connector. We spoke with Paul Goodwin, Chief Technical Officer at Avant Technology, about the new connector. Paul says he patented the interface, which uses the PCB for connectivity to power and data pins. This increases signal integrity and reduces build costs. Companies are able to license the design from Avant. We believe it saves between 10 to 12 cents per SSD. That may not sound like much, but in high volume, the savings add up quickly.
I guess because in some ways its so old school. (It saved money back then too.) Back in the "Home Computer" days card-edge connectors were used for expansion connections (on one side of the connection.) Retro consoles used it too with game carts. The PC used it then, and even still today, for expansion AND adding graphics. Back in the day Floppy drives, primarily 5.25" and larger used such a connection for data (and a molex for power.)
If that patent ever gets challenged, I dunno if it will hold-up because of all of that. In Modern storage though, the connector is, currently, unique though.