Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

New Serial ATA Standards Target SSDs, Tablets

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the bits-faster-are-faster-bits dept.

Data Storage 113

crookedvulture writes "SATA-IO has devised a couple of new storage interfaces optimized for solid-state drives. To serve high-performance SSDs that are fast approaching the 6Gbps ceiling imposed by the current Serial ATA specification, the SATA Express standard will meld the Serial ATA software stack with PCI Express to offer up to 16Gbps of bandwidth. SATA Express isn't expected to be completed until the end of the year, but the new uSSD standard looks to be ready for prime time. Designed for tablets and ultraportables, uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards. SanDisk already has a 128GB uSSD primed for ultrabooks."

cancel ×

113 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Come again? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061590)

uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards.

You best be joking.

Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37061626)

That was about my response as well.

Re:Come again? (2)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061636)

It's for tablets. You simply don't have room inside for big bulky connectors that nobody is ever going to get access to.

Re:Come again? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061662)

Or if you're going to use an SSD as a cache on a regular mobo. I'm not suggesting that's a great idea, but I've seen one MOBO like that already (a gigabit z68).

Re:Come again? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061694)

So your motherboard is toast once the SSD dies? Sounds like a great plan for motherboard manufacturers.

Re:Come again? (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061778)

Because there's not enough profit in allowing consumers to expand their hardware and delay having to buy yet another appliance at an exorbitant price.

read a little closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37061952)

SSD controller, not the drive itself.

Dig a little deeper, Watson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37062164)

It IS the entire SSD in a single solderable package.

Re:read a little closer (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062320)

the controller just does all the work specific to the flash ram installed

Re:read a little closer (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065656)

If the SSD drive is on the PCI-X card itself (which it'd have to be to attain that 16Gb/s speed), then why not put the SATA controller chip on that, instead of the motherboard? This is assuming that the motherboard is not going to support SATA HDD's as well that are separately connected to it. But if a SSD is connected, have a way for the motherboard controller to be disabled and unused, or used only for a connected HDD, would make more sense. I disagree w/ the others who've said that the entire SSD is in the chip. No, given the densities you have for NAND flash, you need several of those to get to the densities desired. The controller has to be connected to the NAND flashes in order to do things like ECC and file system management.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37065730)

Well, I have been using a SSD for boot and swap on this windows machine from day one. It will probably outlast this motherboard.
Doesn't sound any worse than having CPU, memory or GPU soldered on the motherboard.

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061780)

Big bulky connectors? When's the last time you looked at the back of a hard drive? 1990?

Standard connectors aren't exactly 'big and bulky' now.

I also question the necessity of a faster interconnect. Are drives really sustaining those kinds of speeds? A lot of the reviews seem to indicate that these drives aren't really all that. Regardless, even the full potential of current SATA interconnects are a vast improvement to spinny disks. Upgrades in storage capacity and improvements in cost per TB would be much more useful developments.

Let me fill up my current array hardware with SSD first without requiring a second mortgage on the house. Then tweak the underlying hardware.

Fondleslabs are nice and all but they still have meagre storage and probably should not be the drivers if new standards.

Re:Come again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37061994)

Have you tried putting a SATA cable inside a cell phone? It doesn't fit and a cell phone isn't far behind the tablet tech wise, open up a tablet or cell phone and you will see most of the cables are so small you need tweezers to disconnect them and the wire itself is plastic with metal silk screened on it. My only question is what is it about the current SATA standard that prevents a board manufacturer from skipping the connector and using traces. do the chips really care about the shape of the plastic near the wires? Or is this just some power/wire length/timing limits that are getting adjusted?

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062068)

The SATA cable isn't the problem.

The SATA drive is the problem.

If only there were some other form factor out there that was small enough for a phone...

Re:Come again? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062420)

Yes some drives are that good. Even the $100 SSD I bought can soak the SATA 3.0Gbps lane I have it connected too.

For more storage I use spinning disks in another machine, but I like my desktop to be quiet and fast.

Re:Come again? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063672)

I also question the necessity of a faster interconnect. Are drives really sustaining those kinds of speeds?

The first SSD maker to stress SSD performance was MTRON in late 2007. The market prior to this point was playing the "lets get bigger" game while only pushing around 20MB/sec, until MTRON's 16 GB drive turned the entire market upside down with its 100+MB/sec sustained reads. But at this point even MTRON wasn't improving write performance.

By 2009, SSD's had been effectively saturating the SATA 2.0 link with 250MB+/sec sustained read speeds, with write speeds breaking 100+MB/sec themselves.

SATA 2.0 wasn't even really considered universally adopted by consumers until early 2010, a year after SATA 3.0's ratification.

Now its mid-2011, and SSD's are effectively saturating SATA 3.0 with sustained 500+MB/sec on both reads and writes, while most consumers still have only SATA 2.0 support.

SATA is so inadequate that manufacturers are bringing back the return of the Hardcards's. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064356)

Now its mid-2011, and SSD's are effectively saturating SATA 3.0 with sustained 500+MB/sec on both reads and writes, while most consumers still have only SATA 2.0 support.

Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ? That's a phenomenal amount of of data for a single-user PC.

Re:Come again? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064524)

>Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ? That's a phenomenal amount of of data for a single-user PC.

You should see how snappy an ordinary PC becomes when you've got an SSD for a system and software drive.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064568)

You should see how snappy an ordinary PC becomes when you've got an SSD for a system and software drive.

I already know, but that's got nothing to do with bandwidth, it's all latency.

An ordinary PC with an SSD on 6Gb SATA would be indistinguishable from an ordinary PC with an identical SSD on 100MB ATA (if such a thing existed).

Re:Come again? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064686)

You're kidding, right?

Do the math. 100MB bandwidth is a 1/6 the bandwidth of 6Gb including overhead.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064806)

You're kidding, right?

Nope.

Do the math. 100MB bandwidth is a 1/6 the bandwidth of 6Gb including overhead.

Which means nothing if you never need more than 100MB/sec of bandwidth.

What do you think you're doing on an ordinary PC that's likely to be bandwidth limited ?

Re:Come again? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064928)

You are arguing against speeding up of computers with modern technology. You are on the wrong side of history. If you wish to go that route, I suggest you might want to check out these used Hayes modems I've got because nobody could ever physically read text at over 240 chars/sec.

Programs have grown in size over the years, in case you hadn't noticed. You may be certainly happy with your copy of PFS:Write on 8 inch floppy in your S-100 bus CP/M machine, but the rest of the world marches on. Just because *you personally* do not have any need for speed doesn't mean other people don't or shouldn't have a desire for speedy computers.

I'll take a saturated bus at 6Gb/sec (600MB/sec (with overhead)) over ATA-6 (100MB/sec) any day.

Your argument sounds like the yammering of an old man on his porch telling me that bias ply tires were just fine back in the 70s and should be just fine today, honestly.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065138)

You are arguing against speeding up of computers with modern technology.

No, I'm questioning the suggestion that there is a genuine need for a disk interface faster than 6Gb SATA in the consumer PC space.

I didn't say anything about there not being a need anywhere.

Just because *you personally* do not have any need for speed doesn't mean other people don't or shouldn't have a desire for speedy computers.

Yet the question remains. Just what are people likely to be doing on consumer PCs that is bandwidth limited ?

I'll take a saturated bus at 6Gb/sec (600MB/sec (with overhead)) over ATA-6 (100MB/sec) any day.

So would I, but that scenario isn't really relevant to this discussion. A sustained 600MB/sec (or even half that) is a phenomenal amount of data for a consumer PC (or, indeed, the vast majority of computers) to be reading or writing to permanent storage.

Re:Come again? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065152)

>Just what are people likely to be doing on consumer PCs that is bandwidth limited ?

It's a nonsense question.

You may as well ask the purpose of facebook. What do people really *need* it for? What do we really need any of this for? You seem to be having trouble separating need and desire.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065214)

It's a nonsense question.

Not when the premise is along the lines of "thank god, this is just what I've been waiting for".

You may as well ask the purpose of facebook. What do people really *need* it for?

No, not at all. If Facebook disappeared in a puff of smoke, millions of people using would notice. If the 6Gbs SATA connection in the typical desktop PC was replaced by a 100MB/sec ATA connection, hardly anyone would notice.

You seem to be having trouble separating need and desire.

No, I'm pretty sure I've got a good handle on "need". Which is why I say there's bugger all difference between an SSD at 100MB/sec and 600MB/sec for the typical consumer PC.

Re:Come again? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065778)

I think more people would notice than you think. A single hard drive from ~5 years ago could easily saturate that 100MB/sec ATA connection.

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37066772)

I think more people would notice than you think. A single hard drive from ~5 years ago could easily saturate that 100MB/sec ATA connection.

Er, yes, in highly specific conditions.

Even today, you rarely see that sort of sustained performance from drives, even if they can sustain 150M/sec in benchmarks.

Having done a lot of performance profiling in my time, I think I've got a reasonable handle on disk bottlenecks. Bandwidth is rarely one of them.

Re:Come again? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37068184)

But obviously you haven't done performance testing on SSDs.

SSDs are not limited to the rate of the spinning physical media. They can be read much faster. When a hard disk runs out of its cache, the SSD is still delivering data *at the maximum rate.* There is no dropoff as you exhaust "cache" because there is no cache to exhaust

That's what you're not getting. It's not just seek time difference, an SSD behaves as if it has a cache the same size as the disk itself.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37075844)

But obviously you haven't done performance testing on SSDs.

Yes, I have.

That's what you're not getting. It's not just seek time difference, an SSD behaves as if it has a cache the same size as the disk itself.

I get it just fine. The point you seem to be missing is if there's nothing on the other end actually demanding all that data, then the fact so much of it can be delivered is irrelevant. The other part of that point is, that outside of benchmarks, there are very few (if any) tasks on the ordinary PC that demand data transfers that fast, for long enough to matter.

Re:Come again? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37068286)

I hit it all the time on both my home machine and work machine. Copying large files (video), doing subversion updates, or dropbox scans/indexes, rebooting, etc etc

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37073542)

No you aren't. Really you aren't.

It doesn't sound like you have enough stuff for the slowness of current devices to be that painful.

Also, if you are going to bring "drop box" into this then the local storage tech doesn't even matter at all. You're bottlenecked by the network then.

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37075922)

I hit it all the time on both my home machine and work machine. Copying large files (video), doing subversion updates, or dropbox scans/indexes, rebooting, etc etc

I sincerely doubt you're hitting the limits of the SATA interface doing that. Especially since a lot of the operations you mentioned are random access, you'll never even get close to streaming performance with them.

You might be hitting the limits of how fast the mechanical disk can deliver data to the interface. It's highly unlike you're hitting any limits of the interface.

Re:Come again? (1)

HappyPsycho (1724746) | more than 3 years ago | (#37073590)

Anyone who has more than 1 hard drive will notice.

Having to ensure my hard drive and CD burner were on different cable to ensure that a consistent stream could be maintained sounds like a need for a higher speed link, note I said cd burner not dvd.

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37073516)

No. It's not a nonsense question.

Until you identify the need, or the use case it's hard to create a meaningful design.

Rambling on about faster connectors on tablets with no storage to speak of in the first place is pretty absurd.

OTOH, I would love to be able to move large amounts of stuff around my non-portable storage a bit faster. Although current affordable consumer storage devices need to catch up to current interconnects first before the cable becomes the bottleneck.

People are simply fixating on the wrong bottleneck on the wrong device.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37065568)

No, I'm questioning the suggestion that there is a genuine need for a disk interface faster than 6Gb SATA in the consumer PC space.

HDMI 1.3 has a theoretical bandwidth maximum of 10.2Gbps, so for a DVR that's separate from the STB that decompresses the signal, you'd need more than 6Gbps to record and playback video. Which, based on the current state of SSDs, would be about 10 minutes worth.

Whatever the use case, uncompressed video would be the obvious candidate since the bitrate is high enough to push the boundaries of what's currently available and is likely too high to do real-time compression on anything resembling consumer hardware. Also keep in mind that hardware specs have to stay a few years ahead of the market, so they need to currently be planning for usage scenarios that are at least a couple of years away from being the norm.

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37066708)

Whatever the use case, uncompressed video would be the obvious candidate since the bitrate is high enough to push the boundaries of what's currently available and is likely too high to do real-time compression on anything resembling consumer hardware.

I can guarantee you compression is a more viable solution than disk bandwidth. Particularly with the powerful GPUs systems come with these days.

I can't see many, if any, home users dealing with uncompressed video. The space requirements, even before the performance requirements, are prohibitive.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37065764)

Yet the question remains. Just what are people likely to be doing on consumer PCs that is bandwidth limited ?

The problem with you question is that it is retarded to begin with. The consumer does not need a computer at all to begin with, it's just convenient to have one.

I don't need my computer to boot in less than 10s, but I think it is worth to spend money on a SSD to have it that way.
No-one have a need for a sustained 600MB/s but if you are going to move that 100GB picture archive or whatever from one disk to another it is pretty convenient to have that kind of bandwidth.

Example of other things people doesn't really need but think is nice to have: Automobiles, Electricity, Telephones, Nail polish, Mirrors, Books, Underwear.

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37066710)

The problem with you question is that it is retarded to begin with. The consumer does not need a computer at all to begin with, it's just convenient to have one.

Yes, if you want to go all Reducto ad Absurdum, there is no point answering the question.

In the real world, of course, there is a whole spectrum of grey between what you need to survive, and what you might dream about having.

Re:Come again? (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065176)

Swap.

Re:Come again? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065204)

I'm going to slap you with a fish.

Swap on SSD is the quickest way to kill it, even with wear leveling.

--
BMO

Re:Come again? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065740)

Haven't had a single desktop (or server for that matter) die from having swap on it's SSD yet, but then again I buy decent SSD's too. The whole wearing out the SSD thing is kinda overrated for most cases.

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065230)

Unlikely. Swapping tends to be short bursts of random reads and writes.

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37073600)

You should not be swapping on a modern machine.

This is not 1995. Memory is cheap enough that your machine should have enough of it even with today's bloated operating systems.

If your OS benefits greatly from simply adding an SSD, then it's probably broken.

Re:Come again? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065578)

"I already know, but that's got nothing to do with bandwidth, it's all latency."

So all your applications are so small that they're loaded into RAM instantly just as soon as the access time (I'm assuming that's the latency you're talking about) has elapsed?

I dunno, when I load $BigProgram, my laptop sure seems to read a lot of stuff off of the hard drive and write it into RAM... ;)

Re:Come again? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065340)

Outside of benchmarking, what are consumers doing with 500+ MB/sec of sustained transfers from a single drive ?

Obviously you think that consumers only deal with small datasets.

Perhaps you are unaware that people play video games, and that the latest video games are many gigabytes (GTA 4 is 14GB), that even single maps sometimes use many gigabytes of data?

I guess you like loading screens and progress bars. Do they turn you on?

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065414)

Obviously you think that consumers only deal with small datasets.

Yep.

Perhaps you are unaware that people play video games, and that the latest video games are many gigabytes (GTA 4 is 14GB), that even single maps sometimes use many gigabytes of data?

Games were about the only likely candidate I could think of as well, but I'm still skeptical there's enough data being loaded from disk at any one time for bandwidth to be a genuinely limiting factor.

I'd be very interested to see some actual numbers. How much data is being loaded at a time ? How often ? Is it exceeding 250+MB/sec reads (or writes) for extended periods of time (2-3+ seconds)?

Re:Come again? (1)

brentrad (1013501) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065802)

For one thing, I don't think the article mentioned consumer drives specifically. These standards are just as applicable for servers - and for servers, the faster the drive, the better. Arguing that these SSDs are "fast enough" for servers is ludicrous - you can never have too much speed in your servers.

But I'll give you an example of large datasets that a consumer (me) would use these types of speed for, on a daily basis: I download large HD video files from newsgroups, and the program first has to assemble the posts into RAR files, then check the files for corruption, then assemble and unpack them. These files can be 10's of GB, and all the above processes are very I/O bound. If I could run them on an SSD, they would complete in a fraction of the time, which means I could download even more.

Installing an OS is also very dependent on the speed of your drive. If you can reinstall your OS in 12 minutes (that's how long it took with my SSD to install Windows 7) vs 45 minutes with a hard drive, that's a big gain. If you're a member of your IT department cloning a bunch of computers, that's a huge increase in your productivity.

Does my mother need such a fast SSD drive in her computer? No, of course not, she'd be fine with a slow SSD like you describe. But not every consumer wants "good enough" in their computers - that's why we have a range of options and enthusiast parts. I, for one, will choose the faster drive. I won't always use the increased speed, but when I need it I will sure appreciate it.

Re:Come again? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37069586)

Until static storage (HDD, SSD, whatever) is as fast to access as main system memory, it's not fast enough. I am not sure why this is hard to understand. The purpose of a tool is to make operations more efficient. The less time taken, the more (time) efficient the process. If you're not trading anything for that efficiency gain, why would you not take it?

Re:Come again? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#37075972)

Until static storage (HDD, SSD, whatever) is as fast to access as main system memory, it's not fast enough. I am not sure why this is hard to understand.

It's not at all hard for me to understand. I'm not even disagreeing.

The purpose of a tool is to make operations more efficient. The less time taken, the more (time) efficient the process. If you're not trading anything for that efficiency gain, why would you not take it?

My point is it's unlikely there's any operations on "the ordinary PC" that are coming anywhere close to the limits imposed by SATA3 (or SATA1, for that matter), so there's not going to be any gain from making it faster.

Re:Come again? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062236)

OK, then design a slim card edge connector anyone can get to.

Re:Come again? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063594)

mini-pcie.

Re:Come again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37066680)

mini-pcie.

And there is also SSD drives designed for this form factor. Seriously pissed off when I found out my new Lenovo didn't support it, but the next model up did. Could have had a fast SSD and space for a standard 2.5" drive - in a laptop, that is perfection.

Re:Come again? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063574)

A mini-sata port is absolutely tiny, and is what Apple uses in the Air (and possible the ipad). I would much rather be able to replace the thing when it inevitably dies, rather than have that extra 1x4x1 cm.

Re:Come again? (1)

donkeyoverlord (688535) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061650)

Does this really need a standard? Seems like something that a manufacture could just do.

Re:Come again? (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061828)

Does this really need a standard? Seems like something that a manufacture could just do.

They already have. SATA-over-mPCIe has been around since the original eeePC - the SATA SSD it uses was mounted in a mini-PCIe looking slot. But it wasn't, since it ran SATA signals over it.

A more recent example started since the 2010 Macbook Airs which had a bog-stadanrd SATA based SSD in something that looked like a mini-PCIe slot - again, it was SATA signals wired to the slot.

This spec just makes it official so everyone can build adapters, SSDs and laptops based on it and be standardized across the entire line. otherwise you'd have formfactor issues, possible pinout issues, etc.

Re:Come again? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061848)

It does seem to fit into the domain of systems a that are completely non-user-servicable.

So why does standardization even matter at that point?

Re:Come again? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062144)

Manufacturers want to be able to switch flash suppliers without doing board redesigns or modifying flash drivers in their bootloaders. Flash suppliers want to be able to do whatever they feel like, so long as a thin interface layer is preserved on top....

Re:Come again? (3, Interesting)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062306)

Because:

-there are thousands of chips out there that have a built-in SATA interface
-BIOSes and kernels already know SATA, and developers are already used to working with it
-MMC/SD/eMMC doesn't come close to the throughput of SATA
-manufacturers don't like vendor lock-in, and SATA is the most popular non-embedded SSD interface

Re:Come again? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065550)

-MMC/SD/eMMC doesn't come close to the throughput of SATA

Not that your other points don't have merit, but the OCZ Vertex 3 bumps up against the throughput limits of 6 Gbps SATA [anandtech.com] . Next time you might not want to make a point that's countered in the summary, unless the summary is just wrong.

Start with ... SSDs that are fast approaching the 6Gbps ceiling imposed by the current Serial ATA specification...

Re:Come again? (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065596)

SD, as in SD Card, SDHC, or SDXC, the fastest of which tops out at 312MB/s. Not SSD. Next time try harder to read the text you quote.

Re:Come again? (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065630)

SD, as in SD Card, SDHC, or SDXC, the fastest of which tops out at 312MB/s. Not SSD.

Re:Come again? (1)

doublebackslash (702979) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062352)

Part manufacturer A wants to sell a product X.
Customer B, C, D, E, and F all use the standard that pert X conforms to.
Profit for you, lower cost for them for using a standard part!

As opposed to creating customer EVERYTHING for everyone.

Or, in the vein of your signature: "Specs? That's too geeky. Just make it go." Electrical characterization and testing for custom everything isn't trivial and having standards that you know a part conforms to aids in reducing that significant engineering cost.

So just because Best Buy can't service it does not mean that the standard is for nothing.

Re:Come again? (1)

copb.phoenix (1976866) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061704)

If there's any takeaway from any market at all for milking cor the money, it's that if you can plan for obsolescence, you do it from the get go.

I don't think there's any need to solder these things straight to the boards - I think it's a mutual arrangement between these major manufacturing companies to begin forcing hardware updates to happen faster and repairs to be impossible to have serviced by a private worker. Worse still, that to upgrade a single major part, you'll have to buy an entirely new machine.

See: Apple. Notorious for leaving out things that make no sense or making upgrades that feel superficial (like adding the camera that should have been there to start with in the iPad 2, anyone?). Also, not interested in the flamefest usually associated with that statement.

Re:Come again? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37069622)

There is a limit to how small/thin a device can be if soldering is not used. You may not care to have devices that break this limit, but millions do.

Re:Come again? (2)

adisakp (705706) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061716)

uSSD sticks with current 6Gbps speeds but ditches traditional Serial ATA connectors, allowing SSD controller chips to be soldered directly to motherboards.

You best be joking.

MacBook Airs are flying off the shelve with RAM already soldered onto the MB. Soldering on the SSD allows a little more space (perhaps for more battery) or for even more weight savings.

Re:Come again? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061852)

Onboard storage in tablets too.

Re:Come again? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063632)

First they came for the IDE controllers,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an IDE controller.

        Then they came for the modems,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a modem.

        Then they came for the sound cards,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a sound card.

        Then they came for the SSDs,
        and there was no one left to speak out for...

        Aww...fuck it. Motherboards are dirt cheap so enjoy the tradeoff.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37064942)

This is only an issue if the motherboard isn't very expandable. As long as they have decent expansion slots, they can solder whatever the hell they like to a motherboard.

Re:Come again? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063636)

MacBook Airs are flying off the shelve with RAM already soldered onto the MB

Thats wonderful for Apple, but it certainly isnt a cost-saving measure. Im sure apple LOVES that you have to buy their ram at ridiculous $50-per-gb rates, rather than popping over to newegg and getting it for one quarter that.

So while Im sure it is great for corporations, it is terrible for the consumer; one of the great things about PCs (and to a lesser extent, laptops) is standardized connectors that allow you to replace parts. Standardizing a system for soldering parts to the board is horrible for the consumer and prevents that.

Re:Come again? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37069660)

It's done so that the housing can be thinner and lighter. You may not care for the tradeoff, but millions do, and they matter to Apple and you don't.

Re:Come again? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062106)

It would probably be most accurate to think of this "uSSD" as a faster, more PC-architecture-oriented version of the "eMMC" [electronicproducts.com] JEDEC standard for soldering flash directly onto a motherboard, with a lower board space, pin count, and controller requirement than raw flash chips.

"eMMC", which is basically an MMC card's guts in a BGA package, is already quite popular in things like cellphones(ever wonder why some cellphones filesystem names suggest that they have an MMC card that they don't really? It's because they do, in software terms...) "uSSD" will, presumably, be the big brother of that standard, putting SATA signals and power over a standardized BGA arrangement, rather than using MMC signals and power...

Re:Come again? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063148)

Agreed! Stamping a SSD controller chip on the MB has got to be the dumbest fucking idea. That, and the use of -yet- another interface connector. What makes the SSD market so competitive and advanced are three primary components. NAND chips, the controller, and firmware. Call it the holy SSD trinity if you like, but there you go. Also, because they're already using SATA connectors, data retrieval, portability, and standardization makes the use of SSD drives available to non-PC applications. Game consoles and other DIY applications come to mind.

No, the idea of monopolizing this immature SSD market is to grease the palm of whomever is involved by forcing a select view controller chips to be used. Focus on the I/O and interoperability, not how to control the damn things.

The potential of such SSDs (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065704)

I agree w/ you on stamping a controller chip on the MB. But the use of the interface connector - if an SSD is orders of magnitude faster than an HDD, and there's not much else on the PCI-X bus, then why not? Only case where I can think of a justification is notebooks & tablets, where you don't have extra SATA slots, and the device could use a lower power consumption as well. Another thing worth noting - SSD comes into the market at almost the same time that the industry is moving to 64-bit. That offers the potential for major paradigm changes - one can have a memory map where part of the region is dedicated to DRAM, another dedicated to SSD, another to I/O devices and so on, w/o worrying about ever running short. If such a thing is attained, then it makes sense to try and maximize the speed of SSDs (as long as one doesn't reduce their long term endurance or data retention in the process. For game consoles and other such apps, an SSD w/ an USB interface would be more appropriate - just connect an external drive to a console w/o mucking w/ SATA buses or what else, and just have the thing work. Use SATA purely for internal purposes. It's not always about monopolizing - it's just a case of making good use of existing standards.

Hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37061688)

I can't imagine anything i'd want my tablet to have 16Gbps disk speeds for..

That just seems like a stupid waste for a tablet or other small form device.

Re:Hmmm (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061922)

Paradoxically, tablets don't have enough storage for storage speeds of that magnitude to be terribly compelling.

SSDs are relatively puny and storage on tablets even more so.

You end up with a device capable of saturating a fiber connection being connected to 3G, or bluetooth, or USB.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#37067456)

Don't load it with an AI, it would get depressed. "Here I am, with an internal connection of 16GB/s, and they ask me to send a file over bluetooth, with only 24Mb/s"

Re:Hmmm (3, Insightful)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062084)

At those kinds of speeds, you start talking about a system that goes from completely off to completely on in a second. When you want to hibernate, you dump everything in memory over to the disk. When you turn back on, you take a moment to find the disk, and pull the entire memory image back over. There is no boot, there is no shutdown. You only need enough memory to handle the actual in-use programs, and anything else could be painlessly paged out, meaning you never have to close programs.

It's an order of magnitude slower than RAM, but an order of magnitude faster than hard disks. Right smack in the middle in order to offer all sorts of cool little tricks.

Re:Hmmm (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062678)

You don't even need to get to those kind of speeds to start treating your "storage" as bubble memory.

Re:Hmmm (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062726)

You don't even need to get to those kind of speeds to start treating your "storage" as bubble memory.

Because repeatedly writing to media with a limited number of write cycles is such a good idea.

Re:Hmmm (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062780)

When was the last time you killed an SSD that way?
My laptop has one, and so far over the last 3 years I have seen no such issue. It even had a swap partition for quite a while.

Re:Hmmm (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063892)

When was the last time you killed an SSD that way?

Me, never, because I've deliberately configured the system to ensure it minimises writes to the SSD.

Some guys who use their SSD for compilation were saying recently that they have to replace them at least once a year when they hit the write limits and the SSD dies (which makes sense for them as the programmer time saved more than pays for a new SSD every year). You'd probably burn through them even faster than that if you were using them for fast swap space on a machine with limited RAM.

And then, of course, since it's soldered onto the motherboard it's time to buy a new tablet/phone/whatever.

Re:Hmmm (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065654)

hibernation is bad idea because of memory leaks and similar.

Re:Hmmm (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065696)

You sound like a Windows 98 user.

Re:Hmmm (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 3 years ago | (#37065868)

and you sound like a troll.. its not a good idea to write several Gb to a flash storage on every shutdown just to have slightly faster boot.
perhaps boot wouldn't be faster at all, given that it doesn't matter much to SSD whether its sequential or random read.

SSD don't do random read/writes (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 3 years ago | (#37066324)

Since the internals of an SSD are NAND flash, it will not be a random read. NAND flash devices read or write data in pages, and the sector/block size defines how much you read or write. But you never read a byte, or word, or quad-word @ a time: you read a complete page. If random reads or programming was needed, one would use a NOR flash for that purpose. As a NOR flash is what is used when the system boots, and contains all the configuration info, it's probably worthwhile to expand its density some to capture whatever is needed when PC needs to go instant on. The HDD ain't where the system goes to find such things, and all systems that have instant on don't come w/ an SSD. NOR flash - the 4Mb flash that's typically on motherboards - is the key when it comes to rebooting.

Re:SSD don't do random read/writes (1)

orange47 (1519059) | more than 3 years ago | (#37066408)

then why not define logical block size to be as large as NAND page? or defragment the thing. if that NAND page is rather large, OS makers should refrain from using multitude of small files.

Re:Hmmm (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062158)

It might make running up against the pathetically tiny supply of RAM a bit less painful...

Re:Hmmm (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062460)

I would like mine to turn on instantly and not totally stall out when I run out of ram or have to hit the disk for some reason.

Get a cheap SSD and boot from that. I used to leave my desktop on all the time, now it boots faster than it used to recover from sleep/standby.

Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37061708)

Now when the SSD goes out(and they do fail, sometimes faster than harddrives) the whole computer is trash without doing reflow on the motherboard. This idea was clearly made by OEMs who prefer you buy another computer than fix the one you have

Re:Oh boy! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062788)

That's why it's tested before it's soldered on.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063650)

It will eventually fail without much recourse for 98% of consumers.

Re:Oh boy! (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063726)

So, you mean that 2% will continue to work until the end of time?

Sounds like OCZ's IBIS (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#37061728)

Sounds like OCZ's IBIS just got standardized or copied.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-ibis-3-5-high-speed-data-link-ssd.html/ [ocztechnology.com]

Re:Sounds like OCZ's IBIS (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062328)

OCZ was hardly the first to do direct flash-PCIe storage(though some of their earlier products were just a disk controller and SSD on the same card, they have native ones now). They do have the advantage of being one of the vendors of PCIe-SSDs whose prices are remotely accessible, and who are available through enthusiast channels.

Most of the other players are basically in the business of making people's Big Serious Expensive databases run faster, and their prices and "if you are serious, please call our sales department" distribution style. You probably don't want to know what one of these [fusionio.com] or these [ramsan.com] cost, and you won't find them at newegg...

Re:Sounds like OCZ's IBIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37062426)

It's just $15,000. What are you whinging about?

Re:Sounds like OCZ's IBIS (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37063938)

It's just $15,000. What are you whinging about?

My first SSD cost $50,000 and that was in 1990 money.

Funny how things come full circle (4, Interesting)

smead (583466) | more than 3 years ago | (#37062666)

Hard drives in PCs start out with a proprietary interface by Segate that becomes a defacto standard. It needs an interface controller to tell the drive what to do. That controller sits on the ISA bus. Speeds increase, drives become bigger, they move the controller onto the hard drive. The ISA bus still connects to the controller, and the controller still tells the drive what to do, it's just that we now call the connection between the motherboard and the controller the IDE (integrated drive electronics) bus, but it's still the ISA bus. Speeds increase, now we increase the speeds of the IDE bus and add features, it slowly moves away from the ISA bus as the IDE controllers get more complicated. Speeds increase and having that bus as a parallel interface doesn't cut it, so we invent SATA. A SATA controller sits on the PCI bus and tells the drive's controller what to do. Speeds increase and now we're back to directly connecting the hard drive to the PCI (now PCI-E, but same parallel to serial transition) bus. -- Full Circle.

Re:Funny how things come full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37063638)

"Full Circle."

Let us not forget the whole reason that there is a full circle is the advent cheap (relatively speaking) chip-based long term storage. So the only reason we are doing this is - because chip-based tech has finally become possible.

The whole argument rests on the advent of key advances being in place at a given time and when you take the measurement.

NVM Express already released. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37062794)

The NVM Express spec is already released. This is targeted for PCIe SSD's.

http://www.nvmexpress.org/

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>