Last week during CES 2011, The Tech Report spotted OCZ’s Vertex 3 Pro SSD–running in a demo system–using a next-generation SandForce SF-2582 controller and a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface. OCZ demonstrated its read and write speeds by running the ATTO Disk Benchmark which clearly showed the disk hitting sustained read speeds of 550 MB/s and sustained write speeds of 525 MB/s.
Big news, test samples of the SandForce SF-2000 series flash memory controllers are being shown in products demoed at the Consumer Electronics Shows. And SSDs with SATA interfaces are testing through the roof. The numbers quoted for a 6GB/sec. SATA SSD are in the 500+GB/sec. range. Previously you would need to choose a PCIe based SSD drive from OCZ or Fusion-io to get anywhere near that high of speed sustained. Combine this with the future possibility of SF-2000 being installed on future PCIe based SSDs and there’s no telling how much the throughput will scale. If four of the Vertex drives were bound together as a RAID 0 set with SF-2000 drive controllers managing it, is it possible to see a linear scaling of throughput. Could we see 2,000 MB/sec. on PCIe 8x SSD cards? And what would be the price on such a card fully configured with 1.2 TB of SSD drives? Hard to say what things may come, but just the thought of being able to buy retail versions of these makes me think a paradigm shift is in the works that neither Intel nor Microsoft are really thinking about right now.
One comment on this article as posted on the original website, Tom’s Hardware, included the observation that the speeds quoted for this SATA 6GBps drive are approaching the memory bandwidth of several generations old PC-133 DRAM memory chips. And as I have said previously, I still have an old first generation Titanium Powerbook from Apple that uses that same memory chip standard PC-133. So given that SSD hard drives are fast approaching the speed of somewhat older main memory chips I can only say we are fast approaching a paradigm shift in desktop and enterprise computing. I dub thee, the All Solid State (ASS) era where no magnetic or rotating mechanical media enter into the equation. We run on silicon semiconductors from top to bottom, no Giant Magneto-Resistive technology necessary. Even our removable media are flash memory based USB drives we put in our pockets and walk around with on key chains.