Hitachi GST has birthed a boosted Ultrastar SSD using Intel's latest 25nm NAND. Intel launched its own 520 just a few days ago. In these frenetic days of flash hyper-awareness, close attention will be paid to the performance of new flash drives to see if suppliers are keeping up with the pace or slipping behind. The Ultrastar …
SLC vs eMLC
Looks like Hitachi are using SLC, hence the much better endurance numbers than the Intel 520. This will command a very high premium over the 520, even if headline performance is not as good. I imagine steady state performance will be better though. The big story for me is that if this is Intel fabbed NAND, this would mean Intel are producing 25nm SLC, so maybe there will be a true successor to the X25-E?
If this drive was SLC it'd be quite a lot faster. It's probably MLC in the Intel 520 (thus slightly higher performance) and eMLC in the Hitachi, for more endurance.
Also a major consideration in drive lifetime is the quantity of spare NAND available to use as blocks start failing - the 520 comes in 240GB and 480GB advertised capacities, whereas the Hitachi is available in 200GB and 400GB, with probably the same amount of raw flash on board, which would allow them to withstand ~20% more failed blocks before the user noticed anything.
"""so maybe there will be a true successor to the X25-E?"""
There are plenty of those - they're made by companies like STEC, are blisteringly fast, and far, far out of my price range. Just like the original X25-E.
I saw a few articles that said it was SLC, and just now found the official line: http://www.hgst.com/press-room/2012/hitachi-gst-ships-the-industrys-first-25-nanometer-slc-nand-flash-enterprise-class-ssds
I think you're right about the 520 only being MLC though - In that case, the price difference will be even greater. The 520 may well be suitable for enterprise use, in certain scenarios, (just as X25-M etc were, with over provisioning), but it's not really a competitor for this drive...
By successor to the X25-E, I meant from Intel...
What do we actually need SATA/SAS for?
It's all good and well if we still have a controller on the PCI bus between the RAM memory and the hard drive, as long as the hard drive is a spindle.
With SSD I don't think there is a need for a SATA or SAS controller, which architecturally slows down IO transfer to and from the SSD memory chips anyway.
Until we have the Exabyte storage chip solded onto the motherboard, SSD memory should be on PCIe cards.
Prove me wrong, in my opinion the days of SATA are counted, I guess.