Samsung launched two new Solid State Drives targeted at tablets and ultra-thin laptops, the U100 and the i100. Samsung claims its i100 SSD to be the world’s smallest and fastest SATA3 BGA-based SSD.
The U100 features sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s and 340MB/s, respectively and the i100 features the same read speed, but with a write speed of up to 160MB/s. No random IO performance details are available at this time. Both feature low idle power consumption of just 10mW.
The U100 comes in a variety of form factories including Half-Slim SATA, mSATA, mSATA mini and 2.5″ cased, while the i100 has a BGA form factor of 16x20x1.4mm (up to 64GB) and 16x20x1.85mm (up to 128GB) for direct placement on a PCB.
Both SSDs will be available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB and also 256GB for the U100. They are currently available for sampling, with volume production scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 2011. No pricing information has been announced at this time.
While BGA SSDs may seem like a good idea for ultra slim tables and laptops, they do have one serious drawback – They are soldered in place. This presents a few problems – The SSD cannot be changed with a larger model, let alone replaced if it fails. Should the laptop fail, it cannot be easily removed for data recovery either. As BGA SSDs are cheaper to install (no 2.5″ bay, SATA plugs, etc.), should SSDs catch up with HDD pricing, manufacturers may choose to go the BGA route on entry level laptops to cut costs.
Further info in this press release.