Micron Technology is unveiling four new solid-state drives at the Storage Visions conference in Las Vegas this week. One 256GB model will cost $425--pricey compared to a traditional hard disk drive but competitive for the speedy flash chip-based storage drives.
Micron's RealSSD drives--marketed under the Crucial brand name--will be available for laptops in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors--the former size typically goes into ultra-small laptops like the MacBook Air, while the latter is the standard size for mainstream laptop drives.
Micron, which runs a joint flash chip manufacturing venture with Intel, is making the flash chips (that populate the SSD) on a cutting-edge 25-nanometer manufacturing process, allowing higher data capacities.
Generally, SSDs are much faster than standard hard disk drives at reading data and tend to be lighter and more shock-resistance than hard disks. For that reason, SSDs are used, for example, across Apple's new MacBook Air product line.
Based on the SATA 6-gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) interface, the new drives reach read speeds up to 415 megabytes per second, which is 17 percent faster than Micron's previous generation drives, the company said in a statement. Write performance varies by capacity, with the 512GB drive achieving up to 260MB/second write speeds, which is more than 20 percent faster than previous drives, Micron said.
Micron's solid-state drive pricing--in volumes of 1,000--will be $825 for 512GB, $425 for 256GB, $215 for 128GB, and $110 for 64GB.
Final consumer pricing will come out from Crucial around March, Micron said. "We expect the consumer pricing to be similar to OEM (1K volume) pricing," the company said.