Crucial has released what appears to be the fastest solid state drive on the planet; the RealSSD C300 comes it at a rather steep $799 for 256GB worth of storage capacity.
The device was announced back in January at Storage Visions 2010 in Las Vegas and comes in a standard 2.5-inch form factor which makes it ideal for rack-based servers or high performance laptops.
Crucial says that the drive is the fastest desktop and notebook SSD currently on the market, reaching read speeds of up to 355MBps (or put it otherwise 2.84Gbps) with a MTBF of one million hours.
It is therefore not surprising that the C300 supports SATA 6Gbps technology natively while being backward compatible with SATA 3Gbps, although the drive is damn close to saturate it.
Write speeds are not bad as well, peaking at 1.72Gbps (215MBps). Micron, which owns Crucial, has used high speed synchronous 34nm MLC NAND flash modules coupled with an ONFI 2.1 Flash interface and a new Marvell controller.
Amongst other details are the fact that they developed the firmware inhouse, used two ARM processor cores, hosts a 256MB DRAM cache and supports TRIM, although only under Windows 7.
Crucial will also offer a cheaper version of the drive with "only" 128GB memory at a cost of $500. Anandtech had a preview of the C300 posted back in January 2010 when it was first announced.
Intel and Micron have a joint venture called IM Flash Technologies which as one might guess is a Flash firm. In the consumer market, they are both competitors but appears to be heading for a co-opetition partnership. They recently announced that they will introduce 25-nanometer NAND technology which bodes well.