Hitachi GST Reveals New Ultrastar SSDs

Hitachi GST, which has been acquired by Western Digital, has launched a new multi-level cell (MLC) solid state drive which, surprisingly, is both faster and cheaper than similar single-level cell devices sold by the company.

In theory, MLC SSDs are supposed to be slower than their SLC counterparts. HGST quotes 56,000 and 24,000 random read and write IOPS for its new SSD400M MLC SSDs with its SSD400S SLC-powered drive reaching "only" 41,000 and 21,000 random read and write IOPS respectively.

The small but significant difference is due almost entirely to the proprietary controller used by HGST. The new drive falls short however when it comes to read and write transfer rates clocking 495MBps and 385MBps compared to 535MBps and 500MBps for the Single Level Cell model.

The 2.5-inch drives use Flash memory fabbed using Intel's 25mm manufacturing process, the same used in Intel's own 320 series SSDs.

The new drive comes in 200GB or 400GB storage capacity, with a 6Gbps SAS or 4Gbps FC Interface, can sustain up to four Terabytes of random writes a day for five years, a whopping two million hours MTBF, a five year warranty. A more, expensive, self-encrypting version will also be available.