Micron claims its SATA SSD is world's fastest

The American memory masters at Micron are making some bold claims about their new enterprise-level RealSSD P300 drives, which the company reckons are the fastest SATA SSDs in existence.

Don't worry if you got a slight wave of déjà vu after reading the name RealSSD; it is indeed the same brand name used for Crucial's latest SSDs too. Micron happens to own Lexar Media and Crucial as well, but it's saved up the best technology for its own-brand enterprise drives.

As with the Crucial C300s, the P300 drives feature a Marvell controller and a high-speed 6Gb/sec SATA interface. However, the P300 features Micron's own 34nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND memory, rather than the cheaper multi-level cell (MLC) chips found in the Crucial drives.

Single-level cells only store a single bit of information each, compared with the multiple bits that can be stored in multi-level cells. In theory, this makes them superior in terms of performance, endurance and power consumption. However, this also means it takes more cells to bump up the capacity, which has the knock-on effect of pushing up cost ridiculously.

Micron hasn't announced the cost of its new RealSSD P300 drives yet, but you can get an idea of the cost of an SLC-based drive by looking at Intel's X25-E SLC units. A 32GB SLC-based Intel drive currently goes for £321.94, while an 80GB MLC-based Intel SSD goes for just £168.97.

Micron reckons the move to SLC chips is worth it for the enterprise market, though. As well as consuming just 2.1W of power, Micron says a P300 drive can happily write 3.5 petabytes of data in its lifetime. "That's the equivalent of writing about 2TB of data every day for five years," says the company, while noting that 2TB is still ten times the maximum capacity of the drive.

In terms of speed, Micron claims the drive can perform sequential reads at up to 360MB/sec if it's hooked up to a 6Gb/sec SATA interface, while it will write at 275MB/sec.

"The RealSSD P300 SSD is the fastest SATA-based drive on the market," boasted Micron's vice president of memory system development, Dean Klein. "The RealSSD P300 is able to do the work of multiple hard drives-outperforming a RAID of 12 hard drives in some cases."

The RealSSD P300 series will initially be available in 50GB, 100GB and 200GB capacities.