If you were at CES 2013 and had any interest in digital storage, the Plextor Suite at the Bellagio was the place to be. Products ranged from eMMC and mSATA to enterprise-standard SSDs. It was a focal point for over forty of the top CE and Tech journalists in the industry. And they all had something to say—and it was all good.
Anand Shimpi of AnandTech (with a readership of 12 million unique visitors per month) came by the suite to meet with the SSD product developers and to check out the new storage lineup for 2013.
Anand Shimpi commented on Plextor’s eMMC solution: “This is an unusual move but one that makes a lot of sense.” The eMMC standard now includes features such as secure erase and trim and high-priority interrupt to meet the demand for high performance and security.
Each generation of the eMMC standard will include new features and be resourced for future Plextor storage solutions. Shimpi also said that “Plextor is promising sequential performance as high as 180/80MBps (writes/reads) and random write performance north of 25K IOPS. I have to say that I am happy to see some more competition here.”
Plextor was also spotlighting their new M5 Pro Xtreme SSD. The M5 Pro Xtreme is the first SSD to feature Plextor’s True Protect enterprise-grade dual-stage data debugging feature with AES full-drive encryption protection. Dong Ngo, CNET Senior Associate Technology Editor, reported that the performance of the M5 Pro Xtreme “is significantly higher than the M5 Pro and among the highest in the market.”
The 100K Xtreme firmware update that gives the big boost to the M5 Pro Xtreme is available for free to all M5 Pro SSD owners. Paul Lilly, of Maximum PC, made an apt comparison: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if, after buying a new sports car, the dealership called you in for a free tune-up that netted you additional horsepower? Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way, just don’t tell that to Plextor.”
It’s a bit ironic that Plextor’s newest product—the M5M—is intended for Ultrabooks, a form factor that largely shuns optical drives that was—a long, long time ago—Plextor’s bread and butter product.
The M5M mSATA SSD miniature powerhouse (one eighth the size of a standard 2.5 inch drive) features the new Marvell 88SS9187 controller, DEVSLP Power Mode, and True Speed and True Protect technology. It comes in 64/128/256 GB versions and all versions feature sequential read speeds of 540 MB/s.
Zachary Lutz from Engadget had this to say about the M5M: “Plextor just unearthed a new lineup of mSATA drives that will be targeted at enthusiasts looking to give their ultraportables an additional shot of adrenaline.” It’s also worth noting that the M5M has a MTBF (meantime between failures) of 2.4 Million Hours which gives Plextor the highest reliability ranking in the industry.
Les Tokar from The SSD Review took note of the Plextor NGFF samples on display and predicted that NGFF is “a new form factor which will become the industry standard and start to be seen later in the year.” He said, “The NGFF form factor allows for a wider range of implementation in a smaller footprint and even allows the possibility of a two SSD configuration within a single NGFF PCB.” A typical footprint of 51 x 30 x 5 mm can be reduced to 42 x 22 x 3 mm thick—about the size of a key chain flash drive except thinner.
In short: this is the best solution for upgrading your ultrabook as a workstation. Speaking of which . . .
Plextor’s Enterprise SSD
Plextor’s new enterprise SSD is available in SLC NAND (more stable for enterprise) as well as MLC NAND versions. The SLC version focuses on high endurance and the MLC version features power protection that guards against data loss in case of power outages. The Plextor dedicated Firmware team can also support custom Firmware for these units. The Enterprise SSD also features Plextor’s exclusive True Speed technology that sustains like-new performance.
Around the Corner . . .
The introduction of breakthrough products in the professional, enterprise, and industrial sectors would almost seem inevitable given Plextor’s evolving strategic direction along with their legendary quality control and exclusive Firmware teams. Who knows what might be around the corner?