First 480 GB mSATA SSD Revealed by Mushkin, Ultrabooks Rejoice

A single mSATA module can store as much as a hard drive

Ultrabooks may not be selling in godlike numbers, they have actually been a disappointment so far, but they are here to stay, which means they need good hardware, preferably of high enough quality to make them more popular. Mushkin might have something of the sort.

The new press release from Mushkin has introduced the latest addition to the Atlas family of mSATA solid-state drives.

For those unfamiliar with the term, mSATA is a PCI Express Mini Card-like connector that is electrically SATA.

It exists because the normal SATA interface is too large for ultrathin notebooks.

Sadly, the drives that use mSATA connectors usually end up very small themselves. Thus, mSATA has come to be considered a sort of storage device form factor all on its own.

That is why mSATA solid-state drives don't come close to the capacity of larger models, or hard disk drives for that matter. Or, at least, they didn't.

Mushkin has put an end to that situation by introducing the Atlas 480 GB drive, with SATA III 6.0 Gbps support.

Easily the highest-capacity mSATA SSD ever made, it will only start shipping in January 2013. Fortunately, that isn't far off. We should even see the drive at CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show).

A SandForce SF-2281 controller gives the newcomer the ability to read and write data at around 500 MB/s (probably). The use of high speed MLC NAND helps.

Furthermore, SSD supports ATA APM, Security Set, NCQ and S.M.A.R.T. Technology, plus the TRIM command that clears up used sectors after data is erased.

When shipments begin, ultrbaook makers will have to pay $499.99 / 499.99 Euro for the Mushkin Atlas 480.

"Keeping z-height as low as possible and managing to fit eight NAND flash chips and a controller on a mSATA PCB was no easy feat, but now capacity-hungry Ultrabook and notebook users can go beyond the 256 GB mSATA barrier," says said Brian Flood, director of product development at Mushkin Inc.

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