Ultrabooks To Sport 480GB SSDs Soon, Courtesy Of Mushkin

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 08, 2012 12:38 PM EST

PC component supplier Mushkin has unveiled a 480GB mSATA solid-state drive, aiming to change the game for Ultrabooks' storage capacity.

PC makers don't have many choices when designing Ultrabooks. They can either include a large hard drive with a small solid state cache disk to meet Intel's guidelines for Ultrabooks, or include a solid state disk (SSD).

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The SSD-only option allows device makers to build thinner PCs, as SSDs take less physical space than hard disks. SSDs also offer faster read and write speeds, thus improving the overall performance of SSD-only Ultrabooks.

While this all sounds good, the main drawback with SSD-only Ultrabooks is that they only offer 128GB or 256GB of storage space, as SSDs are expensive and small-form-factor SSDs usually don't come in larger configurations. Mushkin, however, aims to change that.

"We're excited to present our latest Atlas 480GB mSATA solid state drive, demonstrating once again Mushkin's consistent ability to combine top performance, functionality, capacity, and low-power innovation," announced Brian Flood, Director of Product Development at Mushkin Inc.

"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 256GB mSATA barrier."

Mushkin's new offering will mark the world's largest capacity mSATA solid-state drive. The company will start shipping the Atlas 480GB mSATA SSD in January 2013.

When it comes to specifications, the Atlas 480GB SSD has a 6Gb/s interface and runs on a SandForce SF-2281 flash memory controller, or "SSD processor," as SandForce calls it, with unthrottled IOPS. The has user-upgradeable firmware, and the drive supports ATA advanced power management (APM), as well as native command queuing (NCQ).

Mushkin's Atlas 480 mSATA SSD (model number MKNSSDAT480GB) is set to become available in early January 2013 at select resellers and distributors in the United States, while worldwide distribution is scheduled for mid-January 2013. The SSD will sport a MSRP of $499.99, and will come with a three-year limited warranty. With nearly double the storage capacity of current Ultrabook SSDs, Mushkin's offering marks an important step forward for the industry, and may revolutionize Ultrabook designs.

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