January 13, 2009 Hard drives have been the bottleneck in modern PC performance for some time now, and while SSD technology has led to new levels of performance, the price point has left a lot to be desired. Enter SanDisk, with a new range of SSDs based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. SanDisk claims their G3 SSDs are twice as fast as prior SSDs and over five times as fast as the fastest 7200RPM HDD, with sequential performance of 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write. The price? Just over US$2 a gigabyte.

Rich Heye of SanDisk's SSD business unit explains the technology driving the G3's unprecedented performance: “Three key features developed by SanDisk enable this new design: a new SSD algorithm called ExtremeFFSTM allows random write performance to potentially improve by as much as 100 times over conventional algorithms; reliable 43nm multi-level cell (MLC) all bit-line (ABL) NAND flash; and SanDisk’s new SSD controller, which ties together the NAND and the algorithm.”

With many businesses still stuck on Windows XP to support an aging intranet or vital business software which only works with IE6, and the subsequent 3.5GB limit on addressable RAM, SSDs represent a new, and increasingly affordable way to squeeze additional performance out of existing machines (and obsolete operating systems) with a simple plug-in upgrade.

The SATA-II drives will be available June, in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors, with capacities of 60GB (US$149), 120GB ($249) and 240GB ($499).