SanDisk Vaulter Disk: flash-based accelerator to enhance PC performance
By Darren Quick
November 14, 2007
November 14, 2007 In what could be seen as a stepping stone on the road to the replacement of traditional platter based hard drives with flash based drives, SanDisk has unveiled a solid-state storage solution that works in conjunction with a PC's hard drive to store and launch the computer's operating system and software applications. Presently the cost and size limitations of flash storage prohibit the complete replacement of traditional hard drives in PCs, but the new SanDisk Vaulter Disk offers the performance advantages of flash memory by tag-teaming with a PC’s existing hard drive. Both Vaulter and the hard drive are integrated into the PC and operate simultaneously, while maintaining a low cost per gigabyte.
With SanDisk’s Vaulter Disk, which is a flash-based PCI Express module, both laptop and desktop computer manufacturers are able to harness the speed of embedded flash memory for frequently accessed files while continuing to use a spinning hard drive for bulk storage of less frequently accessed data. The Vaulter Disk requires only enough memory to host the computer’s operating system and selected optional user data that is benefited by the faster access time using flash memory. The hard drive stores files, user-generated content and applications that do not require or benefit from faster seek times.
SanDisk Vaulter Disk accelerates performance by pre-controlling the distribution of storage data between itself and a high-capacity hard drive. This parallel activity increases overall user responsiveness over a hard drive-only configuration. The SanDisk Vaulter Disk’s storage concept, for which patents have been applied, transparently speeds up data retrieval for boot and application load operations, as well as unexpected user access to new files. With SanDisk Vaulter Disk there is a faster response time when a user randomly accesses many small files for repeated operations, such as opening applications, as well as for unexpected behavior such as retrieving new applications or entries on the Internet.
The SanDisk Vaulter Disk will be offered to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) early next year in capacities of from 8 GB to 16GB. “This system solution brings SanDisk’s flash performance benefits to the price-sensitive consumer who needs high-capacity storage,” said Doreet Oren, SanDisk director of product marketing for the computing solutions division.
Judges named the SanDisk Vaulter the Best of Innovations 2008 in the Enabling Technologies category at a press conference at CES Unveiled, where the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced its 2008 Innovations Design and Engineering awards for products that will debut at International CES in Las Vegas in January next year.