Who is Using Solid Sate Drives?

Posted on July 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm by Donna Warren

Yes, I’m talking about flash memory devices and they have almost become the standard in the recording industry, in digital cameras and in cell phones. Flash devices are fast, small and non-volatile so no power is needed to maintain the data stored on them and they integrate very well into the recording studio production chain.

Flash memory chips are used everywhere. Cisco Network routers and switches use flash memory cards as hard disks.

SSDs (solid state drive) have been around for a while but until recently were power hungry components and not practical for most uses. Now they are available in PCIe cards that can plug into any PCIe slot on your PC and are expected to deliver data transfer rates up to 500 MB/s and come with at least 2TB of data storage.

Some of the new specs state that they are going to provide the ability to capture video at greater than HD quality. One company is using the LSI WarpDrive 300GB PCIe SSD card in its Audio Visual operations for several very demanding tasks. After being unable to pull data fast enough from their SAN fiber-channel when both reading and writing simultaneously, they tried using the WarpDrive because of its 24,000 sustained I/O operations per second rating. The card was able to handle all their needs.

Experimenters found that the card also facilitated real-time recording of uncompressed HD and 4K video with a real-time HD-SDI I/O card. A single 300Gb SSD is capable of recording up to three hours of native HD-SDI in real time. The SSD card turns a PC with a HD-SDI I/O card into an uncompressed HD recorder that cruises at SMPTE’s 292M HD-SDI, 1.5Gb/s bit rate. The greater read/write spend let them put more tracks on the SSD drive than on a SATA drive. Using a fire-wire connection can produce even greater transfer speeds

Flash memory and SSD drive can wear out. Flash memory is rated in P/E (program-erase) cycles. Most SSDs and flash memory are rated at more than 1 million P/Es.

There is no doubt about it, if you want to do HD recording or even if you just want blindingly fast read/write speeds in your PC, invest in and SSD PCIe card.

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