The rise of solid-state drives gets a boost today (despite recent industry woes) as Toshiba reveals what it says is the world's first 512GB SSD for laptops. The 2.5-inch drive is aimed at the notebook crowd, as well as desktop PC owners. And as well as being spacious, and less power-grubbing than spinning-platter hard drives it's pretty damn fast too.
The new SSD's SATA interface gives it a maximum sequential read speed of 240Mb/s and write speed of 200Mb/s. That outstrips rival Samsung's 256GB drives read speed of 220Mb/s by nearly ten percent. The chips inside are based on Toshiba's second-generation SSD technology—43nm Multi-Level Cell design NAND architecture, which is partly what gives them their speed.
If this drive is exactly what you've been waiting for you won't have to wait long to buy one: it's due for mass production in Q2 of 2009—how this fits into Toshiba's planned scaling-back of Flash memory production is unclear, since this drive looks like an instant winner. There's no price info yet, but you can expect a monster like this to cost a pretty penny, despite Toshiba's assurances it's aimed at balancing "value/performance" for the consumer.