SanDisk Vaulter Disk

SanDisk recently unveiled the flash based Vaulter Disk – a device that enables faster launching and loading of software on laptops and on personal computers. SanDisk envisions the Vaulter as a unique data storage solution, a compromise between the full and expensive solid state drives (SSDs) and the conventional hard drives, which are considered by many experts to be the bottleneck of modern computing. It is yet to be seen whether the Vaulter will gain popularity, something which did not happen for similar devices, such as the Samsung hybrid hard drive (a device combining flash memory and a mechanical disk).

Every computer user knows that waiting for the computer’s OS to boot can be exhausting, whether it is Microsoft Windows, Linux, or any other operating system. The same applies to many modern applications. Mechanical hard drives have been the main bottleneck in modern computing since their introduction into the PC market in the 1980’s. SanDisk hopes to achieve better performance by combining a regular hard drive (for the less-accessed files) and a smaller and faster flash-based Vaulter Disk.

SanDisk plans to launch the Vaulter Disk at CES 2008, which will take place in Las Vegas in early January 2008. The device will initially be offered to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in capacities ranging from 8GBto 16GB (no price was released).

The Vaulter Disk is available in a flash-based, PCI Express module, which can be added to a laptop or desktop PC. The flash technology gives the Vaulter a number of unique advantages over conventional hard drives; The lack of mechanical parts makes it much more resistant to shock and enables it to consume far less power and release significantly less heat in the process. The device is also incredibly quiet and responds much more quickly than a mechanical computer drive. However, flash technology has its drawbacks – first and foremost – the high price. Therefore, SanDisk has chosen to implement flash technology in a secondary storage device, hosting the computer’s operating system and optional selected applications frequently used by the user, enabling faster access time. The two drives operate in parallel, increasing the overall speed and performance of the PC.

SanDisk’s Vaulter Disk accelerates performance by pre-controlling the distribution of data storage between itself and a high-capacity hard drive, increasing overall user responsiveness. “SanDisk Vaulter Disk consistently boosts user responsiveness by taking advantage of the best native characteristics of a flash-based module and a hard drive,” said Tavi Salomon, Vaulter Product Manager at SanDisk.

TFOT previously covered a number of similar devices, including Samsung’s Solid State Drive and Hybrid Hard Drive (demonstrating a different approach to the SSD-HHD combination). TFOT also covered several other flash related stories, including a new technology for doubling flash memory capacity and a new nanoscale technology for high density memory storage.

More information on the Vaulter Disk can be found in SanDisk’s official press release.

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