Pliant Technologys latest offering upon the altar of solid state storage comes in the form of two solid state disk (SSD) drives based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND Flash technology, a lower-cost alternative to the companys family of SSDs based on single-level cell (SLC) NAND Flash. Pliant expects the cost-per-GB pricing for the MLC SSDs will be about half that of the SLC-based SSDs, according to this report from sister site InfoStor.
The 2.5-inch 200GB Lightning LB 200M and 400GB LB 400M Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) are currently sampling to Pliants OEM customers, with availability from the companys resellers expected next month. Pliant did not release pricing information, which is up to its channel partners and OEMs, but cost-per-GB pricing for the MLC SSDs is expected to be about half of the companys SLC-based SSDs.
Unlike most SSDs on the market, Pliants drives are based on SAS (3Gbps) interfaces, as opposed to the more common Fibre Channel or SATA interfaces.
In general, MLC has higher capacity and lower cost than SLC flash, but MLC also has lower performance and endurance (reliability) characteristics.
Greg Goelz, Pliants vice president of marketing says that, in general, SLC flash delivers 3X the performance of MLC flash, yet at about twice the cost. In terms of reliability, Pliant specifies a five-year lifecycle for its MLC-based SSDs, compared to a seven-year lifecycle for its SLC NAND SSDs.
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