The world's first 13TB SSD is here

Be prepared to fork out around US$13,000 for the drive

If you have around US$13,000 to spare, the world's first 13TB solid-state drive could be yours.

Fixstars on Wednesday announced the mammoth SSD-13000M, which will ship by the end of February. SSDs today have no more than 6TB of storage, and the 13TB drive more than doubles that capacity.

An official price hasn't been determined by Fixstars. But a rough estimated selling price is around $1 per gigabyte, or $13,000, said Shien Zhu, a spokesman for Fixstars.

The pricing could fluctuate, but not by much, Zhu said.

The 13TB drive will be sold directly by Fixstars and won't be available through online retail stores or sites. The company is targeting the SSD at enterprises, but anyone with a big wallet can touch base with Fixstars to purchase the drive.

The 2.5-inch drive plugs into SATA 6 slots on motherboards. It has sequential read speeds of 580MBps (megabytes per second) and write speeds of up to 520MBps. The random read and write speeds were not provided by the company.

Competitors haven't indicated they would catch up to the 13TB capacity. SanDisk has said it would release 6TB and 8TB SSDs this year. Samsung has said it would release a 4TB SSD this year.

The Fixstars 13TB SSD is based on NAND flash from Toshiba, which holds a minority stake in Fixstars. It uses a proprietary controller from Fixstars that is designed for faster sequential read and write speeds.

The drive is targeted at companies creating or streaming video, which requires sequential reads and writes by accessing large blocks of data. It could also be used for scientific computing and cold storage.

Fixstars, based in Japan, started off as a software company serving parallel computing needs, but started making SSDs with its controller to meet the sequential data transfer needs of enterprise users.

Fixstars also announced a SSD-10000M, a 10TB drive. The price for the drive wasn't immediately available.

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