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Kingston's First NVMe SSD, The KC1000

Kingston has reintroduced the KC1000 NVMe SSD. We first saw the drive in January at CES, but the company wanted to hold the details until the official launch. Seemingly, that is in the very near future--mid June.
The KC series has historically targeted system builders and corporations upgrading systems en masse. Kingston released several client SSDs under the KC brand, and many of them were tuned for increased stability and longevity but share similar hardware with models from the standard consumer product line. The KC1000 press release seems to turn the tables and take this series in a slightly different direction.
 
"The demands of today’s performance power users are constantly being put to the test as new data-intensive applications push the boundaries of what can be achieved with even the market’s high performance professional workstations and most powerful gaming rigs,” said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. “KC1000 is the perfect solution to meet the needs of media and design professionals, gaming enthusiasts and anyone who needs ultra-low latency storage performance to end data bottlenecks. This native NVMe device offers one of the industry’s most powerful storage solutions for high-resolution content delivery, virtual reality applications, accelerated game play or a competitive edge for the creative professional on tight deadlines.”
 
Gamers, power users, and enthusiasts have always been directed to the HyperX brand, but in recent years that series shifted to target gamers exclusively. Kingston calls the KC1000 an "Ultimate Storage Upgrade for HD Video, PC Enthusiasts, Gaming and More." The release later identified a list of specific application categories the series will perform well in:
 
High-resolution video editing Virtual and augmented reality applications CAD software applications Streaming media Graphically intensive video games Data visualization Real-time analytics  
It seems the KC series may begin to target a wider audience with the introduction of the first Kingston NVMe SSD.
 
 
The KC1000 series ships in three capacity sizes, but there are a total of six product SKUs. For each capacity, the drives ships as either a bare drive or with a half-height, half-length (HHHL) add-in card adapter. The performance coming from the Phision PS5007-E7 controller paired with Toshiba 15nm planar NAND looks strong. The sequential read performance reaches 2,700 MB/s, and the sequential writes are 900 MB/s for the 240GB model and 1,600 MB/s for the two largest-capacity drives. Random performance is also impressive, with up to 290,000 IOPS (225,000 for the 240GB). Users can reach up to 190,000 random write IOPS.
 
Kingston backs the KC1000 series with a generous five-year limited warranty with ample endurance figures that reach as high as 1PB for the 960GB drive.
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    Asus Tinker Board Joins Raspberry Pi on the Bargain Tabl

    Just when you thought Raspberry Pi couldn't be knocked from its market-leading perch, along comes Asus with a rival device that may give the Pi a run for its relatively little money.

     

    Asus just launched its own low-cost computer, the Tinker Board, which is being sold in the UK and continental Europe for about US$57. Its features could interest open source enthusiasts in doing a little comparison shopping before deciding on a new device.

    The Tinker Board features a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A-17 CPU with ARM Mali-T764 graphics.

    The device includes four USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5 mm audio jack connection, CSI port for camera connection, a DSI port for HD resolution, a micro SD port and contact ports for PWM and S/PDIF signals.

    The Tinker Board supports the Debian OS with Kodi.

    A power supply is not included.

     

    Rival or Response

    "The Asus Tinker Board is not so much competition as extension of the Raspberry Pi ecosystem, and deeper it shows an extensible ARM ecosystem as well," said Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research. The Tinker Board runs a faster processor and like the Pi 3 model, implements WiFi and bluetooth wireless connectivity, he noted.

     

    "I don't believe anyone in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem is writing or using 64-bit software, so the Pi model 3 upgrade to ARMv8 is a bit mystifying, other than the BCM2837 processor was cheap, fast and available now," Teich told LinuxInsider.

     

    "The Asus part is substantially more powerful and uses about 25 percent more power," observed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. The Asus system outputs 4K video, while Raspberry Pi uses HD, he noted.

     

    "This means the Asus part will perform far better when the performance requirement is higher and the need to keep energy cost down is lower," Enderle told LinuxInsider. The embedded space has proven to be relatively lucrative and can be a jumping-off point for even bigger markets and technology partnerships, so it's likely other manufacturers will enter this space as well, he suggested.

     

    Power Play

    The release comes about a week after the release of the Compute Model 3 from Raspberry Pi. That model is aimed squarely at expanding the range of the device to industrial uses and for the growing IoT audience.

     

    The Compute Model 3's standard model is priced at $30, and the Compute Model Lite is priced at $25. It has the same processor and RAM as the standard, but brings the SD card interface to the module pin, which allows users to connect it to an eMMc or SD card.

     

    The original Raspberry Pi's price was reduced to $25 when the Compute Model 3 launched.

    There has been demand in certain industries for a low-cost open source computer that provides robust capabilities for manufacturing and technical demands.

     

    "We don't see much mainstream enterprise demand for this type of compute model," said Jay Lyman, principal analyst at 451 Research, following the Compute Model 3's release last week.

     

    However, he told LinuxInsider, "we do think it is an attractive model for researchers and other HPC end users that are able to assemble and manage powerful compute capabilities for much less money and resources than is typically associated with supercomputing."

     

    By David Jones 

     


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