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Angelbird's PCIe-based SSD: it's real, it's shipping, it's 800MB/s

Angelbird's PCIe-based SSD: it's real, it's shipping, it's 800MB/s
Sharif Sakr
Sharif Sakr|September 12, 2011 4:32 PM
Remember that 1GB/s PCIe SSD system from Angelbird we covered a year ago? Well, the company just let us know it's finally available. The performance claims are more modest than we saw in the beta phase, but we're not distraught: the new benchmark is 800MB/s reads and 750MB/s writes, achieved with a $3000 setup including four 240GB SSD modules mounted on a Wings PCI-e card with a 32GB SSD built-in. Need to hold something back for groceries? You can't reduce the number of SSDs without slowing everything down, but four 60GB drives on the cheapest Wings Lite PCIe card ought to satisfy most thrill seekers for just under a grand. We hope Smart Modular is paying attention.
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Mass Storage Performance Takes Off With Wings SSD PCIe Card

Angelbird, the new European company specialised in high-performance and low cost technologies, announces its cross platform Wings PCIe card, designed for RAID setups, featuring upgradable performance in data, design and audio-video applications, sought by professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Also announced are Crest Solid State Drives (SSD) in capacities of 60GB, 115GB, and 240GB.

Wings is a PCIe x4 card equally at home in a Windows or Mac OS X environment. Although not officially supported, Wings also works out of the box with Linux and FreeBSD. It can boot and group RAID arrays of SATA2 drives with I/O rates in the range of 3GB/s or more when using multiple cards, the only limit being the motherboard's available slots. RAID arrays can be spread across multiple Wings cards, hosting up to four drives each, that can be linked to obtain outstanding performance with the added bonus of having the possibility to distribute such performance over an increasable storage space by adding more drives.

Each Wings card can host the Angelbird's own Crest SSD Expansion Cartridges, or just any commercial 2.5" SSD or HDD.
For optimal airflow and thinness of the card, the company recommends the use of their own Cartridges. The company also designed the slide-in couplers used to attach new Cartridges or any regular 2.5" form factor drive with ease.

A Wings RAID array is the ideal solution for design or audio-video professionals who are constantly moving large files around. For server applications a caching area can be assigned for transaction files, temporary database files and frequently accessed tables. Massive improvements in server response time can be achieved.

Crest SSD Cartridges and SSD units are equipped with SF-1222 SSD Processors from SandForce®, the pre-eminent innovator and leader of SSD technology.

Starting with Wings Lite at $249 for a basic four slot PCIe card, higher end models include a handy extra onboard 16GB or 32GB drive that can be used for graphical boot loaders to manage multiple operating systems, or to store an entire operating system image separately from the data volumes. Upgradeability, scalability and flexibility are key benefits. From individual power user to large scale corporate networking, Wings is the SSD RAID solution that sets the standard.

Davide Rutigliano, inventor and CEO, said:

"Bringing Wings to market has been an exciting challenge and a triumph for the Angelbird development team. Very respectable amounts of performance are now available at a very affordable price with the ability to upgrade easily to an ultimate leading edge solution"