Samsung introduces a new 256GB solid-state drive. Simply called the 256GB FlashSSD, the Serial ATA drive reads in-order data at 200MB per second, or double the rate of Samsung’s past 128GB drive. It also boosts write speeds, often a bottleneck on solid-state drives, from 70MB per second to 160MB. The real advancement, Samsung says, is in the manufacturing process. Past drives, including the 128GB model, have depended on flash memory using a single-level cell storage technique. The 256GB drive is a switch to multi-level cell storage that apparently solves the problems of the format. The new drive controller not only gives it the same speed as single-level storage but also adorns it with longevity (about a million hours worth). As it’s more efficient in storing data, the multi-level cell technology is also “considerably” less expensive to produce, though Samsung has stopped short of revealing the exact difference. Samsung plans a 1.8-inch version of the 256GB drive that will ship before the end of the year, and has been Apple’s sole choice for the MacBook Air’s solid-state drive to date: a 64GB drive is used inside Air models configured with the SSD storage option.