|A to Z |
what's the state of DWPD?
hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
launches adaptive controller for PCIe SSD market |
acquisition of Altera from an SSD view
|Editor:- June 23, 2015 - Altera today
availability of a new flash controller reference design for the
NVMe PCIe SSD market
which uses adaptive
writes and DSP ECC. The
10 SoC (pdf) which includes among other things an integrated dual-core ARM
processor uses flash IP from
Mobiveil and NAND
optimization software from
simplify the design of gen 3 PCIe SSDs having 7x better endurance than
classical non adaptive designs.|
Editor's comments:- Since the
market criticality of adaptive DSP flash controller techniques for enterprise
SSDs started to emerge in 2011 and then clarified in a big way in 2012 - it
has become an essential capability for most product lines. This standard
product from Altera fills a much needed gap in their offerings.
how will Intel's acquisition of Altera affect SSD market?
this month:- Intel
it had agreed to acquire Altera
for $16.7 billion.
I don't think it will change any of the
fundamental technology directions in the SSD market. But I did discuss it with
some readers who asked me about related issues. Here are some extracts from
what I said in various emails.
The Altera acquisition makes perfect
business sense - because Intel had lost out on many big markets (such as mobile
phones etc) due to its unwillingness to design custom solutions for specific
Intel's inability to make that kind of business work (where the
customer leads the architecture) was demonstrated back in the late 1980s with
their ASIC business which was based on gate array technology which they
obtained from IBM in return for rights for IBM to design custom X86 processors.
Unfortunately the IBM ASIC technology was unwieldy and less well
supported by low cost EDA tools than many of the competitive offerings from
pure play gate array and standard cell companies. So the ASIC technology was
unattractive outside a small core customer base - and soon fizzled out. -
But IBM got to keep the more valuable rights to the X86.
other market lessons where Intel experimented but got burned (such as the
digital watch and DRAM) that lesson remained imprinted in future Intel
management culture - that there are some markets which Intel should avoid
participtaing in with market specific silicon products:-
- those which have the potential to be commodities (like memory) and
provides a way of market customization via a standard product.
- those which require high degrees of customization and custom architecture
for one specific product or customer and where Intel's architecture and
legacy software ecosystems are not the central themes of the product.
FPGAs from Altera and other companies are widely used within enterprise SSD
systems and also within low to medium volume embedded SSD drives too.
this acquisition - which gives Intel a market leading reprogrammable
controller platform - will enable marketers and technologists in Intel to
stick to the comfortable concept of predictable semiconductor geometry based
roadmaps - while also having an engagement within the SSD market and visibility
of trends which goes much wider than their previous product lines enabled.