Technologies - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com,
|Who's who in SSD? - Cactus Technologies|
Kerekes, editor - April 8, 2014
Cactus Technologies -
founded in 2005 - markets SSDs for industrial and embedded markets in a
variety of form factors and interfaces.
The company's founders
Chang who - while previously at
SanDisk - worked on
the world's first PATA SSD and managed the design of the first single chip CF
The company offers standard industrial temperature
operation SSDs and also some extended operation devices (for example mSATA)
which can operate from -45C upto 90 degrees C.
In April 2014 - I
Larrivee, VP Sales & Marketing at Cactus some questions about
their controller technologies, market issues related to SLC and MLC, and
customer awareness of SSD and reliability issues.
Often when I talk to
an SSD company about their business I ask questions like
I didn't have to ask Steve those
questions - because the answers are already contained on their web site.
Uniquely (as far as I can recall) they list the 2 best selling SSD types for
each customer segment they operate in.
- what's your best selling product?, and
- what are your main markets?
Here's what I did ask.
- Can you tell me more about your controllers - who designs them? where
they come from?
Steve - We work closely with
did it), but have custom firmware versions to meet our specific needs, including
custom feature sets as well as additional circuitry for added for improved
Industrial functionality (write abort handling, etc.). We also work with
SMI on as well.
Zsolt - Are you seeing a difference in understanding about SSD
concepts between the traditional industries (classical hard industrial, mil) and
newer embedded markets?
Steve - My belief is many industrial and embedded markets which should
be using SLC based SSD are using MLC products due completely to price.
Some are willing to spend $40-50 on a 4GB SLC part for reliability, but when
they are looking for 64GB/128GB they are shocked by the $100s-$1K prices and opt
for lower cost MLC.
I'm not saying every industrial/embedded
application needs SLC... some may be OK with MLC.
I am saying many
companies roll the dice on the reliability of their overall systems with MLC SSD
in applications where failure can't be tolerated for 3-7 years. There will
be some fallout.
Zsolt - Or does the SSD education tilt another way with younger
designers thinking they already know a lot about SSDs from their reading in
other markets (computer) and not appreciating the subtle differences which life
in a wild box can introduce to requirements?
Steve - This is absolutely an issue. The SLC vs MLC SSD market is
similar to the Consumer vs Industrial flash cards.
people look at retail ads for microSD cards and see a 4GB card for ~$5, whereas
an industrial grade part is many times that amount.
designers (and some older ones too) think you are trying to pull a fast one on
them because the parts look identical and function in the same socket.
the end of the day, SLC/Industrial flash gives you reliability and endurance
that MLC/TLC will never touch.
Another key point from our
vs MLC White Paper (pdf) is the trace width of the NAND flash.
older the technology, the more reliable and costly.
technology is less reliable and less costly.
MLC at <20nm is currently 2-3 generations ahead of the SLC we're
using in many of our products (43nm Toshiba SLC) this makes the MLC
product much less costly, but much less reliable.
Zsolt - I like the threshold graphs in your
pdf. I know you published this paper some time ago - but I only saw it
last week and I think it illustrates the concept well.
- Cactus Technologies
launched a rugged
32GByte industrial grade
CF form factor PATA
compatible SLC flash SSD in an extended height (6.4mm) form factor. The
303 Series offers high
write cycles per block),
defect management and 4M hours
|Cactus looks at thorny
issue of embedded flash TCO|
|Editor:- April 2, 2014 - Cactus Technologies
today published a blog -
State Storage Total Cost of Ownership versus a Really Low Price Today -
aimed at designers in industrial markets - which discusses 4 sources of cost
they should consider when selecting an SSD.|
When looking at eol
considerations - the author Steve Larrivee
- warns that although designers may be counting on being able to delay
requalifications by mining obsolete SSDs as unsold inventory from channels and
brokers "for a considerably higher price... this introduces the
possibility of counterfeit parts as well."...read
Editor's comments:- Although these raw
headline factors are the same for designers in all industries - the weightings
are often different in embedded markets due to the smaller sizes of equipment
production runs - which means that design-centric related requalification costs
are more significant as a factor in each system shipped than is the case in
higher volume markets.
|The big iconic saguaro
cactuses which you see today - standing like tree statues - can be hundreds of
years old. So you can see how that idea might work in the market today for an
industrial SSD company - like Cactus Technologies. |
|Power, Speed and
Strength Metaphors in SSD brands|
|DWPD and endurance |
various enterprise SSDs
news - April 7, 2014|
|"Our test patterns
showed this SLC nand flash memory would break in 3 to 9 months - due to design
defects which never showed up at all in the industry standard test patterns
used to validate new memory with controllers."|
cofounder FMJ Storage
(interview March 14, 2014)|