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Innodisk logo

Innodisk

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan with engineering support and sales teams in China, Europe, Japan, and the US - Innodisk is a service driven provider of flash memory and DRAM products for industrial and enterprise applications.

With satisfied customers across the embedded, aerospace and defense, cloud storage markets and more, we have set ourselves apart with a commitment to deliver dependable products and unparalleled service.

This has resulted in a diverse range of products from embedded peripherals designed to supplement existing industrial solutions to high IOPS flash arrays for industrial and enterprise applications.

Innodisk is set on the path of being a comprehensive solutions and service provider in the industrial storage industry. For more information please visit http://www.innodisk.com.

see also:- Innodisk - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com, Innodisk's news page

who's who in SSD? - Innodisk

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com - June 2014

I had been wanting to learn more about the internal thinking in Innodisk for some time- as I could see in glimpses of technology which appeared in their products - that there was evidence of original thinking there - and significant investment in unique controller IP.

I didn't know the details and wanted to learn more.

So I requested an SSD conversation with Charles Tsai, Senior Director - Innodisk - and we spoke for about an hour on topics like new ways to design enterprise flash arrays and about new ways to make industrial SSDs better which borrow concepts from cloud architecture.

That led me to re-evaluate - not only my assessment of the company - but also change my opinion of what they were doing in the rackmount SSD market too.

I had been very dismissive in my comments about - Innodisk's FlexiArray - when the company launched that product in November 2013 - as you can see from my archive comments in the original news story.

So that was one of the first things I brought up in my conversation.

You can read more about what Charles told me about their enterprise appliance (and why I changed my mind from a negative to a positive opinion) in the article - Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs

Going back to Innodisk's newest generations of industrial / embedded SSD drives.

The company is part of a new set of trendsetters in the SSD market who - learning from the experience of many customers (and in particular big cloud / web users) are now starting to partition their flash management functions in a more powerful and flexible way - so that the responsibility for some actions is decided at a higher level in the firmware - rather than simply dumping everything onto the controller inside the drive - which doesn't have the same visibility of what might be happening in other SSDs - or upstream in the host requests.

This collaborative approach can lead to better efficiency, reliability and performance.
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InnoDisk mentions in SSD market history

In June 2008 - InnoDisk announced the world's physically smallest SATA SSD - the SATADOM - measuring 39mm by 20.5mm by 8mm. Capacity ranges from 128MB to 8GB. The SLC flash SSD has a sustainable read speed of 24MB/sec and write speed of 14MB/sec.

In December 2009 - InnoDisk entered the PCIe SSD market with a new model offering 800MB/s read and 600MB/s write speeds.

It has an internal RAID allocation function enabling users to trade between capacity between data protection and performance (over-provisioning). Its Power Guard protection ensures data will be written into flash when power is interrupted unexpectedly.

Although it sounds remarkably similar to the type of products that Fusion-io was shipping a year ago - InnoDisk says it's an original design based on their own firmware and IP

In August 2011 - C.C. Wu - Director - InnoDisk - presented a paper - Quality Comparisons of SLC, MLC and eMLC (pdf) - at the Flash Memory Summit. Wu's paper - which compares data for several generations and brands of SLC flash - confirms what some SSD makers had been telling me since the early 2000s (as reported in my SSD endurance article) - which is to say that SLC in reality has often been 5x to 20x better than specified in the chip memory datasheets. The same is not true for MLC - however - which presents greater risks of data loss when power is suddenly turned off - which in turn requires better SSD controller architecture to recover and automatcially heal the data.

In March 2013 - InnoDisk announced it will ship industrial SATA SSDs in Q3 using its iSLCT technology - which repurposes MLC as emulated SLC to get 30k write endurance from 3k standard cells.

In November 2013 - InnoDisk entered the rackmount SSD market - saying it will demonstrate its FlexiArray 1U and 2U racks later this month at the SuperComputing 2013 conference.
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editor's earlier comments:- March 2013 - having roots in the low power reliable industrial SSD market, InnoDisk now offers a wide range of SSDs for these markets:- enterprise SSDs, military SSDs and consumer SSD market.

But they are 1 of the first 10 companies in the SSD market to develop and ship SSDs using adaptive write flash care coupled with DSP - which multiplies the operating life achievable from flash in SSDs.

Their technique - called iSLCT technology is different to other adaptive R/W types in the market insofar as it sacrifices the potential capacity advantage of MLC over SLC to deliver a nearly as good as SLC reliability and speed and data retention from MLC over the industrial temperature range at a lower than SLC cost for the same capacity. See also:- aspects of the hidden SSD capacity iceberge.

For competing suppliers see these directories:- tiny SSDs, 1.8" SSDs, 2.5" SSDs, and PCIe SSDs.
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InnoDisk's 10x endurance industrial MLC SSDs
Editor:- March 28, 2013 - InnoDisk today announced it will ship industrial SATA SSDs using its iSLC technology - in Q3.

iSLCT repurposes the 4 states of classic MLC memory into 2 virtual states (with better signal integrity) effectively emulating SLC in MLC.

This delivers 10x better endurance than MLC (30K from "3K" MLC), faster write performance (nearly 2x as fast as MLC and 85% of SLC speed - at competing geometries) and lower cost than using SLC to achieve the same capacity (in current and projected market conditions).

Editor's comments:- I mentioned this technique several years ago in a spoof SSD story - but what was once SSD fiction has become market reality due to the divergent market prices of different types of flash memory.

See also:- MLC flash lives longer in my SSD care program
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InnoDisk magic makes MLC SSDs last 7x longer than SLC
Editor:- September 27, 2011 - InnoDisk has turned the conventional wisdom about MLC vs SLC life on its head in a press release about its newest "EverGreen" (industrial SSDs).

The company says that its, MLC based, .EverGreen Plus Series has a lifespan which is 7x longer than traditional SLC SSDs, and 140x better than conventional MLC SSDs - due to a combination of features in its SSD architecture.
click to read article - sugaring  MLC for the enterprise The company recently published a report which compared the raw incoming quality of various generations of MLC and SLC - so it knows that data integrity, endurance and power vulnerabilities are hard bridges for mission critical SSDs to cross.
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Innodisk rackmount SSD - click for more info
1U fast-enough reliable rackmount SSDs
industrial class embedded roadmap
InfiniBand or iSCSI connectivity
FlexiArray - from InnoDisk
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"The customer really just wants a faster SSD with more capacity" - said Charles Tsai at Innodisk - when talking about the market for his company's FlexiArray (a 1U rackmount SSD for embedded applications).
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise
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SSD ad - click for more info
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InnoDisk's industrial nanoSSD in production
Editor:- January 20, 2014 -InnoDisk today announced full scale production of its nanoSSD (a tiny industrial SSD) that conforms to JEDEC's standard (MO-276).

Innodisk integrates a flash control chip, NAND flash, and ball grid array (BGA) package to deliver a nanoSSD that requires only about 1% of the volume (16mm x 20mm x2mm) of a 2.5" SSD.

InnoDisk's nanoSSDs has R/W speeds upto 500MB/s and 170MB/s respectively), high shock-resistance, quick erase features, and ATA security.
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How adaptive is the SSD behavior to changes within itself?

All SSDs rely on processing data about the quality of the memory as part of their normal data integrity operations.

They wouldn't work without it.

But some companies have SSD IP sets in which knowledge about different parts of the SSD can be optimized and fed back to control and enhance SSD functionality over and beyond the standard accepted SSD function block boundaries.

The degree to which this passing of the intelligence (regarding the state of past and future anticipatable data flows, priorities of the application and the flash array's own readiness and healthiness condition) can impact behavior in other parts of the SSD - is what I call adaptive intelligence flow symmetry.
11 Key Symmetries in SSD design
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how InnoDisk survives abnormal power events
Editor:- September 18, 2013 - Adding to the growing body of articles about SSD data integrity in the event of sudden power loss - InnoDisk today launched a new SSD white paper (pdf) which outlines how its Power Secure Technology copes with abnormal power failure - including inadvertent disengagement of a live drive.
SSD power failure data protection system -Innodisk white paper
A key assumption in InnoDisk's design is that some data corruption is inevitable at the point when power is interrupted - despite the best efforts of the hold up capacitors etc - because other parts of the system - outside this power protected zone are also disturbed. So their algorithms - on power up - begin by looking for such errors and data inconsistencies and proceed to clean up and rebuild the mapping tables. ...read the article (pdf)
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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This important design feature has a strong impact on SSD data integrity and operational reliability.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. ...read the article
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SSD endurance - the forever war
how long for hard drives in an SSD world?
Adaptive R/W and DSP ECC in flash SSD IP
Efficiency - making the same SSD - with less chips
how will Memory Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?
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Every year I learn 2 new important new ideas about SSDs. But every year I also have to remember to forget or discard 1 old idea which was vital to know before because it's no longer useful, valid or true
SSD lessons from 2013