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Storage news - 2004, July week 4

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
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BURNABY, B.C. - July 29, 2004 - Icron Technologies Corporation today announced that they have launched a Wireless USB program to address the growing market demand for wirelessly enabling the millions of USB devices currently on the market. Icron and its partners have recognized that the computing marketplace does not have a true USB Cable replacement solution and that most USB wireless products are merely adapters for other proprietary interfaces. Icron's solution would not only support all the legacy USB devices in the field, but also be available in a format that can be embedded into new products, such as USB based Flash Drives, Digital Cameras, CD/DVD Drives and MP3 Players, to name a few.

The program focuses on the development and commercialization of a true USB cable replacement solution that is independent of the RF interface and modulation scheme. The solution supports USB 1.1 (1.5Mbps, 12Mbps) and USB 2.0 (480Mbps) and is compatible with most commonly available transceiver architectures (FSK, 802.11b/g, and UWB) at frequencies of 900MHz, 2.4GHz, and 5 GHz.

"The ExtremeUSB protocol is ideally suited to the wireless domain because it was originally designed to address the issues of delay, latency and power management in long range cable based environments," commented John McLeod, VP Engineering at Icron. "Adding the wireless interface was a natural and planned roadmap for ExtremeUSB."

Initial prototypes of the solution are based on a high data rate radio that will support full speed USB devices and will be available in Q4, with commercial product available shortly thereafter. ...Icron Technologies, USB storage

Milpitas, CA - July 29, 2004 - Intersil Corporation reported a successful shareholder vote earlier today, with 96% of the voting Xicor shareholders approving the merger transaction. Intersil expects the transaction to close later today. ...Intersil profile, Interface IC's, merged companies

editor:- July 28, 2004 - an article today by Gartner comments on the threat to government security posed by leaky portable storage devices. Government agencies in the US and UK have started imposing restrictions on what can be used where. About 20 years ago I remember UK defence establishments had very tight rules covering the entry and exit of anything with a memory in it - and even cell phones had to be left at the gates. Now that many phones contain built in cameras, their use has also been restricted in many commercial companies which design new products. As we've reported on these pages - you can get flash memory packaged in everyday items like penknives, watches and keyrings. And the first wearable electronic products have also started to appear with semiconductors embedded into clothing. These trends all create a headache for anyone involved in security. the article, ...Gartner profile, Storage Security, Removable drives

SIMI VALLEY, Calif - July 27, 2004 - NovaStor Corporation today announced that its NovaBACKUP software is shipping with Sony's blue laser-based solution kits. The combination of NovaBACKUP and Sony's ProDATA drives provides data protection support for professional storage applications such as document and medical imaging, e-mail archival, enterprise content management, multimedia projects, graphic design and audio/video editing/authoring.

"NovaStor's NovaBACKUP is the first backup software available to fully support Sony's new Professional Disc for Data technology so it was a natural choice for our new solution kits," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "NovaStor has consistently delivered good support to new Sony technologies and their software is well accepted in the market."

The high capacity and high performance ProDATA drives pack up to 23GB of storage capacity onto a single-sided optical disc by harnessing the benefits of blue laser technology and advanced optics. The line-up includes three models for simple integration into nearly any environment - an internal SCSI, an external SCSI and an external USB 2.0 version. In addition to the 23GB per disc optical storage capacity, they feature sustained 11/MB second read and 9MB/second write transfer speeds, offering a quantum leap in performance over existing optical storage formats. Sony and other media makers offer both write-once and rewritable ProDATA media, with an archival life of up to 50 years. ...NovaStor profile, ...Sony profile CD-RW & DVD-RW

Munich, Germany - July 27, 2004 - Infineon Technologies AG today announced the world's first DDR-Micro-DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) Module for Sub-Notebooks. Infineon's Jedec compliant Micro-DIMMs, which are only 65% of the size of equal capacity SO-DIMMs (Small Outline DIMMs) used for notebooks, will further accelerate the manufacturing of lighter and smaller sub-notebooks with enhanced functionalities and battery lifetime. Micro-DIMMs have the smallest area footprint of all memory modules at the same densities, and are an ideal solution for sub-notebooks.

Infineon has already secured its first design wins for the Micro-DIMM products, and was chosen as a preferred supplier by Asus, the world's largest manufacturer of computer motherboards.

To offer sub-notebooks with increased functionalities and feature options, such as DVD drives, the space for standard components such as memory needs to be reduced, driving the need for innovative module design. Until now, DDR2-based notebooks have used SO-DIMMs with 200 pins, a form factor that limits the use of the modules in smaller sub-notebooks. Micro-DIMMs are manufactured using a new 214-pin "mezzanine connector" technique that reduces the size of the module and the area covered by the connector by about 40% cent compared to currently available SO-DIMMs. Samples of the Micro-DIMMs are available now for speeds of PC2-3200 and PC2-4300. ...Infineon profile, RAM, SPARC Notebooks

FREMONT, Calif. - July 27, 2004 - M-Systems has increased the storage capacity of DiskOnKey devices to 2GB. The increased storage capacity combined with the tremendous speeds of the DOK T5 processor make the new device the ideal solution for numerous tasks including large file transfers, data recovery and backup, temporary archiving and operating system management. Additionally, the 2GB storage capacity is an alternative solution for users requiring portable storage capable of storing video or as a miniature digital music file jukebox ideal for freeing memory on the numerous MP3 players in the market today.

"It's evident that the USB flash drive has become an ideal storage solution and as users continue to find new uses for higher capacities, DiskOnKey provides the solution to their needs with continued quality and reliability," said Blaine Phelps, worldwide marketing director for M-Systems' DiskOnKey. "The higher storage, combined with the powerful new processor, is an ideal enhancement that naturally increases the flexibility of the Smart DiskOnKey platform."

MSRP for the 2GB DiskOnKey is $469.99. ...M-Systems profile, USB storage, Flash Memory

SILICON VALLEY - July 26, 2004 - the Linear Tape-Open Program today announced the availability of licenses for the LTO Ultrium format Generation 3 specifications to storage mechanism and media manufacturers. With the availability of Generation 3 specifications, Certance, HP, and IBM ­ the three technology provider companies for the LTO Program - continue on track with the LTO technology roadmap published in 1998 to advance an adaptable, scaleable, and powerful open format tape technology for users in the growing midrange tape category.

Products based on the LTO Ultrium format Generation 3 are expected to be available in the second half of 2004 or early 2005. The LTO Ultrium format Generation 3 doubles storage capacity over Generation 2, increasing to 800GB compressed from 400GB (assuming a 2:1 compression). Transfer rates improve to 80-160MB per second from 40-80MB per second in Generation 2 compressed (assuming a 2:1 compression). The LTO Ultrium format Generation 3 drives also offer backwards-compatible read-and-write capability with the Ultrium format Generation 2 cartridges and backward read capabilities with Generation 1 cartridges, helping to protect the investment customers have made in LTO technology.

Based on a Gartner Dataquest report: Tape Drive Market Shares, 2003, by Fara Yale, Research Vice President (March 24, 2004), LTO Ultrium tape drive shipments held a greater than 2:1 ship-share lead over the SDLT format in 2003. ...LTO, Industry trade associations, Tape drives

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - July 26, 2004 - FalconStor Software, Inc. has been chosen by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, a primary R&D center for industry in Taiwan, to collaborate on the development of new storage solutions that recognize and respond to the unique demands of the IT community in Taiwan. The ITRI was founded in 1973 at a time when the high-tech industry in Taiwan was nearly non-existent. Today, Taiwan is well known for the development and manufacturing of semiconductors and personal computers, as well as many other high-tech sectors, and the ITRI is acknowledged as a critical driving factor in that transformation.

"The success of ITRI, and of Taiwan, lies in a concerted effort to move up the technology ladder. We consistently seek out technological leaders that can help us identify new opportunities, formulate plans, and work with us side by side to see these plans through to completion," said Dr. Paul Lin, General Director of ITRI. "Working with a company such as FalconStor, who has earned a global reputation for innovation coupled with a true understanding of the storage industry and the impact of technology on a company's business, is truly a pleasure. We look forward to merging our expertise with that of FalconStor to deliver solutions that are not only viable and market-ready, but drive the future of technology to new heights." ...FalconStor Software profile

Editor's comments:- a few years ago when many US storage systems manufacturers were cutting back on new product developments, many leading storage companies in Taiwan were going through a boom and led the charge in new affordable NAS products.

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - July 26, 2004 - Seagate Technology today announced it has introduced a 5-year warranty, effective immediately, on every Seagate internal PC, notebook and enterprise hard drive shipped through its distribution and retail channels throughout the world. This move establishes Seagate as the undisputed leader in providing best-in-class warranty protection, boosting standard 1-year and 3-year warranties to an industry-leading 5 years on the world's most reliable hard drives. The new warranty applies retroactively to applicable hard drives shipped since June 1, 2004. ...Seagate profile, Hard drives, data recovery services

Editor's comments:- the new warranty says a lot about Seagate's confidence in their technology - but doesn't mean that not doing backups is now an acceptable risk. Actually a lot of data is lost through adminstration errors and viruses. Most people I know change their PCs for a new model long before hardware wearout factors come into play.

BOULDER, Colo. - July 26, 2004 - LeftHand Networks today announced the Network Storage Module 150, an IP SAN storage platform featuring Serial ATA drives. Clusters of NSM 150s offer granular and unlimited capacity; adding hardware modules to the cluster does not require downtime. The NSM 150 supports four SATA drives and dual NIC connectivity with failover, and is available in two capacities, 640 GBs and one TB. The NSM 150 can coexist in a cluster with LeftHand's existing NSM 200 modules. The NSM 150 is priced starting at $6,000 and will be available in August.

LeftHand claims to lead the IP SAN market with over 650 systems installed in multiple industries, including Fortune 1000 and mid-size companies in manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences, as well as government organizations and universities. ...LeftHand Networks profile, iSCSI

SAN JOSE, Calif. - July 26, 2004 - Sony Electronics has extended its AIT format to a fourth-generation drive.

Other news on this page

Coming Soon - Wireless USB

Xicor Shareholders Approve Merger with Intersil

Governments React to Leaky Portable Storage

NovaBACKUP Selected for Sony Bundle

Infineon Samples World´s 1st DDR-Micro-DIMM

DiskOnKey Unlocks 2GB

LTO Generation 3 Licenses Available

Taiwan's Largest Research Org Taps FalconStor

Seagate Introduces 5-Year Warranty

LeftHand Networks Offers Low Cost IP SAN

Sony Unveils AIT-4

Spectra Logic is Taking AIT-4 Orders

Motorola Company uses USB from Innovative Semi

Micron Samples First 128Mb Burst CellularRAM

Asigra Redefines Distributed Enterprise Backup

Emulex HBAs Certified for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Happy 25th Birthday to EMC

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Nibble:- Are CDs and DVDs the Scrolls of the Digital Storage World?

have already been around for 20 years - so that may seem like forever and you may think that DVDs too will still be around just as long. But my own view is that these are merely short term stepping stones to something else in the same way that scrolls and loose collections of paper were a transient phase which gave way to the bound book.

Now when I talk about books - the "transient phase" was hundreds of years and the bound printed books which followed - have been around for about 600 years. Technology changed a lot more slowly in those days. When you're on digital time it becomes hard to recognise the landscape after as little as 600 weeks.

Here are some markers to give you an idea of the rate of change in storage capacity.

RAM Technology

In 1970 the first DRAM chip had a capacity of 1k bits. Nowadays high density gigabyte memory modules are typically made from assembling multiple 512Mbit chips in a single package.

At the individual chip level that's an increase of x 524,288 in 34 years.

If we assume the same rate of increase then by the year 2038 - a RAM chip could store 300 terabytes - and a RAM module will be somewhere between 16 to 64 times as much. This assumes there are no breakthroughs in multi-chip packaging technology - where the real problem has always been heat dissipation rather than the ability of manufacturers to connect dice together and test them and still get acceptable yields and working products.

In reality - semiconductor technology might not be scalable to that extent. But I remember that 15 years ago some people were saying that it wouldn't get as far as it has already done before hitting physical limits. The chip makers already have a 40 year old tradition of proving Moore's law correct.

Hard Disk Drive Technology

In 1984 the typical 5.25" inch hard drives which you could buy for an IBM PC had a capacity of 10M bytes. Today you can buy a 400G bytes drive and fit it in a much smaller space.

At the individual hard disk level that's an increase of x 40,960 in 20 years.

So even in just another 10 years, assuming the same rate of technology improvement - a typical disk drive might have a capacity about 200 times as much as today - or around 78 terabytes. (Trust me on this - it's the square root of 40,960 which gives the right answer.) In practise it might be a little less than 78TB - because the standard disk form factor by then will certainly be well under 1 inch. But why worry? Heck you'll be able to fit a 500TB RAID system inside a little match box.

So where does this leave the transient CD and DVD?

Well, in just the same way that a printed book (with the pages in the right order - but let's not get side tracked into entropy) is much better than a collection of scrolls or loose bound pages, because the unit you're interested in is the whole bible or the whole novel or the entire history book... still with me? - in the same way - an individual CD or DVD is just a fragment of your entertainment and information environment. More like a song or a film scene.

If you can pack the whole entertainment library into a little nugget that's phsically smaller than a CD - then that's what you're going to do. It's tidier and there's less risk of not having what you need when you need it.

In reality advances in communications technology and wireless networking will speed up the process of discarding digital scrolls such as CDs - because they supplement the beneficial effect of oneness, and help speed up the move from scrolls to book.

It doesn't take long to figure out that the storage needs of a typical consumer (movies, music, camera archives, books etc) will be significantly bigger than the amount of data deployed per user by the organisation they work in. (Unless you work or the CIA - or its replacement.) So sometime in the next 5 years the home is going to overtake the office as the biggest repository of storage gizmos and networking.

The computer games market has already shown that the supercomputer processing capacity from one generation can cheerfully be taken for granted as the average kid's plaything in the next. And so it will go for storage too. But on the way - businesses will still have to manage their customers, web sites will still have to deliver the right content. The road will be messy and criss crossed with false turns and blind alleys. That'll be interesting... Stay tuned to STORAGEsearch. You ain't seen nothing yet!

See also:- article:- Predicting the Long Term Future of Hard Disks, Tape and Optical Storage, CD-RW & DVD-RW drives, Hard drives
the Top 10 Company Profiles - June 2004

The top 10 most popular companies (out of more than 1,000 storage companies listed on STORAGEsearch) visited by our readers last month were as follows... Figures in brackets (n) indicate rank the month before.
  1. Ingrasys Technology (2)
  2. M-Systems (3)
  3. Texas Memory Systems (4)
  4. Dell Computer (1)
  5. Curtis (6)
  6. BakBone Software (7)
  7. VERITAS Software (12)
  8. Adaptec (8)
  9. Intelligent Computer Solutions (9)
  10. Silicon Image (11)
The new entries to the top 10 list this month were:- VERITAS and Silicon Image.

The companies which dropped out of the top 10 list this month were:- Rave Computer at #12, and LSI Logic at #13.
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With a compact 3.5-inch drive form-factor and a small 8mm media format, AIT-4 drives and media fulfill Sony's aggressive commitment to double storage capacity and transfer rates from one AIT generation to the next.

The drives feature up to 200GB of native storage capacity (520GB with 2.6:1 compression) and a sustained native transfer rate of up to 24 MB/second.
news image Sony  AIT-4 media
AIT-4 evaluation drives and AIT-4 media are shipping to OEM partners this month, while volume OEM shipments are scheduled for September. Sony-branded AIT-4 drive and autoloader models are expected to start shipping in October. ...Sony profile, Tape drives

BOULDER, Colo. - July 26, 2004 - Spectra Logic is now taking orders for Sony's fourth-generation AIT drives in several products, including the Spectra 2K library. The Spectra 2K's proven design has been continually enhanced with Sony AIT drive technology, consistently offering up-to-date speeds at an entry cost point. Small to medium sized customers can now purchase a field-proven library with a seven-year track record, enhanced with double the capacity and throughput of the preceding generation.

"At nearly 16TB capacity with AIT-4, the Spectra 2K library stores enough data for many organizations," said Peter Gerr, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "The Spectra 2K library is a trusted product that's always offered Sony's latest technology, meaning customers get reliability and faster performance without requiring unnecessary options that increase costs."

New customers receive a solid library design backed by Sony's leading-edge speed and roadmap, at a low-end cost. Existing customers can quickly add 100 to 470 percent more capacity when they upgrade to AIT-4 drives without having to spend thousands to purchase an entire library. Both will benefit from flexibility, since the Spectra 2K library supports Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet and iSCSI protocols, allowing easy connection to existing infrastructures.

Spectra Logic is currently taking AIT-4 orders. Pricing for the Spectra 2K automated tape library with AIT-4 starts at less than $8,000. While the library costs less than autoloaders, it offers storage automation at 225GB/hour throughput and with 7.8TB of capacity. This price includes an integrated barcode reader, a single AIT-4 tape drive, 15 licensed library slots and 3 AIT-4 media cartridges with the library. AIT-4 will be available in the Spectra 64K, 20K, 10K and 2K tape libraries and NAStape and DAStape stand-alone tape drives. Trade-in and upgrade programs and bundle offerings will be made available to existing AIT customers this fall. ...Spectra Logic profile

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. - July 26, 2004 - Innovative Semiconductors, Inc today announced that Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., a subsidiary of Motorola, Inc., is in production with chips featuring the Innovative USB core. The Innovative USB 2.0 Transceiver Macrocell Interface Plus (UTMI+) for USB OTG helps Freescale quickly incorporate USB support into its chips.

"We were looking for proven, certified USB 2.0 technology to minimize power consumption and maximize performance," said Bob Kohls, IP Manager for Freescale's 32-bit Embedded Controller Division. "We chose Innovative's offering because they provided us with excellent support to port and integrate their silicon proven PHY into our system-on-a-chip."

Innovative's USB PHY transceivers support Device, Host and OTG applications. The technology is proven in silicon, certified for USB 2.0 compliance, and included in the USB integrators list of USB building blocks. Innovative customers are currently in volume production with the USB transceiver and are manufacturing SoCs using several different process technologies for a variety of consumer applications.

USB continues to gain acceptance as the leading I/O connectivity standard on the market and can be found in more than 1.4 billion consumer electronics, PC and networking devices. USB OTG compliant devices allow users to link to other USB devices without intervention from the PC. This means users can perform such functions as sending photos from a digital camera to a printer, PDA or cell phone. ...Innovative Semiconductors profile, USB

BOISE, Idaho - July 26, 2004 - Micron Technology, Inc. today announced sample availability of the first 128 Megabit burst CellularRAM device incorporating the new 1.5 generation feature set. Availability of this device is significant as it is one of the first 128Mb burst pseudo-static RAMs currently available in the market.

"Growth of our CellularRAM business is exceeding expectations, and we continue to see PSRAM displace traditional asynchronous SRAM in the rapidly growing handset market," said Dan Skinner, Micron's Mobile DRAM Product Marketing Manager.

Micron's 128Mb burst CellularRAM devices target mobile handsets providing performance enhancing features. The cell architecture used to produce this device minimizes standby and active current levels resulting in a lower power, higher bandwidth solution than competing PSRAM technologies. Other unique performance features include the ability to perform READs and WRITEs in 4, 8, 16, 32-word or continuous bursts, increased compatibility with flash burst protocol, burst clock rates of 104/80/66 MHz, and a variable latency function that minimizes delays and maximizes bandwidth. ...Micron profile, RAM, Storage ICs

Toronto - July 26, 2004 - Asigra today announced Asigra Televaulting for Enterprises, a distributed backup solution that delivers centralized backup administration of remote site data islands. Asigra offers a capacity-based pricing model ­ a first in the industry ­ that eliminates the data protection, performance, scalability and high license costs inherent in conventional tape-based backup software and agent-based licenses from Veritas, Legato/EMC and others.

"The traditional tape backup model was designed to protect information inside a corporate data center and it works well within that limitation; however, today's distributed enterprises need a data protection solution that eliminates the technological limitations and outrageous agent-based licensing costs of stretching a single-site backup architecture into a multi-site environment," said Eran Farajun, Executive Vice President of Asigra. "Asigra addresses this requirement by giving IT managers the best of both worlds: much lower operational costs with dramatically improved end-user service levels."

Asigra allows organizations to deploy distributed backup without changing their existing data center backup infrastructure. At each remote site an Asigra Televaulting DS-Client discovers all servers, desktops and laptops connected to the local network and automates the backup of all local data assets. Before the backup data set is transmitted to the corporate data center, Asigra Televaulting software analyzes the data, finds new and changed file blocks, eliminates duplicate files and further compresses the residue bytes to ensure the backup set is as compact as possible. The software then encrypts the data before sending it over an IP- WAN connection to a centralized Asigra Televaulting DS-System server located in the corporate data center, which consolidates backup data from all distributed sites. That DS-System server is then protected just like any other server within the data center as part of the organization¹s ongoing data protection policies. Moreover, the back-end DS-System server integrates directly with third-party ILM solutions from the major storage vendors.

Asigra Televaulting for Enterprises supports a broad range of platforms found in remote sites, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Novell and AS/400, and protects Oracle, SQL Server and Exchange Server data. Back-end DS-System software runs on Solaris, Linux, and Windows. Prices start at $11,250 ...Asigra profile, Backup Software Web based backup

COSTA MESA, Calif. - July 26, 2004 - Emulex Corporation and Red Hat today announced their joint plans to provide best-in-class open source drivers and end-user support to the enterprise storage community. Emulex HBAs and Linux drivers will be listed by Red Hat as "Certified for Enterprise Linux." Furthermore, Red Hat will integrate the Emulex Open Source Linux drivers in the next quarterly update of Red Hat Enterprise Linux later this summer, enabling customers to install a new system directly on a Fibre Channel attached storage device. ...Emulex profile, ...Red Hat profile, Fibre-channel adapters, Linux portals

Hopkinton, Mass. - July 22, 2004 - EMC Corporation today celebrated its 25th year anniversary, commemorating two and a half decades of growth, innovation and leadership. The only three CEOs in the company's history - current President and CEO Joe Tucci, current Chairman Mike Ruettgers and founder Dick Egan - addressed thousands of EMC employees at a celebration in nearby Southborough to mark the occasion.

In a joint message to EMC employees and their families, Ruettgers and Tucci said, "On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, we salute our dedicated employees who are sustaining EMC's worldwide leadership in information storage and management - the more than 7,000 employees in our home state of Massachusetts and the more than 21,000 employees in more than 50 countries worldwide. We offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all EMC employees and their families as well as to our customers, partners, suppliers, and local communities around the world."

Founded in Massachusetts in August 1979 by Egan and Roger Marino (the "E" and "M" in EMC), EMC has built a quarter-century foundation of growth, innovation and leadership. In 2004, EMC remains one of the fastest-growing and most successful major information technology providers in the world. ...EMC profile

Editor's comments:- I'm thinking of compiling a storage trivia quiz which type "A" personality readers can do on December 25th, when there's no storage market news. Hint:- the answers to some of the questions may be in the above press release - so make a note and also visit our Record Breaking Storage page if you think you might want to play.

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