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SSD & storage news - January 2010, week 3

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loves reading storage news.
... SSD market history
the SSD Buyers Guide
After SSDs... What Next?
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Storage Market Outlook 2010 to 2015
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
WD Reports Results

Editor:- January 21, 2010 - Western Digital today reported financial results for the quarter ended January 1, 2010 - revenue of $2.6 billion up 44% compared to a year ago and up 18% compared to $2.2 billion, in the same quarter 2 years ago.

I said - a few days ago in the case of Seagate - that you get a better comparison by comparing revenue with the peak year for the HDD market - rather than the worst quarter affected by the Credit Crunch.

Doing that - by summing the results for the 2 biggest hard drive companies - shows zero revenue growth for the hard disk market compared to 2 years ago.

Most revenue shifts in this market in 2010 will in my view be due to shifts in market share - and effects due to other companies which have exited the HDD market - rather than organic growth in overall hard disk revenue. It will be easy for hard disk oems to continue reporting double digit percentage revenue growth compared to a year ago - because that was dip in the market.

Viking Enters 2.5" 6Gbps SAS SSD Market

Editor:- January 21, 2010 - Viking Modular Solutions today announced it is sampling a range of SAS and SATA compatible SSDs using controllers from SandForce.

Form factors will include:- 1.8", 2.5" and innovative "non-HDD-like" solutions for space constrained and/or rugged applications.

"Today's announcement represents the results of collaboration between Viking Modular Solutions and SandForce for current and future high performance SSD products that target enterprise, storage and multiple other applications requiring superior performance and security," stated Hamid Shokrgozar, President of Viking Modular Solutions. "This joint effort clearly highlights our commitment as an industry leader by continuing to deliver innovative products at practical costs to our customer base."

Interpreting Seagate's Results

Editor:- January 20, 2010 - Seagate today reported financial results for the quarter ended January 1, 2010 - revenue of $3.03 billion up 32% compared to a year ago but down 11% compared to $3.4 billion in the same quarter 2 years ago.

Seagate is positioning these results as a strong recovery for the hard drive market - because they shipped a record 49.9 million drives in the quarter. However, another way to view it is simply a rebound from the lowest point of the Credit Crunch quarter - back to a position which is not as good as it was before.

IDC Tallies SSD Shipments

Editor:- January 20, 2010 - IDC says that SSD shipments in 2009 exceeded 11 million units, an increase of 14% year over year.

Looking forward, IDC says it expects SSD adoption will continue to experience tangible growth in 2010 and beyond, with shipments expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 54% over the 2008-2013 forecast period. Solid State Drives - market research & analysts

Samsung Agrees $900 million Settlement with Rambus

Editor:- January 19, 2010 - Rambus and Samsung today announced that they have reached agreement settling all claims between them and licensing Rambus' patent portfolio covering all Samsung semiconductor products including a perpetual fully paid-up license to certain current DRAM products.

As part of the overall agreement, Samsung will invest $200 million in Rambus stock. Other consideration to Rambus includes an initial payment of $200 million and a quarterly payment of about $25 million for the next 5 years. In addition the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding relating to a new generation of memory technologies and interfaces.

See also:- how will Memory Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?

New Integrity Tool for Old Tape Archives

Editor:- January 18, 2010 - Crossroads Systems today announced details of ArchiveVerify - a new monitoring option for its ReadVerify Appliance that safeguards the future readability of data backed up on tape.

"In our experience, the Achilles' heel of a data recovery strategy is often the uncertainty of the data's readability, and this single point of failure can render then entire restore process useless," adds Bernd Krieger, Managing Director, at Crossroads Europe.

Editor's comments:- Crossroads was originally a specialist in the SAN router business. In recent years it has done a lot of work in the area of storage reliability. I've read lots of their whitepapers which describe their research and products addressing data integrity. Although there has been a historic trend for users to migrate away from tape to disk backup - many super users of huge tape libraries (with the biggest archives) will be the last to migrate away - due to logistics and cost. It's those kind of users who can benefit most from automated tools or services which increase the data integrity they achieve and cut down media waste and unrecoverable events.

WEDC Launches Secure PATA SSD in PBGA

Editor:- January 18, 2010 - White Electronic Designs has introduced a 4GB secure PATA SLC SSD in a 22mm x 27mm PBGA for embedded military applications.
click for more info re secure PATA SSDs in PBGA
It's designed for applications in aircraft, communications and missiles. A hardware and software triggered fast purge can eliminate all data in less than 10 seconds and device options include sanitization compliant with various government agency specifications.

New Error Technologies Required to Scale MLC SSDs

Editor:- January 18, 2010 - Forward Insights publishes a new market report this month - ECC and Signal Processing Technology for SSDs and Multi-bit per cell NAND Flash Memories.

Bit errors are becoming more severe as NAND flash memory scales below 40nm process technology and transitions to 3-bit and 4-bit per cell architectures. Increased ECC requirements will be required, however, traditional error correction codes such as BCH, RS and Hamming code suffer from increased overhead in terms of coding redundancy and read latency as the number of errors corrected increases. In addition, the number of electrons stored in the memory cell is decreasing with each generation of flash memory resulting in reduced signal/noise requiring enhanced sensing techniques.

Digital signal processing technology has been employed in the magnetic recording industry since the early 1990's when partial-response maximum-likelihood technology (PRML) was commercialized. DSP technology is now being deployed in 3-bit per cell and 4-bit per cell NAND flash memories and a concerted effort is being made by NAND flash manufacturers and a variety of startups to employ digital signal processing technology to improve the endurance and performance of next generation NAND flash memories and SSDs. Signal processing technology will be essential for the continued scaling of NAND flash memories.

This research report examines the current state of ECC methods and explores the technology, roadmap, market, cost and competitive landscape in the flash signal processing space.

See also:- adaptive R/W flash management and DSP ECC

New Directory for AoE Storage

Editor:- January 15, 2010 - today published a new directory for AoE (ATA-over-Ethernet NAS Storage).

Although this NAS mode first hit our news pages in 2003 - support for it has been miniscule and compatible products are only available from a handful of vendors. Will 2010 be the year that it all changes? Maybe. SSDs could play a part - because less latency is wasted in this low level network storage interface.

earlier storage news

SSD ad - click for more info
SSD ad - click for more info
Bad block management in flash SSDs
This is an introduction to the thinking behind one of the many vital functions inside a flash SSD controller.

Native media defect quality in new flash memory chips has grown steadily worse in the past 10 years as geometries have shrunk.
click image to read the article - principles of bad block management in flash SSDs This article enumerates the scale of the problem and explains how intrinsically dodgy flash memory is transformed into dependable flash SSDs which you can entrust with your data. the article
Top news stories in recent weeks gone by
Each link below takes you to a week of news.

ioSafe's disaster proof backup SSD
InnoDisk enters PCIe SSD Market
Seagate announces specs for its 1st SSD
SSD ad - click for more info
There are hundreds of articles about SSDs on
Here, below, are some examples.
  • RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs - it's important to know the underlying RAM cache architecture - even if you're happy with the R/W and IOPS performance.
  • 2010 - 1st Fizz in the SSD Bubble? - even the dogs in the street know this is going to be a multibillion dollar market. Greed will play as big a part as technology in shaping the SSD year ahead.
  • the pros and cons of using SSD ASAPs - auto tuning SSD appliances are a new category of SSD which entered the market in the 2nd half of 2009 to accelerate servers without needing human tune-ups. How can you tell if they are right for you? And how well do they work?
  • the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs - long established as a useful performance modeling metric - this article explains why some specs are exaggerated when applied to flash SSDs - or predict the wrong results for many common applications.

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