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2011 SSD market
milestones - full year summary
for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
|Microsemi advances the
envelope in rugged SSDs|
Editor:- March 21, 2011 - Microsemi today
initial production and availability of its
a rugged 2.5" SATA SSD designed for mission critical applications in
the aerospace, defense, and military markets.
Security features in the
new SSD include:- AES encryption with a 256-bit key with XTS, a
fast purge feature
called SnapPurge which destroys key in less than 30mS and hardware-based fast
clear of the entire drive which takes less than 4 seconds. Uncorrectable bit
error rate is one sector per 1030 bits read. Other reliability
oriented features include:- BIST and
interruption protection with over and under voltage detection and protection
which does not rely on super caps or batteries.
Director of New Product Development said that . "...Unlike commercial
offerings, our proprietary IP and controller technology guarantees our customers
a stable platform whose future is not dictated by 3rd party or commercial
product design cycles." Microsemi emphasize they can support a long
customer supply cycle with no premature EOL because they control all the IP in
the design including the processor core.
from the time when I saw an advanced product datasheet for this product I was
impressed by its balanced set of design features for military applications and
especially its industry leading data integrity and security features. So I
looked forward to speaking with the product's architect Jack Bogdanski.
As an opener to the conversation I had today I asked about the SSD's
power down management - is there any other type of non volatile memory inside
their new SSD (apart from flash)?
Jack said he wasn't prepared to
disclose proprietary details of how they solve design problems. But a team of 5
people had worked for nearly 2 years on the SSD power management alone. He
promised to send me more information about what this system does as an update
to my recent SSD
power down article.
I said - "there are so many interesting
features in this new SSD that it's hard to just narrow down my questions to 1 or
2 topics. How did the design come about?"
Jack said that the
company first considered getting into the
military SSD market in
2002 - because it was a natural extension of their abilities to integrate memory
packages and systems. There were a lot of changes going on in the SSD market at
that time. Jack made the point several times in our conversation - that unlike
other markets for SSDs - in the military you have to get the design right
and deliver a product which works reliably.
So WEDC/ Microsemi asked
their military customers - "What are you not getting from other SSDs
which you would like to see in a new true mission critical SSD?" That's
where the feature set came from. Customers set a high value on data security
and operational reliability as well as performance. He said the TRRUST-Stor is
a working operational product that's already being shipped to a military
customer. It's not just a datasheet.
SSD data integrity,
the 3 fastest PCIe SSDs list(s)
Editor:- March 18,
2011 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new article -
the 3 fastest PCIe
Are you tied up in knots trying to shortlist
flash SSD accelerators ranked according to published comparative benchmarks?
You know the sort of thing I mean - where a magazine compares 10 SSDs or a
blogger compares 2 SSDs against each other. This article explains why in the
case of the fastest PCIe flash SSDs - that's just a waste of time. ...read the article
iSuppli says SSD revenue in 2011 will reach $4.4 billion
March 17, 2011 - iSuppli
today announced it expects
revenue in 2011 to hit $4.4 billion - up 91% from $2.3 billion in
2014, iSuppli expects SSD revenue to reach $7 billion.
hottest segment in 2011 will be SSDs for consumer usage, iSuppli predicts, as
shipments of SSD-outfitted high-end
skyrocket. SSD's other growth segment this year lies in the
which increasingly employs flash storage to overcome performance bottlenecks.
SSD shipments this year will be on an upswing, projected to reach
approximately 15 million units compared to 6.9 million in
SSD shipments still remain miniscule compared to those for
hard disk drives, which
will total roughly 161 million units in the 1st quarter of 2011 alone. At the
same time, the hard disk drive market is consolidating and seeing much slower
Editor's comments:- the SSD market size numbers and growth
rates tally with other estimates published in recent months.
- in the short term I'm more bullish on the enterprise SSD market (which
delivers immediate quantifiable value) than I am on consumer SSDs (which have
often suffered from
integration and delivered little more benefit than fashion
accessories). For more like this take a look at the
SSD market analysts
PLX ready to play part in PCIe SSD growth
March 16, 2011 - PLX
working with system partners worldwide to accelerate adoption of PCIe SSDs.
has been providing PCIe switches to manufacturers of both
SSD based storage solutions
for years and has 65% market share in this segment. PLX is a founding member
of the (Intel led)
Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Work Group whose goal is to enable
the broad adoption of SSDs
products have attracted significant interest over the past few years," said
Yang, principal analyst for memory and storage at
Express-based products will be the primary catalyst for the segment with 40%
compound annual growth rate in shipments through 2015."
Pangaea unveils new self destruct SSDs
March 16, 2011 - Pangaea
Media has recently entered the
SSD backup market with a
removable 2.5" SSD
which integrates backup,
encryption and a
completely new (to me) patented
Editor's comments:- this appears to be a classic
case of a company which isn't very good at
online marketing. For example they
sent me the press release
late and most of the info a serious reader needs to know doesn't actually
appear in the press release or on their web site.
If it was just
another "me-too" SSD - I'd just forget about it and you wouldn't be
seeing this note here. But they do have a uniquely secure SSD. I
asked the company to fill in the gaps and you can read what they said today in
my article which appears in their company profile page -
Seagate's new 2.5" SAS SSDs
Editor:- March 15,
2011 - Seagate
announced details of new
SAS SSDs -
marketed under its Pulsar
brand - which
will ship in the 2nd quarter.
Available capacities are
(MLC). R/W speeds are upto 360MB/s and 300MB/s respectively. Sustainable
random R/W IOPS
are 48K and 22K respectively.
quoted as 35 / 10 full drive
writes per day SLC / MLC. Unrecoverable read errors (data integrity) for
the SLC model are 1 in 1016 . Seagate also quotes a permissive
rate of ambient temperature change for its MLC SSD - which is something else we
may be hearing more about in future.
Editor's comments:- one of
the problems Seagate has in being a latecomer to the SSD market is that it
hasn't yet racked up enough "million customer operating years" to
support reliability messages tagged to the new SSD launch. So instead it's using
cross over references from its HDD business - as in this statement - "Over
200 man-years of development went into the 2nd-generation Pulsar SSD products,
with enterprise reliability verified by a team with over 1,500 collective years
of experience in the storage industry."
history in recent years teaches us that experience in other markets
(even within the semiconductor industry) doesn't always guarantee that new
SSD designs will be as reliable,
trouble free or as
fast as their
creators anticipate. That's because many new design features in flash SSD
architectures get their first reality checks in the market. I expect that if
all goes well - next year Seagate's new SSD announcements will start referring
back to their SSD market track record. And if all doesn't go well - we're hear
about it on these news pages.
"Over 200 man-years of development went into the 2nd-generation Pulsar
SAS SSD products..."news story further doen this page (March 15, 2011
|SSD sudden power
|Why should you care
what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? |
This important design
feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases
- has a strong impact on
SSD data integrity
This article will help you understand why some
SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in
others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be