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SSD news - May 8-14, 2011

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Emphase launches 2.5" MIL SSD family

Editor:- May 11, 2011 - Emphase today launched a new range of rugged, MIL-STD-810F compliant 2.5" SATA SLC SSDs - which are currently available with upto 128GB capacity.

The MIL-SPEC S5 SSD has R/W speeds upto 170 / 90MB/sec respectively and fast erase. Should the drive lose power during a protect, erase, or destroy command, the device will resume the operation as soon as power is restored. Standard product has high tolerance for high altitudes, shock, vibration, temperature, and humidity - options include conformal coating.

Dell expands SSD take-up from Fusion-io

Editor:- May 10, 2011 - Fusion-io today announced that more of its PCIe SSDs (including 640GB ioDrives and the 1.28TB Duo) are now available from Dell - which is also extending the number of server platforms supporting these accelerator options.

STEC shifts from FPGAs to ASICs in ZeusIOPS

Editor:- May 10, 2011 - STEC announced it will transition the hardware used in its high performance ZeusIOPS (2.5" and 3.5") SSDs from a dependence on FPGAs to ASICs. And the same ASIC design will be used in new PCIe SSDs later this year.

STEC also announced that its revenue in the most recent quarter was back in alignment with the growth rates for the enterprise SSD market - following a decline in the preceding year attributed to over stocking by its biggest customer EMC.

Editor's comments:- in many of the fastest flash SSDs data block moves in the SSD controller are done by dedicated hardware rather than microprocessors.

FPGAs (which are predesigned hardware blocks which have their final interconnections JIT electrically programmed as they are deployed) enable faster time to market when supporting new flash memory chips compared to ASICs (which can implement any arbitrary logic function - but have to go through an entire semiconductor factory manufacturing process - with all its attendant batch logistics queuing, testing and shipping delays).

Above a certain volume threshold (which varies according to the final market economics) ASICs enable lower power consumption and lower unit cost. FPGAs are more economic in lower volume markets and provide greater flexibility. Some SSD makers use a mixture of ASICs and FPGAs within their fast enterprise SSD product families - whereas consumer SSD makers rarely if ever use FPGAs except as concept demonstrators.

SSD beats HDD (price / capacity) in SPC .

Editor:- May 10, 2011 - Texas Memory Systems today announced record-setting audited SPC-1 and SPC-2 performance results produced by its flagship rackmount flash SSD - the RamSan-630.

One of the new results includes a first appearance of an InfiniBand product in SPC-2 category. Whereas the other is for a fibre-channel system.

Editor's comments:- as I said in an article 3 years ago - results which simply show that an SSD is faster than a traditional over provisioned hard disk system rarely deserve news mention status - no matter how high the ratio.

What TMS says is different about these results - is that its SLC flash SSD system also cost less per gigabyte than the previous record holder's HDD based system.

EMC will enter PCIe SSD market

Editor:- May 9, 2011 - EMC today announced new strategies related to the SSD market.

Among other things EMC said it has created a flash business unit and will enter the PCIe SSD market later this year. The company indicated that its run rate of shipping flash storage array capacity in 2011 is approximately 3x the level it had achieved in 2010.
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