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|IDT samples controllers for NVMe compatible
2.5" PCIe SSDs|
Editor:- August 21, 2012 - IDT today
it's sampling single chip NVMe
compatible flash SSD
controllers for designers in the
PCIe SSD market.
models are available:- a 16-channel with PCIe x4 Gen 3 (89HF16P04AG3
for smaller footprints such as the
2.5" PCIe SSD
market - supports upto 2TB capacity) and 32-channel with PCIe x8 Gen 3 (89HF32P08AG3
for the conventional size cards upto 4TB capacity) - in 27 x 27 mm and 40 x 40
mm FCBGA packages respectively.
Both products support connection to 2
hosts and failover for
comments:- for those of you who like videos - I suggest you see
video which starts with an introduction to acceleration SSDs, explains the
advantages of having a standard such as NVMe - which means that oems can have a
single common set of drivers which work with SSDs from multiple vendors and
describes more features of the products - including hot pluggability.
Texas Memory Systems to be acquired by IBM
August 16, 2012 - IBM
it will acquire Texas
Memory Systems. The deal is expected to close later this year. Following
acquisition close, IBM plans to invest in and support the TMS product portfolio,
and will look to integrate over time TMS technologies into a variety of
solutions including storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.
Editor's comments:- TMS has been in the enterprise SSD market
longer than any other other company. But unlike other enterprise SSD pioneers
which failed to adapt to the many memory and business transitions in the
market in the
past 10 years Texas Memory Systems adapted and became a serially
successful performance leader in multiple memory technology
generations:- the RAM,
SLC and then MLC
phases of the market. TMS even managed to establish strong products in the
fiercely competitive PCIe
TMS's core technology strength is a
architecture, which provides ultra low latency and very fast performance
with minimum system impact when used in the context of
storage applications. In the past year TMS also showed that this technology
can be redeployed down market to build low cost fast-enough SSDs and up market
to deliver the fastest
SSD systems too.
Texas Memory Systems- which employs about 100
people, is privately owned and doesn't have
VC involvement. It was
clear to me last
December that TMS had changed its long held ideas about remaining
independent - and at about that time they started the process of seeking an
With this acquisition IBM will get 2 benefits
TMS's SSD products have always leaned
heavily on silicon to achieve performance - and have been light in their use of
SSD software. My guess is that by leveraging the high reputation which TMS has
already established in the SSD market - along with the systems support, software
and marketing of IBM - this acquisition could rapidly scale into a billion
dollar revenue enterprise SSD business unit - thereby making it one of the
largest SSD companies in the business.
- a range of SSD racks and PCIe SSDs which are OS agnostic and have been
market proven in a wide range of applications within most of the largest
enterprises which use SSD acceleration.
Pure Storage announces $1 million funding per system shipped
August 15, 2012 - Pure
Storage recently cranked up the heat on its funding to $95 million
with a new
million Series D funding round - which will help expand its
international presence towards Europe. The company says it has shipped more
than 100 of its production FlashArrays
to customers since emerging from stealth a year ago.
is SanDisk really nurturing true enterprise SSD DNA?
August 15, 2012 - Do you remember FlashSoft?
Many of you still do. It was one of the
SSD software companies
before it got acquired 6 months ago by SanDisk.
of the tips in the
Guide to Enterprise SSDs - is that when it comes to SSDs - rules are
made to be broken.
And earlier this week I learned this can
apply to my own gut feel rules of thumb too. The unwritten rule being that
semiconductor companies generally make a mess of enterprise software and are not
so hot at understanding the enterprise SSD market either.
I had expected that FlashSoft would disappear into SanDisk - and would get
smothered by a marketing organization which had many times before demonstrated
its lack of awareness of the fundamentals of good enterprise SSD marketing. And
that was the tone of my parting message to the founders along with a few words
of congratulations as they disappeared into the new SNDK afterlife. I never
expected to hear from them again.
So the first thing I asked Rich Petersen -
(former VP of Marketing at FlashSoft and now Director, Marketing Management at
SanDisk) a few days ago was - how are they doing as part of a chip company?
What are they doing with the FlashSoft brand? How do they plan to develop the
enterprise SSD business? etc.
One of the things that Rich had wanted
to talk about was the release of new support in their caching software for
We spent a lot of time talking about that too - and had a big discussion about
the role of SSD software - not only as a business tool - but in effect as a new
way of virtualizing and looking at enterprise SSDs and how they can fit into
architecture models. (My view is that a powerful SSD suite - if it becomes
widely used - can be as significant to the SSD market - as a new interface
or form factor.)
We covered enough ground to write several long
articles. I'm not going to do that today - because I'm supposed to be on
vacation and sitting out in the garden by my pool.
So you should
regard this as the really really short version - and a placeholder for much
more detail which I will return to later.
FlashSoft - or the
enterprise SSD software part of SanDisk (or whatever else you may want to call
it) is today operating in a business mode which is like what you would expect
from a best of breed enterprise SSD systems company. They talk to end users like
they've always done. They learn to change important aspects of how the products
work and are sold because of feedback from end users - and not because they've
read that something is a good idea in a
There are some surprising consequences of this at the
technical and business level.
Chief among those surprises for me is
that FlashSoft says it will still support other brands of SSDs. Rich
explained this was just a pragmatic business decision. Big users told them they
like FlashSoft - but they already use or might want to use non-SanDisk SSDs.
These users are only going to standardize on one SSD software platform. They
don't want to learn 2 different ways of doing the same thing.
other hand an advantage of having access to an enterprise SSD maker is that if a
big user needs some expensive hardware on which to evaluate the benefits of
their software - then it's easier on the marketing budget to get some SanDisk
SSDs to do this.
FlashSoft's visibility into what enterprise end users
really do - and the suprising preferences they have - which are driven by
customer business optimizations rather than simplistic technical extrapolations
- also means that - like rackmount SSD companies - FlashSoft learns valuable
market lessons which can be reapplied to optimize designs in future SanDisk
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