This page includes the archived SSD news from
StorageSearch.com for the above
Companies mentioned on this page in stories include:-
Proton Digital Systems,
|Violin migrates controller
implementations to eASIC|
Editor:- February 27, 2013 - Violin has selected
ASICs from eASIC's
Nextreme-2T range to replace
high density FPGAs and implement fast flash controller functions more
its 6000 series SSD rackmounts it was
"There is tremendous innovation going on in the enterprise
storage market and we are thrilled to be working with Violin, one of the fastest
growing leaders in this space," said Ronnie Vasishta,
President and CEO, eASIC. "OEMs need to continuously innovate and quickly
ramp to volume production. We are starting to see a tipping point where FPGAs
cannot be used in mission critical, power sensitive, volume applications and the
ASIC alternatives do not meet the requirements. Traditional cell-based ASICs
just take too long to design and ASSPs have limited flexibility for the NAND
another $24 million funding for ZFS SSD ASAP ISV Nexenta
February 27, 2013 - Nexenta
it has secured $24 million in Series D financing.
SSD ASAP software -
- currently supports SSDs from the following companies:-
STEC - according to
hardware support list (pdf).
Micron enters SAS SSD market
Editor:- February 26,
2013 - Micron
today became the 19th company to enter the
SAS SSD market.
production of its new
SSD - a 2.5" SSD
with R/W speeds upto 410MB/s and 345MB/s respectively and 50K/30K
for the 400GB model which uses 25nm MLC.
10 drive fills per day for 5 years.
Editor's comments:- Micron
is currently the only company manufacturing both
enterprise SSDs in the 2.5" form factor.
Everspin quadruples MRAM chip R/W
26, 2013 - Everspin
it will sample the first of a new family of MRAM chips in Q2.
MR10Q010 (1Mb in a 16 pin SOIC) has a quad SPI serial interface instead of the
single line interface offered in earlier MRAM devices. This makes it more
attractive for applications which need the simplicity of no wear-out
non volatile memory and
fast write performance in low capacity and small footprint applications.
Skyera gets $51 million from Dell
February 21, 2013 - Skyera
it has closed $51.6 million in financing led by
use the money to accelerate its integration of the latest-generation flash
technology and also to drive broader market adoption of its
Skyhawk family of
"The investment in Skyera is one example of how we are
Data Storage Fund to target areas critical to the evolution of storage..."said
Managing Director of Dell Ventures.
VCs in SSDs,
directions in rackmount SSDs
Silicon Motion's new mobile devices TLC SSD controller
February 21, 2013 - Silicon Motion
announced imminent sampling of a new
SSD controller - for
consumer handheld products.
The SM2703 is a single-channel, SD
3.0 UHS-I (Ultra High Speed Phase I) card controller with superior support for
the vast majority of NAND flash, including 2y-nm, 1x-nm and 1y-nm TLC and MLC
which delivers up to 95MB/s and enables full HD video recording capability by
digital cameras, smartphones and other mobile devices on both Class 4 and Class
6 SD flash memory cards using cost-effective TLC NAND flash.
already had tremendous success in the UHS-I market since we introduced our first
UHS-I controller 2 years ago - which was used by most of the world's leading
flash card brands" said Wallace Kou,
President and CEO of Silicon Motion. "Our solution was widely adopted
because it was high performance, cost-effective, and supported the vast majority
of available NAND components. Our new 55nm based SM2703 controller is
firmware compatible and is a cost-effective, flexible quick way to market for
customers who want to use the latest MLC and TLC NAND flash."
WhipTail outgrows in-house manufacturing
February 21, 2013 - WhipTail
that it has outsourced manufacturing its full range of
rackmount SSDs to
"When we were a small
company, we could handle our own manufacturing, but that's not the case anymore"
said Dan Crain,
Crocus steers R&D efforts to simplify and accelerate
adoption of magnetically enhanced semiconductors
21, 2013 - Crocus
appointment of Dr.
Ken Mackay as VP of technology development in which role he will manage
and overview nano-magnetic materials research and CMOS teams - within the
company and in partner organizations - towards the goal of fully integrating
Crocus' magnetically enhanced semiconductor technology to the needs of
Virident betas remote PCIe SSD sharing
February 21, 2013 - Virident
beta availability of a new software suite - called FlashMAX Connect - which
enables low latency shared server-side storage and
when used with the
company's range of PCIe SSDs.
New functionality includes:-
- fast / low-latency synchronous mirroring that replicates writes from one
server to another, providing storage node or server failover without affecting
application and data availability.
- shared storage management in remote PCIe SSDs. This allows customers to
share the storage residing on remote servers and thereby scale PCIe flash
capacity independent of compute. For example - a single PCIe flash card can
service multiple servers.
"We're entering the era of 'pervasive
flash' in the web and enterprise data centers. However, until today, such a
transformation was not possible due to the lack of availability of critical
software features," said Mike Gustafson,
CEO of Virident. "...The FlashMAX Connect suite is a significant initial
step in actualizing the Virident vision - to enable pervasive flash and
performance storage on the server side."
- Easily managed controllability of cache policies within installed PCIe
SSDs:- write-back, write-through and write-around cache so that users can
choose cache modes which provide better fit to their performance and
it's long been known within the SSD industry that these features have been in
the pipeline - because they're based on support at the PCIe switch chip level.
For an overview of this architecture enabling chip level support and
how it offers flexibility in servers and SSDs - take a look at this video -
enterprise SSD designs by
controller line from Hyperstone
Editor:- February 21, 2013 - Hyperstone is
presenting their updated line-up of low power consumption high reliability
Flash controllers at the Embedded
World trade show next week in Nuremberg, Germany.
PernixData announces Flash Virtualization Platform
February 20, 2013 - "PernixData has done for server flash what VMware did
for CPU and memory" - said Poojan Kumar, CEO and
co-founder of PernixData
- at the
of the company's Flash Virtualization Platform today as the company exited
PernixData says it's working with a select number of
companies as part of its early access program.
new report on embedded flash drives market
Editor:- February 20, 2013 - Web-Feet Research
expects revenue in the embedded flash drive market to reach $15 billion
in 2017 - "driven heavily by mobile handsets, tablets, portable media
players, digital camcorders, GPS, digital radio along with the adoption of
flash cache in notebook and desktop PCs."
In this context EFDs
and cards are defined as sub-systems of solid state storage ranked below SSD.
The company recently published a new report
Drives, eMMC and emNAND: 2010-2017 (134 pages, $5.5K) which includes
forecasts for EFD applications and related markets.
OCZ's SATA SSDs advance to 20nm
19, 2013 - OCZ
imminent availability of
SATA SSDs - based on
SSD controllers - as
extensions to OCZ's popular
3 SSD Series.
SSD Review exposes how rebranded memory can adulterate
Editor:- February 18, 2013 - the SSD Review recently published
in-depth article which shows how the memory chips in
consumer SSDs -
which appear to come from one source - may actually have come from somewhere
The article - by Les Tokar, Editor-in-Chief
of the SSD Review - reads at times
like a gripping detective story - and looks into the murky topic of remarking
and rebranding flash chips - which can lead to adulteration and quality
problems in the memory supply chain - all in pursuit of getting the lowest
These problems and risks have been well known in expert SSD circles
but Les Tokar's new exposé brings this shadow world into vivid focus.
See also:- my (2009 article) -
Why can consumers expect
to see more flaky flash SSDs?,
CONSUMER SSD - contents liable to change without notice
2017 could be 1st billion dollar year for non-flash nvm
February 18, 2013 - Yole
a new market report - Emerging Non-Volatile Memories (5,990 euros) which
describes why and how emerging alternative
NVM (FRAM, MRAM/STTMRAM,
PCM, RRAM) could grow from $209 million revenue in 2012 to $2 billion in
Among other things - the report says 3D RRAM could start to be
used in SSDs in 2017-2018, when 3D NAND's scalability prospects are
anticipated to worsen.
Steve Picot joins ViON as VP of Federal Sales
February 18, 2013 - ViON
today announced that Steve Picot
has recently joined the company as VP Federal Sales.
Sonnet launches bootable PCIe SSD for desktops
February 13, 2013 - Sonnet
a bootable PCIe SSD
aimed at PCs and MACs.
Tempo PCIe SSD
product is a nearly fast
enough base card onto which users can install standard
2.5" SATA SSDs.
Another reason to look again at Intel SSDs
February 13, 2013 - Intel
that in the next 30 days it will ship a Linux version of the SSD caching
software - based on IP from its acquisition of
NEVEX last August. The
products have been rebranded as
CAS (Cache Acceleration Software).
Editor's comments:- I
would categorize Intel's current generation of enterprise SSD solutions
(which includes the same old indifferent SSDs working with the new CAS software)
as being in the medium to fast-enough performance range.
customers might be end users who have never used SSD acceleration before - or
users with apps which don't need the higher speeds offered by competing SSD
bundled drive / module packages from
OCZ - and customers who
don't want to do their caching via dedicated rackmount based products from
the dozens of other vendors listed in the
SSD ASAPs directory.
market segment addressed by these new Intel products is the early
majority of enterprise SSD adopters - who will be reassured by the
perceived safety of buying into the dangerous world of solid state storage
acceleration from a value based brand.
I spoke about the new CAS
software to Intel product manager Andrew Flint
who cofounded NEVEX and I
learned some useful things about the product.
The first question I
asked was - how many PCIe SSDs can the CAS product support in a single server?
And were there any graphs showing how performance drops off or is maintained
when you do that.
The answer was - this info isn't publicly available
right now. Although it may be in the future.
That's when I concluded
that Intel CAS (married to current generation Intel SSDs) isn't a fast
product - and is not in the kind of performance league where a user would
seriously worry about this type of
Intel's ideal end-user customers right now for CAS are
people who have been using no SSD acceleration at all coupled with hard drive
arrays. That performance
silo could change - with faster Intel SSDs in the future - and isn't due
to limiting characteristics in the software.
I asked - Does it support
3rd party SSDs?
I was told - the standard release only supports Intel
SSDs. But there's nothing in principle to prevent it being used with other SSDs
using the open source release of the software.
The product is a read
cache. I was told that it makes very good use of whatever RAM is in the server
to optimize both read and write performance. However, my view is that as Intel
SSDs aren't fast - this is somewhat academic.
I asked about the time
constants which are analyzed by the caching software - and learned that -
depending on the app - the data usage period which is analyzed goes up to days.
(Generally in this type of product longer is better - and when you go up from
milli-seconds and seconds to minutes, hours and days - you have the potential to
get better caching results.)
I learned that Intel CAS isn't written
around the data structure or interface - and is hardware agnostic. Users can
tell the software which apps they want to cache - via a control panel. This is
very useful in environments where a single server is running a mix of apps -
some of which are critical (in performance needs) while others are not.
asked - does the CAS have to have advance knowledge of the app? - Is it
optimized for a preset list of apps?
I was told - No. It will work
just as well for - what I called - dark matter software- which might be a
proprietary app which no one else knew about.
I asked if Intel collects
stats from the general population of installed servers which use the software? -
in order to improve tuning algorithms...
I was told - No. The
optimizations (data eviction probability rates) are done based on what is
learned on the customer's own server and private data - and the factory shipped
software. There isn't a wider intelligence learning or gathering or snooping
I learned that a special feature of this Intel CAS release
is the ability to share cache resources with a remote SSD. The data stays hot
and doesn't have to be recreated when different virtual machines are accessing
this type of resource.
Overall I came away with a good impression of
the CAS software and how well the NEVEX technology idea has been assimilated
into Intel's SSD business.
It will undoubtedly help Intel sell more
SSDs to people who have never used enterprise SSDs before - and maybe also to
people with low end apps who have used SSD acceleration before but whose
first choice of SSDs wouldn't otherwise have been Intel.
SSD ASAPs, the case for
STEC resists pressure to replace board
February 12, 2013 - STEC's
management team has
to the demands of a special interest group of shareholders' who want to replace
the entire board of 7 directors. STEC's CEO offered to interview 4 of the
shareholder nominated replacements and offer 2 up for election.
Can you trust SSD market data?
Editor:- February 12,
2013 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new SSD home page blog -
trust SSD market data?
Can you trust market reports and the handed
down wisdom from analysts, bloggers and so-called "industry experts"
any more than you can trust SSD benchmarks to tell you which product is best?
Proton gets funds to rejuvenate flash
February 7, 2013 - Proton
Digital Systems today announced
the completion of its $2 million seed round to support continued development
and expansion of its LDPC-based flash read channel IP products that increase
and longevity of
Proton's IP is currently licensed for enterprise and consumer applications and
has already been adopted by some of the world's largest flash memory companies.
and DSP IP in SSDs,
how to market flash
management care schemes for SSDs
aligning database block sizes with SSDs
February 5, 2013 - I often hear from readers designing
software for SSDs who
- having researched the subject of
flash etc - have
spent too much time over-worrying about internal SSD hardware details that
they really shouldn't be worrying about. Because by the time they learn about
such things - that type of hardware anxiety is ancient history.
I came across a recent blog by Chas. Dye at Pure Storage
DON'T Fiddle with Your Database Block Size! - which also warns about this
Chas says - "At Pure Storage, we believe that a factor
that should never influence the block size decision is your storage subsystem."
comments:- I'd certainly agree that trying to slavishly make your data
structures look like something you've read about which might be inside an
SSD controller is
probably a waste of time - because unless you know the SSD designer you don't
really know what's going on - and the abstraction you read about in some web
site is only a small part of the picture.
SSD is so sensitive to
the data you hit it with - it's not the SSD you should have bought in the
Samsung allocates $1 billion to clarify visibility in big data
February 4, 2013 - Samsung
it has allocated over $1 billion to invest in big data related business
Editor's comments:- to you and me - $1 billion
sounds like a lot of money - but for Samsung? - really it's small change.
my past conversations with people in the company who think about
strategic stuff - I'm left with the impression of a company which invests a lot
of talent trying to understand what's going on out there and to analyze what
macro market factors and changes will impact its semiconductor fabs.
was actually the first multi-billion dollar scale company to publicly recognize
the strategic importance of the SSD market (2005). But
replacing past memory business with new SSD business for many years was a
problem on the scale of bailing out water from the Titanic with bathtub size
Like other big interested entities - Samsung could do little
more than satisfice its engagements in SSD while waiting for the whole SSD
market to get bigger, and the trends to get clearer. Along the way it has
invested in some SSD IP companies - such as
others like NVELO, and
tried but failed to acquire SanDisk
than simply being seen as traditional return on investments - this type of
activity by Samsung and other semico companies like
Intel - is a way of
ensuring strategic forward visibility into new seedlings in the ecosystems
which surround their core businesses.
Editor:- February 1, 2013 -
Is PCIe the Natural
Next-Generation Data Center Fabric?
That's what Larry Chisvin, VP of
strategic initiatives PLX
Technology believes and he'll try to convert you to his way of
thinking next week at
the Linley Tech Data
Center Conference in Santa Clara. PLX is the worldwide market leader in PCIe
enterprise SSD silos,
SSD glue chips.
19" rack SSDs
|now where was I?|
I was so rudely interrupted
|Editor:- February 21, 2013 -
WD has recently
published a new white paper -
Art of SSD Power Fail Protection (pdf)|
If you've read up on the
subject of Surviving
SSD sudden power loss you may already be aware that the WD team has been
working on this theme for over 9 years - and even promoted educational
whitepapers on this subject
using banner ads in
In 2004 I was told that getting the SSD
to work reliably even when the SSD is subject to unexpected rapid power rail
disturbances was one of the starting points of the original SiliconDrive
designers - due to one of the founders having had a bad experience with an
earlier prototype flash drive failing such a test at an oem presentation while
at another company.
So what can WD tell us about this subject that's
Well - without mentioning names - there have been many examples
of other SSD companies who have got this factor wrong - and some of the reasons
why simplistic power protection schemes fail are mentioned in this paper.
key to validating a reliable SSD design is testing:- with variable types of
applied power line disruptions which are applied at any time in the SSD
WD aren't going to reveal all their hard won patented
design secrets in this white paper - but you can learn a lot from it which
may help you better evaluate other products too. ...read
the article (pdf)
| "Across the whole
enterprise - a single petabyte of SSD with new software could replace 10 to
50 petabytes of raw legacy HDD storage and still enable all the apps to run
|the enterprise SSD
software event horizon|
|how fast can your
SSD run backwards?|
|SSDs are complex devices and there's a
lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by
vendor's product datasheets and whitepapers. Underlying all the important
aspects of SSD behavior are
which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
Which symmetries are most important in an SSD?
depends on your application. But knowing that these symmetries exist, what they
are, and judging how your selected SSD compares will give you new insights
||There's no such thing as -
the perfect SSD - existing in the market today - but the SSD symmetry
list helps you to understand where any SSD in any memory technology stands
relative to the ideal. And it explains why deviations from the ideal can
...click to read
|The more you study the
characteristics of different SSDs - the quicker and more easily you will start
to anticipate useful behavioral characteristics of any new SSD - and assimilate
new SSDs in your plans.
And you'll start to recognize symptoms of "missing technical
These are things which it's important for you to know - but which
don't appear in the initial info you see about the new SSD.
In some cases you can get this missing info by asking the vendor.
In other cases -when they don't understand your questions - or aren't willing to
co-operate without an NDA - you may still be able to infer or deduce the missing
data aspects from other things you already know.
|understanding flash SSD
performance characteristics and limitations - a toolkit|