SSD news - January
- the Top SSD Companies in Q4 2012|
Editor:- January 14, 2013 -
published the 23rd
quarterly edition of the
Top SSD Companies List
- which ranks companies based on search volume in the 4th quarter of 2012.
Skyera entered the
top 5 SSD companies for the first time.
Virident's PCIe SSDs VMware Ready
14, 2013 - Virident
that its FlashMAX II
family (PCIe SSDs)
has achieved VMware Ready status.
Where are we now
with SSD software?, SSD
$600 for a terabyte SSD
Editor:- January 10, 2013 -
it will ship SATA SSDs with 960GB capacity priced under $600 in this
See also:- SSD
cost examples in history
Consumer SSDs at CES?
Editor:- January 9, 2013 -
unlike previous years when nearly every SSD launched at
CES had already been preannounced in the
months leading up to the event - the SSDs being launched this week for
the consumer market
- while being mostly predictable - could still include surprises. If you're
interested in this kind of thing take a look at this
news feed - from Google.
BiTMICRO invites you to design SSDs and systems using its fast
Talino SSD controller
Editor:- January 8, 2013 - BiTMICRO today
publicly confirmed that it's offering its Talino SSD controller to other
manufacturers in what the company calls the
"It's undeniable that the solid state
storage industry is growing rapidly," said Zophar Sante,
VP of Marketing and Sales at BiTMICRO. "We're not only speaking with
companies that want to use our SSD controller technology to develop their own
solid state drive solutions, but also with companies seeking to embed solid
state storage natively into their own vertical application platforms."
Editor's comments:- in my 2010 article -
Imprinting the brain
of the SSD - I discussed the most successful design win program in the
history of the SSD controller market (so far) by SandForce (now part of
controllers are now used by more than 60 SSD companies.
the big differences between that original program and what BiTMICRO is doing now
- is that BiTMICRO's primary business is selling complete SSDs whereas SandForce
didn't sell SSDs and neatly avoided some of the conflicts of interest which LSI
is seeing now with frenemmies who use the same controller but compete for some
of the same design slots at the complete SSD level.
That suggests to
me that potential Talino technology partners are more often going to be
systems companies rather than companies which simply sell vanilla SSDs.
access to the Talino SSD controller will provide systems makers with similar raw
performance to what they can get from integrating current industry standard
PCIe SSDs but at lower
cost and in a customizable physical footprint.
customers will have to invest in a lot more design than if they used ready made
SSDs - the scalability and flexibility of a chip family approach means that
some system designs which wouldn't be viable with today's building blocks will
all PCIe SSDs aren't
all exactly the same - I'm sure we'll be surprised in a year or so to see
just how different some of the systems based on the Talino will be. My guess is
they will span the full range of fast apps from lowly customized 2.5" PCIe
SSDs upto supercomputer scale racks.
BiTMICRO hasn't published details
of what its partner vetting and getting onboard process will be. They're simply
asking potential partners to contact them (if you haven't done so already).
Over-provisioning flash capacity in SSDs - article by LSI
January 8, 2013 -
SSD over-provisioning - is the title of a new article published in EDN and written by Kent Smith, Sr. Director of
Product Marketing at the SSD controller part of LSI.
article describes the trade-offs between performance, the percentage of
over-provisioned flash capacity and the useful impact of compressible data -
which inside SandForce controllers is leveraged to create additional
over-provisioning. The interaction between write amplification counter-measures
and the benefits of using TRIM commands on performance are also noted. ...read
Editor's comments:- there wasn't anything
new for me in this article - which covers similar ground to my 2011 article -
capacity - the iceberg syndrome - which shows how SSD makers leverage
capacity to tweak reliability and performance.
But - having said that -
I learned about over-provisioning by 10 years of talking about it - with
many SSD companies. And some of the things I put in my own article had been
gleaned from past conversations with Kent Smith himself when he was at
SandForce - as well as various other people in
Texas Memory Systems
guessing that what Kent would have liked to say on OP may have been "trimmed"
by a word count limit in his latest EDN article.
So here are some
other suggestions for more substantial and ideas packed articles I recommend
- which Kent Smith has written in the past for other publications, and which
cover SSD controllers from other angles:-
STEC's CEO reveals his thinking about the SSD business
January 8, 2013 - STEC's
definitely "interim" CEO, Mark Moshayedi, tells readers about
the customers who initiated the designs of its main enterprise SSDs in an
published today on StorageNewsletter.com - in which, on the subject
of being an acquisition target, he says - "Why would Dell be
interested in acquiring an SSD company?
Western Digital always
tries to buy things for nothing."
Editor's comments:- this
is a great scoop by StorageNewsletter.com 's editor Jean-Jacques
Maleval - and because the quotes are so long - you can draw your own
conclusions about some of the questions discussed.
Do you remember one
of my earlier home page blogs about the
competitive advantage of
SSD design efficiency? This is one of STEC's strengths. And here's what
Mark Moshayedi has to say on this subject
companies that we compete with sometimes spend
120% of what we spend in the flash side of it. That's because of the way
they do the design and the
to meet certain customer requirements."
On the other hand
STEC's corporate failure to invest adequately in sales and marketing
and business intelligence resources over many years are also demonstrated in
For example - when talking about
Fusion-io - Mark
Moshayedi admits - "From what I understand today, Fusion-io has 180 sales
people that just sell to enterprises. We have today less than 10."
I think the interview will make interesting reading for STEC observers, and
will confirm many things they already suspected.
When you're a
stakeholder in an SSD company - the people who manage the company - and their
outlook on this uncertain market - are just as important as the technology.
OCZ's newest new PCIe SSD
Editor:- January 7, 2013 -
OCZ already has
SSD families aimed at different markets. This week at
CES the company will demonstrate another
new range called the Vector series which is based on its Indilinx Barefoot 3
Toshiba samples encrypted SAS SSD
Editor:- January 6,
2013 - Toshiba
it's sampling a new range of 2.5"
SAS MLC SSDs - with
self encrypting security
features and on board
The PX02SMQ/U has upto 1.6TB capacity.
Another comparison of 3 PCIe SSDs
Editor:- January 3,
2013 - Performance comparisons between
PCIe SSDs from OCZ, Micron and Intel were published
in a recent
by Tom's Hardware.
Editor's comments:- You may find
it interesting or entertaining, although you know you should never attach too
much weight to any single
list of the fastest
part of the Tom's Hardware article - mentioned above - raised the subject
of comparing the
such SSDs to the cost
expressed as dollars per petabytes written.
In my view "$/PB
written" is another one of those spurious metrics - like IOPS / $ (see
article lower left on this page) which doesn't give you a reliable indicator
about which product to select.
If all you're interested in is "cost
$/PB written" - then why not buy a
hard drive? - because
that's where this metric is pointing you. You know it's the wrong answer. It's
the wrong metric and based on an incomplete understanding of
enterprise SSD users want.
enterprise SSD context
it's more important to look at whether you get the apps performance you want (rather than the benchmark
performance), whether the product is
for your own needs - and whether it has
performance and in the technology roadmap. Only after all those factors is
it worthwhile comparing prices. See also:-
don't all PCIe SSDs
look pretty much the same?
Marvell aims at SSD on a chip market
January 2, 2013 - Marvell
it has made a strategic investment in Memoright.
part of the new collaborative agreements Memoright will write firmware
for Marvell's eMMC controllers - which will speed Marvell's entry into the
tiny SSD market for
use in smartphones and tablets.
Imation acquires Nexsan
Editor:- January 2, 2013 -
it has acquired Nexsan
(which among other things is in the
SSD ASAPs market) for
|the Modern Era of SSDs |
|Editor:- January 2, 2013 - My recent home page
Transitions in SSD - mentions some of the key changes in the SSD market
which took hold in recent quarters - but as we're starting another new
calendar year in SSD - I want to say more about the context here.|
in a market which appears to be so fast moving as the SSD market - where hot new
SSD companies can enter the
top SSD companies list
(ranked by search) within weeks of exiting stealth mode, and some new
SSD companies are
acquired within a few quarters of launching their first product - it can
still take years before new technologies which excite technologists,
investors are adopted by more than 10% of SSD users.
strategic multi-year big changes and transitions which are sometimes hard to
pin down to a single year. For example the transition in the enterprise SSD
market from RAM
to 98% flash - which took 8 years.
Although it's easy to
recognize the start of new technology changes - it's harder to be so precise
about big market shifts - because those - by their very nature - occur only
when enough people get hold of a new way of doing things and change their buying
at the SSD market - 2013 now clearly marks the 10th anniversary of a
distinct market period which I now think of as - the Modern Era of SSDs.
What do I mean by the Modern Era of SSDs?
It's when SSDs
changed from being a niche tactical technology which satisfied the needs of
some markets (ruggedized military / industrial storage and next generation
server acceleration at any cost) to a time when the market advance of SSDs as a
significant well known core market within the computer industry became a
historical inevitability - and when the only serious technology which could
displace an SSD from its market role was another SSD.
products which we would recognize as enterprise SSDs were shipping for several
years before 2003 - it was in that year, 2003 - when there was enough confidence
in the minds of enough people in the SSD market that the future of SSDs could be
much bigger (100x bigger) and different to what had happened before.
wasn't simply my publication of
an article at the time
which explained why this could happen - nor simply the immediately post
publication discussions I had with SSD industry leaders at the time - nor indeed
in later years when founders and managers of new SSD companies kindly
told me that some of their thinking about the possibilities for the SSD
market had been influenced by those earlier articles on StorageSearch.com
It's just as much the case that the alternative futures which could have knocked
the SSD market off-course (such as faster CPU clock rates,
hard drives or faster
optical storage) didn't
The year after year "no-shows" by SSD's past
phantom demons were just as important as the new SSD technologies which did put
in an appearance.
Today it's clear to anyone looking seriously at
the data economy - the SSD market is here to stay and has its sights set on
being at the center of your future hardware and infrastructure decision making.
to big upcoming changes in SSD market thinking?
Can I say anything
at all useful at this stage about what the 2nd decade of the modern era of SSDs
will be like?
I think it will be the time when a critical mass of SSD
users become more sophisticated in their understanding and use of different
types of SSDs - and when each part of the SSD market becomes less generalized
and more focused.
It's not just about the
SSD software, and
iit's not just about the
SSD chip technologies.
These simply outline possibilities. What's important - and what will become even
clearer - is the dividing lines and colors of application specific SSDs.
specific enterprise SSDs - is a technology trend which started
shipping more than 3 years ago. But - as I said above - markets happen when
enough people have decided to make them happen - and not simply because
pioneering products are available.
|suggested SSD articles|
trust SSD market data?
Adaptive R/W and
DSP in flash SSD IP
the Silo classification for
all enterprise SSDs