click to visit home page
leading the way to the new storage frontier
the top SSD companies
what's the state of DWPD?
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
What were the big SSD ideas from 2015?
BOM control and the mythical "standard" SSD
razzle dazzling SSD cell care and retirement plans
90% of enterprise SSD companies won't survive - here's why
Who's got all the answers to help understand how all the changes in the SSD market are coming together? The answer is - no one and everyone and you too.
the SSD Bookmarks
SSD ad - click for more info
the top SSD articles on - in December 2015
  1. home page - unlike many other sites - our home page is also the place where many new SSD articles begin.
  2. SSD news - gives you a real-time view of the whole SSD market from chips to cabinets.
  3. the Top SSD Companies - ranked by search volume. This quarterly series (now in its 9th year) has proved to be a reliable advance predictor of important market changes.
  4. SSD endurance - this is the "forever war" in the flash SSD market - managing flash endurance.
  5. SSD market history - If you're new to the market it provides a clue to how much things have changed - and how fast (or how slowly).
  6. PCIe SSDs - lists oems who market PCIe SSDs, and news and market commentary.
  7. SSD controllers & IP - this is a directory of merchant market SSD controller chip technology providers.
  8. what's the state of DWPD? - endurance in industry leading enterprise SSDs
  9. Surviving SSD sudden power loss - this article surveys SSD power down management across all SSD architectures.
  10. Popular SSD articles on - this is the article you're seeing now.
  11. the Fastest SSDs - includes form factors from M.2 upto rackmount arrays.
  12. military SSDs - news and directory about defence related SSDs and storage.
  13. industrial SSDs - articles and directory of vendors.
  14. SAS SSDs - includes a timeline of the SAS SSD market - and lists significant vendors.
  15. flash wars in the enterprise - summarizes the key technology changes in the enterprise flash SSD market from SLC, MLC, eMLC, TLC, pSLC, XLC etc during the past 10 years.
  16. RAM SSDs versus flash SSDs? - this is legacy article (originally published 2007) when flash SSDs were seriously displacing RAM SSDs as enterprise apps accelerators. But this article also includes forward looking links to the situation today in which RAM sockets are being populated by other types of memories.
  17. SSD market analysts this filtered list is a recommended resource for all those people who need paid-for custom reports and detailed SSD market help.
  18. 1.0" SSDs and BGA SSDs aka SSDs on a chip.
  19. RAM SSDs - articles and news. RAM used to be a component. Now RAM is whatever the software is happy to greet by that name (including big data RAM fabrics).
  20. rackmount SSDs - news and articles with special relevance to the rackmount SSD market.
  21. flash and other nv memory - overview, news and articles.
  22. SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - Also includes historic SSD price data.
  23. hard drives - spinning down to HDD's retirement.
  24. SSD ASAPs - auto-tiering, auto-caching SSD accelerator appliances, hybrid arrays and software.
  25. SSD software - news and articles related to enterprise SSD software.
  26. VCs in SSDs and storage - news and articles related to investing in SSD companies.
  27. SSD jargon - Little words have big meanings.
  28. 3.5" SSDs - vendors and product examples from history.
  29. 1.8" SSDs - list of vendors. (also includes MO-297 slim and mSATA)
  30. SATA SSDs - overview and perspective.
  31. this way to the Petabyte SSD - Timeline and analysis of the bulk storage SSD market.
  32. the problem with Write IOPS in flash SSDs - this classic article helps you understand why all SSD benchmarks incorrectly suggest you're going to get much higher performance from some types of flash SSDs than you will see in your application..
  33. Memory Channel SSDs - news and articles about low latency flash DIMM SSDs
  34. high availability SSDs - news and articles.
  35. 2.5" NVMe PCIe SSDs - market guide on
  36. Data Recovery for flash SSDs - articles and market development timeline.
  37. SSD Reliability - overview of papers.
  38. RAM in an SSD context - RAM isn't what it used to be.
  39. how fast can your SSD run backwards? - 11 Key Symmetries in SSD design - what they are and why you need to know.
  40. SSD Security - news and articles related to security in SSDs and related systems.

SSD ad - click for more info

custom SSDs
SSD customization ..
SSD SoCs controllers
SSD controllers ..
military storage directory and news
military SSDs ..
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics
SSD power loss ..

SSD news - December 2015

SolidFire to be acquired by NetApp

Rackmount SSDs click for news and directory
rackmount SSDs
Editor:- December 21, 2015 - Network Appliance has agreed to acquire SolidFire for $870 million in cash according to an announcement today - which also said that "with SolidFire, NetApp will now have all-flash offerings that address each of the 3 largest AFA market segments."

Editor's comments:- I had been expecting at least one SSD company to be acquired in December as this has become something of a tradition in recent years. NetApp was ranked 43 in the Q3 2014 edition of the Top SSD Companies List. If it didn't do SSD company acquisitions it wouldn't have any meaningful future in storage.

Memblaze gets more funding

Editor:- December 21, 2015 - Memblaze today announced it had received "tens of millions of US dollars" in Series C funding. Among other things the company said it will now expand its sales efforts in international markets.

Micron's $3 billion gamble on Inotera

RAM image - click for RAM directory, articles and news
Editor:- December 17, 2015 - Micron recently announced a $3.2 billion transaction to complete its 100% share ownership of Inotera Memories.

Editor's comments:- Micron officially says this is about securing RAM manufacturing capacity - because Inotera supplies about a third of Micron's DRAM.

In an email reply to a reader question at around this time (about Micron's 3DXPoint) I said this...

"I have never thought that 3DXPoint (if it was real) would have any impact on the enterprise market in the next few years – for reasons I explained at the time. Flash based RAM replacements (from Diablo, Netlist, OCZ, SanDisk and others) which use another memory tier – will have the same effect on enterprise DRAM revenue that SATA SSDs did on the 15K SAS HDD market. But much sooner – in 1- 2 years. At best 3DXPoint – would have density characteristics similar to what flash-as-RAM can already deliver now. And flash is proven – so it doesn't have to wait for a 2 year evaluation and reliability assessment period before it can be used in servers. If 3DXPoint was deliverable - its immediate applications would be limited to consumer products where reliability is not important. There may be real products which come out of the many alt nvms – but in the short term these announcements sound more like funding requests to keep the technology teams intact for yet another iteration cycle."

So why does Micron want more RAM capacity?

A semi-serious interpretation might be - it's a poison pill. Who would want to buy a RAM company? Except Micron which knows RAM.

Another interpretation is that - by paying a premium price for Inotera - Micron is saying it is worth more too. We've seen this kind of huff and bluff many times before in the storage market. It doesn't always follow that the valuations are sustained.

On the other hand - it may be nothing to do with RAM at all.

It can be viewed as a convenient way of buying more semiconductor wafer fab capacity in readiness for a market in which the SSD ecosystem will be able to consume more memory than all the chip companies currently make.

It does take a little while to repurpose fabs from making one type of memory to another - but it's not a big deal. The big deal is knowing what SSDs the memories will wind up in.

NSF funds project to progress in-situ SSD processing

Editor:- December 16, 2015 - NxGn Data today announced it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant (about $150K) from the National Science Foundation.

"We've made great strides in developing our fundamental SSD technology, with a working prototype (of in-situ SSD processing) now running in our lab," said Nader Salessi, CEO and founder of NxGn Data.

The grant application says - "This project explores the Big Data paradigm shift where processing capability is pushed as close to the data as possible. The in-situ processing technology pushes this concept to the absolute limit, by putting the computational capability directly into the storage itself and eliminating the need to move the data to main memory before processing."

Plexistor aims to bind factions in SSD DIMM wars

image shows software factory - click to see storage software directory
SSD software
Editor:- December 15, 2015 - Plexistor (an SSD software company emerging from stealth in stages) announced today that it is on track for beta release of its Software-Defined Memory (SDM) platform for next-generation data centers in Q1 2016.

Plexistor says that SDM will support a wide range of memory and storage technologies such as DRAM and emerging nvm devices such as NVDIMM-N and 3D XPoint as well as traditional flash storage devices such as NVMe and NVMe over Fabric, enabling a scalable infrastructure to deliver persistent high capacity storage at near-memory speed.

See also:- A File System for Use with Emerging Non-Volatile Memories (pdf) - Plexistor's presentation at last summer's FMS - which summarizes the value proposition thus - "Application developers can focus on business logic, not storage".

what were the new ideas in the SSD market in 2015?

Editor:- December 15, 2015 - Memory Channel SSDs were one of the new big SSD ideas of 2013. They're now part of the establishment. (Even judges know what they are and why they're different.)

In my 2015 SSD year-end review on I discuss...
  • new ideas to assimilate
  • big ideas to unlearn and forget
  • the trends which will dominate our strategic SSD thinking in 2016 the article

3 new educational flash blogs

Editor:- December 11, 2015 - Here are some flash SSD blogs I've seen this week which are aimed at educating SSD specifiers in embedded markets.
  • Soft-Decoding in LDPC based SSD Controllers - from PMC-Sierra - includes clear explanations about some of the read again (re-read) recovery strategies which can be used as part of the tool set in adaptive R/W and DSP ECC when things go wrong.

    For example - "Read the same section as the original hard data but use a different set of read threshold voltages inside the NAND."

    These techniques are rarely shared publicly in such detail and are real life optimizations unlike the imaginary techniques I discussed in my 2011 fictional company profile of XLC Disk
  • SSD 101 - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know - aimed at newcomers to the concepts and jargon in industrial SSDs is a new framework overview from Cactus Technologies which links together a bunch of their earlier short blogs. These articles include good diagrams.

    Re the title "SSD 101 etc" - how far it satisfies "everything" you want to know is debatable. But if you're starting out in flash and need the reassurance that the technology background is sound - this series is better than many others I've seen. looks inside Seagate's SAS SSDs

click to see directory of SAS SSD companies
Editor:- December 4, 2015 - A new review of industry leading 2.5" SAS SSDs starring the multi-role 1200.2 family from Seagate (also available as the S600DC from Micron) looks inside the cases and commenting on performance says that the latency of these SSDs for their SQL server benchmark is positioned "right in the middle of the pack" (between HGST and Toshiba). the article

Pure Storage reports high revenue growth

Rackmount SSDs click for news and directory
. rackmount SSDs
Editor:- December 2, 2015 - Pure Storage reported that revenue in the recent quarter was $131.4 million - which was 2.6x the revenue of the year ago period.

Pure Storage said it grew its customer base to over 1,350 organizations, adding more than 250 new customers in the third quarter, including Domino's Pizza and The Boston Globe. Existing customers ConocoPhillips, LinkedIn and ServiceNow also expanded the scope of their relationships with Pure Storage.

Editor's comments:- Pure Storage's revenue in the most recent quarter was approximately 10x the revenue reported today by Violin.

storage search banner

SSD news page image - click to  enlarge
animal brands in the SSD market

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
2.5" removable military SSDs
for airborne apps - GbE / SATA / USB
from Targa Systems
what's the holdup in MIL SSDs?
the upside and downside of caps
Decembers of yore in SSD market history
December 2014 - Western Digital acquired Skyera (which at the time offered the highest raw storage density of enterprise flash per unit of rack space).

December 2012 - STEC said the company's interim CEO, and former CEO and founder had both reduced their salaries to $1.

December 2011 - Apple acquired Anobit (a pioneer in adaptive R/W and DSP ECC controller IP for flash SSDs). One of the critical recurring manufacturing costs for all smartphone makers at that time and in ensuing years was the cost of flash memory. Adaptive technologies enabled consumer and enterprise companies to deploy new generations of flash with smaller cells despite their unreliability when using traditional meta-market statistically based timing and ECC care techniques.

December 2009 - "Random IOPS for flash SSDs are a poor predictor of likely application performance in enterprise server applications" was my introductory link to an article on - the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs.

December 2008 - Texas Memory Systems and Santa announced an initiative to replace all monolithic RAID storage at the North Pole with energy efficient and super fast SSDs by the end of 2009.

December 2001 - Platypus Technology announced a channel strategy for its SSD aimed at the database accelerator market. One of the arguments which Platypus used to advocate its SSD accelerators was that users could significantly reduce their server count and software licensing costs at the same time as speeding up application performance.

LSI SandForce SSD processors - click for more info
the awards winning silicon
accelerating world's leading SSDs
from Seagate

related guides
How can a mere mortal flash SSD play at being immortal DRAM in a DIMM?
SSD aspects of Diablo's Memory1

The SSD market is moving into a new phase at the core of which is changed thinking about the role of memory and storage and software.
Where are we heading with memory systems?