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Capacitor hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
latency reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
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a new series about super fast computing
Editor:- April 28, 2016 - The interaction of design flows between memory, SSDcentric architecture, processors, storage and their impacts on what data based applications can accomplish and realistically strive towards (in the directions of cost, performance and newly viable ways of repurposing data) have been one of the perennial themes in SSD history in the modern era.

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the fastest SSDs - click to read article
the fastest SSDs
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My attention was drawn to a new series - What's Missing in Supercomputing? - in the pages of the Next Platform which will look at technical challenges related to the timeline of exaflop-capable systems.

NextPlatform.com's co-editor Nicole Hemsoth says the new series will cover the 4 challenges in technical deep dives with key stakeholders.

I look forward to reading it. ...read the article

One of the documents linked in that article -PathForward Meeting update (pdf) by the Exascale Initiative comments on the memory and storage challenge in these words...

"Memory and storage architectures must enable applications to access/store information at high capacities and with low latencies to support anticipated computational rates."


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"NVMdurance has already turned down 5 acquisition attempts."
Pearse Coyle, CEO - NVMdurance in the blog - Memories will be made of this - published in SiliconRepublic - April 19, 2016.


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"Storage doesn't just provide capacity..."
Jason Doyle, IBM in his recent linkedin blog - Think Storage First, Not Servers April 15, 2016.

Editor's comments:- I told Jason I agree with him about the relative importance and nature of storage not being commonly enough appreciated.

Like mass and energy in physics - server CPUs and SSD storage head counts are interchangeable in black box observations of apps and data.

This is a market paradigm with market disrupting effects which I called attention to in 2003 and is what I nowadays refer to as the "SSD-CPU equivalence" driver of SSD market adoption.

More recently (in 2015) the list of user value propositions for adopting SSDcentric infrasture grew to 6 core ideas with the addition of replacing swathes of enterprise DRAM with cheaper, higher density flash and other (long time emerging) alt nvms.

This DIMM wars phenomenon in some aspects looks like a new DRAM-flash equivalence proposition for latency filtered tiers within complex DRAM installations.

While this "market surge" aspect is new - its technology is rooted in classical ideas about virtualizing RAM with mixed memory and storage types with the new market twist simply being the credibility of semiconductor memory roadmaps having sufficiently distinct cost/density characteristics combined with the confidence of existing massive SSD installed infrastructures to make it worthwhile supporting multiple memory chip types with investments in software.


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A crash in memory prices would be a good thing for fab independent SSD companies because lower memory costs would help them open up new markets.
an SSD guide to semiconductor memory boom-bust cycles


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"The need for reviving the SSD bookmarks series concept after a 5 year gap is because while we're all busily dodging tornadoes in Kansas to get to a consolidated market there's a lot of dust making it harder than ever to see what's what."
Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com in an email (April 2016) to Woody Hutsell, Technologist, Evangelist - IBM - whom he was inviting to suggest IBM related links for the series.
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Fast Purge flash SSDs directory & articles
Fast Purge SSDs ..
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PCIe SSDs ..
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military SSDs ..
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SSD news - April 2016

smoking data wipe-out video

smoking reniceEditor:- April 29, 2016 - Usually the last thing you want to see as an SSD designer is your hot new product going up in smoke - but autonomous self destruct of SSD data takes many forms and this is one of them.

A new video from Renice Technology shows a verification test rig for this functionality. Renice says it uses a specially designed electric circuit, which ensures that all NAND flash chips in the SSD will be burned through.

Editor's comments:- I've asked Renice if they've analyzed the composition of the smoke - but this kind of fast purge is aimed at military applications rather than civilian offices - so smoke fumes are the lesser of two evils (compared to data capture by a foe). I've asked Renice to say how much electrical energy is needed to complete the data burn and will post an update here when I know. ...watch the video

See also:-
Just a few SSD videos


Revisiting Virtual Memory - read the book

Editor:- April 25, 2016 - One of the documents I've spent a great deal of time reading recently is Revisiting Virtual Memory (pdf) - a PhD thesis written by Arkaprava Basu a researcher at AMD.

My search for such a document began when I was looking for examples of raw DRAM cache performance data to cite in my blog - latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory slider mix. It was about a month after publishing my blog that I came across Arkaprava's "book" which not only satisfied my original information gaps but also serves other educational needs too.

You can treat the first 1/3 or so as a modern refresher for DRAM architecture which also introduces the reader to several various philosophies related to DRAM system design (optimization for power consumption rather than latency for example) and the work includes detailed analysis of the relevance and efficiency of traditional cache techniques within the context of large in-memory based applications. ...read the book (pdf)


news bolts re consumer flash

consumer SSDs guide
consumer SSDs
Editor:- April 25, 2016 - Market researchers have long been telling us that the consumer market is the biggest user of flash. 3 of the biggest companies in that context have featured in news stories recently.
  • A report in etnews.com says it expects Samsung to resume supplies of flash to Apple after a 4 year break (a period when the companies' relationships were soured by expensive litigation about design isues relating to the phone market.)
  • SanDisk has launched a new external flash memory expander for users of Apple's iphones.

    Editor's comments:- I was curious about the mention of both Lightning and USB connectors in SanDisk's iXpand Flash Drive (as from the headline I had anticipated a wireless connect) so I looked at the photo on the product page. The appearance of its ingeneous curling mechanical design reminds me somewhat of a child's party horm blower. See if you agree.

    If it becomes fashionable for phone users to start adding custom tail fins and bulges to their clutchable devices then maybe we can expect to see a new phone-compatible line of Duck tape too.



new digest of data noise reduction techniques in nvm

Editor:- April 22, 2016 - A recently published book - Channel Coding Methods for Non-Volatile Memories (145 pages, $130) cowritten by Lara Dolecek and Frederic Sala University of California, provides an overview of recent developments in coding for nvms, and, by presenting numerous potential research directions, may inspire other researchers to contribute to this timely and thriving discipline.

Editor's comments:- this appears to be focused on the DSP and ECC end of the Adaptive R/W flash care management & DSP IP revolution which during the last 4 years or so has been changing the way that new memory technologies with poor intrinsic data integrity (high noisiness - when viewed from a classical ECC data angle) can be upcycled to construct higher quality, more reliable solid state storage by adaptive and interventionist coding strategies.


pictures at an exhibition - Longsys (at IDF)

Editor:- April 21, 2016 - Longsys today posted pictures and news about some of its SSD products shown at the recent IDF in Shenzhen, China. Among other things these products included:-
  • FORESEE S400 series SSD - a dram-less (skinny) 2D TLC SSD
  • FORESEE P800 series SSD - an NVMe 1.2 HMB SSD family which is said to have identical pricing to SATA SSDs


Everspin promises Gb MRAM later this year

RAM image - click for RAM directory, articles and news
nvm news
Editor:- April 14, 2016 - Everspin Technologies recently announced it's shipping 256Mb ST-MRAM samples to global customers and plans to sample 1Gb products later this year.

Everspin says its 256Mb ST-MRAM product breaks the record for the highest density commercial MRAM currently available in the market.

Editor's comments:- One of the key questions with MRAM's viability has always been - how does its denisty scaling compare with flash? - given that it started behind the curve and can't afford to lose comparative ground - if it is to get anywhere.

6 years ago (in April 2010) Everspin was sampling a 16Mb MRAM.

Now - 6 years later - the sampling state of the art is 256Mb. That's 16x more density in 6 years. So you can judge this for yourself.


RAM image - click for RAM directory, articles and news
RAM news
Samsung ships 10nm DRAM

Editor:- April 2, 2016 - Samsung announced today that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 10nm class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM chips.

The new cell geometries will enable peak transfer rates which are about 30% faster than earlier 20nm DRAM.


RunCore brand completes transitions to V&G

SSD names article
branding strategies
in the SSD market
Editor:- April 2, 2016 - Last year the branding picture for RunCore was confusing because they were using different brand names for the company in different geographical regions - with upto 3 names being used concurrently on different web sites.

The situation has now clarified with the announcement that the definitive name from April 1 is V&G (which in English you can think of as "Vision and Goal" and in Chinese is Wei Gu.

V&G is in effect the new name for RunCore. The company's leadership is the same as before - the CEO is Jack Wu who founded RunCore in 2007. And the company says the SSD product lines are 100% technically identical - apart from the change in branding.
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What happened before?
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is data remanence in NVDIMMs a new risk factor?
maybe the risk was already there with DRAM

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Your mission - should you decide to accept it - is to compile a simple list of military SSD manufacturers. That sounds easy - I thought.
a simple list of military SSD companies


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what were the big SSD ideas which emerged in 2016?
"As 3D NAND gets designed into all upcoming products we see everybody trying to manipulate and characterize the flash at a low level in ways that they did not all need to do before, partly because LDPC is required just to meet the specified endurance. This is delaying roll-out for many because they either do not have the required flash skills or they (other than our customers) do not have access to a tool for automatically characterizing the flash and generating the LLR tables."

Pearse Coyle, CEO - NVMdurance


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Why can't SSD's most ardent believers agree on a single shared vision for the future of solid state storage?
the SSD Heresies

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AccelStor NeoSapphire  all-flash array
1U enterprise flash arrays
InfiniBand or 10GbE iSCSI or 16G FC
NeoSapphire series - from AccelStor

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DRAM's indeterminate latencies
and the virtual memory mix slider
Editor:- in a new blog on StorageSearch.com I cast an eye on the latency specific defects in DRAM system behavior which are among the many technology enablers of the emerging tiered memory / flash as RAM market.

We've been accustomed to think of DRAM as the simple predictable latency memory (compared to flash). But server motherboard memory system latency hasn't improved for over 10 years. Memory systems got bigger and bandwidth got faster but worst case latencies can sometimes be worse than they used to be - due to interference effects caused by complex data queuing patterns.

If you haven't noticed these problems - congratulations!

It means you might not notice (or care) when the virtual memory slider moves in the cheaper direction towards memories like flash. ...read the article
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