| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
state of DWPD?
Top SSD Companies in Q1 2016
What were the big
SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2015?
market consolidation - beyond the mushroom cloud
"We've found that a significant number of SSDs will die entirely if the
voltage rails are pulled to ground for (as little as) a 1mS period. Technical
sales demos often go along the line of - yes you can do that, the drive should
handle it fine....... oh crap :-)"|
|The above quote is from Andy Norrie, Technical
Director - Quarch
Technology - in an email to
me today (January
27, 2016) - continuing a conversation started 3 years earlier about problems
in SSDs due to untested power loss vulnerabilities.|
company designs intelligent power
rail exerciser test systems for SSDs which can help designers verify
imunity from, or sensitivity to, what-if? power rail disturbance
vulnerabilities which are caused by scenarios like hot plug spikes, power
up-down sensitivity, noisy generators etc.
recently it is becoming better known by SSD reviewers and Andy said - "last
month we put around 75 test units into a single lab of a major SSD company."
...Later:- More detail on the exact nature of the 1mS blip
test emerged from Michael
Dearman, Founder of Quarch Tech who (after seeing this post) said
"Hi All, I have broken several drives in customer demos
with the 1mS test, the key factor is that in this test we don't just stop
supplying power and let the rail float (like a disconnection), we pull the rail
hard down to ground (as would happen with a power supply crowbar). In this
instance the drive should isolate itself from the host power supply to preserve
its internal charge and complete its power down, but doesn't always manage it!"
On seeing that - Sudhir Brahma Principal
Engineer at Dell
said:- "Usually these glitches result in data corruption....I will be
surprised if they kill the ssd. I was working on one such issue- traced it down
to a firmware area (a bug) where a glitch could potentially cause loss of data
in flight......u need to write intrusive code for that....true it is tough Are
u saying that by doing those glitches, u actually stoned the drive? We built
such glitch generators and ran them on the ssds, but never had a stoned SSD."
Dearman said - "yes, we have had production drives go completely dead."
were other interesting comments re the above post from people who have also
used Quarch Tech's SSD testers - which you can see via my
100 million cycle flash and|
new memory tiers will be among topics at
January 14, 2016 - ISSCC (International
Solid-State Circuits Conference) will start January 31 (in San Francisco,
cost $1,030 or less
for IEEE members) so I looked at their
(pdf) to see papers relevant to SSDs. Among other things:-
- Basics of Memory Tiers in Compute Systems and a server TCO model - by
Technical Lead - Platforms Advanced Technology Team - Google
- Rethinking Memory Architecture - by Dean Klein VP
Memory System Development - Micron
- 256Gb 3b/Cell V-NAND Flash Memory with 48 Stacked Word Line Layers by a
team from Samsung
- A 90nm Embedded 1T-MONOS Flash Macro for Automotive Applications with
0.07mJ/8kB Rewrite Energy and Endurance over 100 million cycles by a team from
viewing SSD happy new year 2016...|
why does that news story sound
|Editor:- January 4, 2016 - There was a lot of
speculation about what changes we'd see in the SSD market in 2016. Now we're
going to find out which ones were correct. |
Here below are some of the
past long range predictions for 2016 reported from the history archives.
- 2010 article
- We'll see a 2U petabyte SSD in 2016. And due to lower operating costs SSDs
will replace HDDs in over 50% of new enterprise systems.
- 2011 - article
- The range of SSD latencies in the pure SSD datacenter of the future will vary
by more than 1,000 to 1. (Context was to explain the raw reasons for
segmentation by latency and application role.)
- 2012 - article -
Users will steer towards no more than 7 standard enterprise SSD product types.
- 2013 - news
- iSuppli said it anticipates that in 2016 - SSD shipment volume could be 239
- 2015 - article
- I think that hovering in the background and influencing many seemingly
incomprehensible product changes in 2016 will be the apparently conflicting
tensions between 2 primary SSD forces:- an urge towards greater
standardization, and at the same time an urge towards greater customization.
Januaries of yore in
|1 year ago - January 2015 -
it would use Rambus's
ReRAM technology in production SSDs in 2016.|
3 years ago -
launched a marketing program to license its Talino SSD controller.
years ago - January
2012 - Fusion-io
exceeded 1 billion IOPS (64 byte data packets) in a
demonstration of its latency reducing Auto Commit Memory (ACM) extension.
years ago - January
disclosed that their SSD
controllers did real-time compression and dedupe inside the chip as part of
their housekeeping routines.
7 years ago - January 2009 -
it was sampling the highest density
2.5" SSD - with
1TB (uncompressed) capacity in a 9.5mm high form factor.
ago - January
2008 - Nanochip
(in a funding press release) claimed its MEMS storage chips would deliver
lower cost than flash
within 2 years.
13 years ago - January 2003 -
announced general availability of a 3.5" Ultra Wide SCSI SSD with 35GB
capacity aimed at the military and aerospace markets.
|memory channel SSDs decline
in reader priorities|
|Editor:- January 4, 2016 -
PCIe SSDs remained at
the forefront of interface types and form factors researched by the readers of
December - as you
can see in the archived list of Top SSD articles seen by readers . |
the 6th year in a row that PCIe SSDs have held this lead in reader fascination.
the topic of
SSDs (which for 13 months had been close behind in search popularity) has
crashed down to its lowest level ever.
This may be partly due to this
application segment having recently become very much less clear than it appeared
to be (upto about 5 months ago) as the idea sinks in that many new vendors
have announced their intentions to offer products for the DIMM slot
accelerator space and they're offering more than 3 distinctly different
combinations of memory technologies to get there.
The illusion of a
single dominant supplier was a simplifying assumption which boosted the
popularity of the memory channel SSDs idea.
Fragmentation within the
DIMM big memory / storage market is the new reality. ...see the popular
| using M.2 in server slots - article by Liqid|
January 30, 2016 - An
on the evolution of SSD form factors with reference to M.2 (pdf) - by Liqid - discusses how
M.2 SSDs can be used in
enterprise PCIe SSD
environments which don't have native M.2 PCIe slots - by using add in carrier
image above (from Liqid's article) shows the evolution of SSD and HDD form
factors in progressively smaller form factors from 1989 (5¼") to M.2
Although to be fair to the
hard drive market the
image doesn't show the smallest hard drives - such as the 0.85" hard
drive from Toshiba (in
January 2004) and
1" hard drive from Cornice
(in August 2006).
The 1" HDD market didn't last long.
It was the first
hard drive extinction event caused by adoption of flash SSDs. ...read
the article (pdf)
Pivot3 acquires NexGen
Editor:- January 27, 2016 -
today it has agreed to be acquired by Pivot3.
comments:- The last time I wrote about Pivot3 was 7 years ago. I had a
good feeling about their
architecture thinking which was being applied to hard drive arrays but
I viewed it more as a valuable
efficiency boost to
buy breathing space for the
last gasp years of
enterprise HDD rather than the new direction I was focused on - which was
heading towards the solid state storage datacenter. And so - from my point of
view - I had nothing more to say.
On the other hand we're heard
times in recent years.
Combining the software and architecture from
these 2 companies could produce a platform with characteristics comparable to
the best upwardly stretched efforts of much better known competitors if
Pivot3 and NexGen can draw the integration boundaries in the right places (and
get it done quickly enough).
SanDisk's revenue - consumer bad, enterprise better
January 27, 2016 - SanDisk
declining revenues for its 4th quarter and financial year ended January 3,
Specifically - fourth quarter revenue of $1.54 billion
decreased 11% on a year-over-year basis and increased 6% sequentially. Annual
revenue for 2015 was $5.56 billion, a decrease of 16%.
In this quarter
SanDisk said its enterprise revenue grew 29% sequentially and its Fusion-io
based PCIe solutions revenue reached a "post-acquisition record".
revenue mix numbers (by market segment) for the year can be seen
Plexistor releases its Software Defined Memory
January 26, 2016 - Plexistor
today announced the availability of its Software Defined Memory (SDM)
architecture (currently for Linux) for both on-premise and cloud-based
deployment on EC2 for AWS.
Plexistor's SDM supports both traditional
enterprise applications (e.g. MySQL) and next-generation applications, such as
in-memory databases, NoSQL, big data analytics, and complex event processing
that challenge traditional compute and storage resources.
comments:- the basic idea behind Plexistor's software is that it's an "efficient"
platform for big memory intensive implementations and can deliver the kind
of fast performance and low latency you'd expect from emerging
products (also likes NVMe SSDs) while simplifying in-memory applications
Plexistor has a
(ppt) which outlines the launch product environment and gives indicative
before - there are, and will be, many software contenders for this
market space (rethinking
And just as we saw 5 to 7 years ago in the
/ tiering market explosion ignited by
PCIe SSDs and to a
lesser extent by SATA / SAS
drives - we can anticipate a new spate of
adoption and other
outcomes for the companies which appear to be at the forefront of this SDM
how fast is fast erase?
Editor:- January 26, 2016 - When it comes to
SSD security - how
fast is fast erase?
the years I've reported
examples of this (erase) and also other methods of
destruction the rule of thumb has been:- the bigger the capacity of
the drive - the more time in seconds it takes (and more electrical energy
release today from Foremay suggests a
fast and scalable sanitization route may come from what they call "crypto
erase" - which renders all data scrambled, scattered and useless.
fast. Takes only a second to complete the crypto erase of a Foremay SED SSD with
capacity of up to 20TB.
This erase can be triggered by a command or a user presettable
threshold of failed access attempts.
Commenting on the benefits of
intrinsic hardware encryption instead of relying on software and aside from
the obvious performance - Foremay says hardware encryption is far more secure
because software can be corrupted...
"Information security on
SSD drives has become increasingly important to all users, particularly in
government, defense, financial and medical industries," said Jack Winters, Foremay's
CTO and cofounder.
Editor's comments:- The effect - I guess -
is a bit like the accidental predicament of needing
data recovery for
a damaged and unsupported encrypted SSD. But a deliberate erase like this
will be more systematic and probably doesn't have a single mode recovery
EZchip's acquisition by Mellanox cleared to close
January 19, 2016 - After various delays and interventions it was
today that the shareholders of EZchip
Semiconductor have approved the merger deal with Mellanox announced
last September which valued EZchip at $800 million.
SSD glue chips
SSD Bookmarks - from Cactus Technologies
January 20, 2016 - on the home page of
you can see the start of a new educational series - the
ver 2.0 - which includes a set of
SSD reading and
viewing links suggested by Steve Larrivee,
VP Sales & Marketing at
operates in the industrial
SSD market and so the suggestions are appropriate for the kind of customers
During the next 2 years the series will include
contributions from new and old SSD ecosystems companies in every significant
part of the market. ...take a look at the
Avere bridges NASA to the cloud
January 19, 2016 - NASA has
selected Avere Systems
to help consolidate legacy storage and migrate research datasets created at
the Ames Research
Center over to the Amazon's
AWS - it was
Avere says that cloud related latencies will be mitigated by
FlashCloud (SSD ASAP) architecture.
Microsemi completes acquisition of PMC-Sierra
January 15, 2016 - Microsemi
it has completed the acquisition of PMC-Sierra for $2.5
Editor's comments:- this changes the way you have to
think about Microsemi's SSD business - as PMC brings with it significant
products in the NVMe PCIe
We've seen in the past 8 years or so what these
technologies have enabled in the cloud and the enterprise.
technologies are directed to markets closer to Microsemi's traditional
customer base (military and space systems) it's not hard to think of
applications which will benefit - such as mobile datacenters, satellite ground
stations and faster SSDs in airborne and space vehicles.
designers in these markets can now anticipate more
predictability of supply
for PCIe and NVMe SSD technologies than would have been possible given the
supplier churn which has characterized the enterprise SSD market.
Virtium introduces low cost 7 DWPD industrial SSD family
January 12, 2016 - Virtium
a new range of industrial SATA MLC SSDs in its rugged
StorFly product line.
The new XE class iMLC models (available in the following form
factors M.2, CFast, Mini Card, mSATA, SlimSATA, 1.8" and 2.5") all
support 7 DWPD for 5 years
at a cost which is described as "only a marginal price premium over CE
funding and a new CEO for Diablo
editor:- January 12, 2016 - Diablo Technologies
it has secured an additional $19 million in Series C funding - which will
be used to further accelerate customer deployments via expansion of sales,
applications support and R&D.
In addition, the company announced
that industry veteran Mark Stibitz
will serve as the company's Chairman and CEO. He brings extensive business
management, global market, and product development experience from across
start-up and public companies including
Agere Systems and Lucent/AT&T-Microelectronics.
co-founder and previous CEO, Riccardo
Badalone, has been appointed the technology-centric and customer-facing
role of Chief Product Officer.
Editor's comments:- Diablo
needed a corporate adrenaline shot.
While the company last year had
accustomed its pace to the slow lane timetable of judges and courts -
competitors from many different quarters fired up their own alternative
smoke and mirrors DIMM war flags of convenience. This has diverted
attention away from Diablo which no longer has the sheen and lure of
first mover advantage.
new edition of the Top SSD Companies
January 7, 2016 - StorageSearch.com
today published the new
34th quarterly edition
of the Top SSD
There's a new #1 - SanDisk.
fastest climber was EMC.
And best ever rank (so far) for Kaminario. ...read the article
- Embedded World - Germany
Editor:- January 6, 2016 - next month
Embedded World - a
trade show in Nuremberg, Germany - will include products from variousindustrial SSD
companies, including:- ADATA, ACPI Digital, Apacer, Biwin, Cactus Technologies,
Everspin Technologies, Greenliant, Hyperstone, Innodisk, Micron, Microsemi,
Silicon Motion, Solidata, Swissbit, Toshiba and Transcend.
SSD awards at Storage Visions
Editor:- January 6, 2016 - Marvell and Samsung were among the
product award recipients at the 2016 Storage Visions Conference
yesterday for consumer
related NVMe value
SSD controllers and
TB PCIe SSD on M.2 from OCZ
Editor:- January 5, 2016 - OCZ says it will show new
NVMe PCIe SSDs with 1TB capacity and up to 2.4GB/s of bandwidth on a single
M.2 module at
CES this week.
Marvell is first to ship Host Memory Buffer feature in NVMe SSD
January 5, 2016 - Marvell
expansion of its NVMe SSD controller technology to support Host Memory Buffer
(HMB), an NVMe revision 1.2 feature enabling DRAM-less (skinny) flash
SSDs to use host memory and achieve performance comparable to SSD designs with
regular embedded DRAM but
at much lower cost and power consumption.
|What happened before?
|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.|
|Although Diablo was the
first to ship high capacity products in in the DIMM SSD / SCM (storage class
memory) accelerator market - delays due to legal wranglings delayed adoption by
over a year - which enabled competitors to grab attention for "soon to be"
By the close of 2015 - 8 more companies had announced significant
product plans in this market based on a variety of conventional and
unconventional memory technologies.
where's that SSD blog-saw?if you could slash the number of link
posts you read about SSDs would it be a good thing?
by Zsolt Kerekes,
editor - January 26, 2016
The home page looked different
this week because I was booting up a new series called the
Bookmarks which will include suggested reading from all sizes of companies in
the SSD ecosystem.
overview will give you an idea of why I thought it necessary to replay a
2009 publishing idea
which I thought had become redundant by 2011 due to the volume of other
SSD market voices.
But the hope that social media would assist
complex market like SSDs was missplaced.
Instead twitter, linkedin
and vendor micro blog sites have been swamped by so much
and trivial SSD content that I have downgraded most of them to junk /
This is similar to what happened in earlier times to
PR feeds and email
While it's true there is good SSD stuff in all those
noisy places - the downside is that just as you can extract gold from
seawater you've got to work too hard to get sustainable value from doing it.
By asking people in SSD companies to suggest no more than 3 links to help people
understand how they see the market - and asking what they would recommend new
customers to read - I hope to build up a useful set of resources - which will
complement the other SSD content you see here and elsewhere.
harder than you might think to distill everything down to such a small set of
links. Especially as I impose rules on how many of them can simply be about the
company providing the suggestions.
And another rule is they can't
recommend StorageSearch.com as you already know it.
the inducement / bribe I offer?
I promise to give good visibility to
What's in it for me?
It will free up more time
for me to work on other content.
What's in it for you?
the expected run of the series (2016/17) you'll get to see a few important
things which otherwise you (and I) might otherwise have missed.
it will help us understand the
different ways in
which vendors themselves see the market.
|the top SSD articles on
StorageSearch.com - in January 2016|
- home page - unlike many other
sites - our home page is also the place where many new SSD articles begin.
- SSD news - gives
you a real-time view of the whole SSD market from chips to cabinets.
- 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
happened in the SSD market in 2015? - the big ideas which emerged and
predictions for 2016.
endurance - this is the "forever war" in the flash SSD market -
managing flash endurance.
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).
- SSD controllers &
IP - this is a directory of merchant market SSD controller chip technology
- PCIe SSDs
- lists oems who market PCIe SSDs, and news and market commentary.
- what's the state of DWPD?
- endurance in industry leading enterprise SSDs
SSD sudden power loss - this article surveys SSD power down management
across all SSD architectures.
- military SSDs -
news and directory about defence related SSDs and storage.
- the Fastest SSDs
- includes form factors from M.2
- SAS SSDs -
includes a timeline of the SAS SSD market - and lists significant vendors.
SSD articles on StorageSearch.com - this is the article you're seeing now.
- VCs in SSDs and
storage - news and articles related to investing in SSD companies.
BGA SSDs aka SSDs on a chip.
- 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
- 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).
- 3.5" SSDs -
vendors and product examples from history.
SSDs - articles and directory of vendors.
- SSD software
- news and articles related to enterprise SSD software.
- hard drives -
spinning down to HDD's retirement.
- SSD ASAPs -
auto-tiering, auto-caching SSD accelerator appliances, hybrid arrays and
- 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.
- hybrid SSDs
- market perspective
- flash and other nv
memory - overview, news and articles.
- SSD jargon -
Little words have big meanings.
history - this timeline based overview is the archived news from
StorageSearch.com which leads to thousands of stories about SSDs and other types
- SSD Security -
news and articles related to security in SSDs and related systems.
- 2.5" SSDs -
- rackmount SSDs
- news and articles with special relevance to the rackmount SSD market.
- how fast can
your SSD run backwards? - 11 Key Symmetries in SSD design - what they are
and why you need to know.
- Data Recovery for
flash SSDs - articles and market development timeline.
- 2.5" NVMe
PCIe SSDs - market guide on StorageSearch.com
- SSD Pricing -
where does all the money go? - Also includes historic SSD price data.
- this way to the
Petabyte SSD - Timeline and analysis of the bulk storage SSD market.
- market research -
directory and news related to selected storage and SSD market research
- 1.8" SSDs - list
of vendors. (also includes MO-297 slim and mSATA)
- 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.
Channel SSDs - news and articles about low latency flash DIMM SSDs
- RAM in an SSD context
- RAM isn't what it used to be.
- Just a few SSD
videos - to help you understand solid state storage trends
- what's the
big picture message re SSDs? - what to tell your VC, lawyer, and non
technical friends who don't work in the computer industry.
Storage Drives - articles and market timeline
flash care management IP (including DSP) for SSDs - what is it? and who
- the SSD
Bookmarks - new series overview