| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
|top SSD companies
SSDs - boring right?
after AFAs -
what's the next box?
3D nand fab
yield - the nth layer tax?
how fast can your SSD
hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
where are we
heading with memory intensive systems?
|who's who in the SSD market
in China? |
editor - October 16, 2017|
|Nowadays you can't expect to understand
the worldwide SSD market and realistically predict the likely source and
direction of strong influences without having some cognizance of the SSD
market in China.|
As the publisher of StorageSearch.com I have been
in the fortunate position that (since the 1990s) the founders of many SSD
companies have contacted me. Consequently during a long span of
I've had thousands of conversations with influencers in this market
trying to understand
the unfettered potential for memory systems products and discuss how to solve
the barriers of technology,
In the early days of earning my
living from the
SSD market the principal movers and shakers were mostly US based companies.
But from about 2006 I started to see significant products entering the
international SSD conversation from companies who were coming from China.
wasn't as fluid as talking to US companies because my working language is
But I quickly realized from our common language (the
characteristics of the SSDs themselves) and from our email discussions that
there was a treasure trove of talent in China which had independently been
looking at SSD related design problems and solving them for their own customers.
the time some of these China based SSD companies emerged as "newcomers"
to the international markets via news or ads on my web site and others some of
them were already fully operating companies and had more actual customers
than is typically the case for US tech companies when they emerge from stealth
or seek VC funding or
launch their first products.
StorageSearch has always been an
By the close of 1993 my
publication had customers and readers in over 23 countries. So I've always
been receptive to learning more about companies which are pushing the boundaries
forward in the technology segments I write about regardless of where they are.
And with single exception of the
military and aerospace SSD
markets - where the proximity of the manufacturer and customer are an
essentially intertwined and primary part of the qualification equation - I
mostly think that - SSD technology has no geographic boundaries.
why I've never published a list of "SSD companies based in China".
Although if you wanted a list like that you could make a good start and
prepopulate it - were you minded to do so - by a
search of the
archives here on the mouse
If you prefer a commercially off the shelf list of China SSD
companies, however, I recall that - in
March 2016 -
announced a report Opportunities
in China's SSD Market which among other things listed oems, controller
suppliers and others in that region of the SSD ecosystem. (See more
SSD market analysts,
list of market research
companies who have been mentioned in storage context.)
thing you could do if you were interested in the SSD market in China would be to
look at events like - China
Flash Market Summit - which took place last month.
which above is long way of setting the scene for a very long conversation I
had last Friday with Michael Wang
who is founder of Saniffer whose
company is the leading distributor of special test equipment and bus analyzers
for SSD companies in China.
this year I had added Saniffer's logo - which is a dragon - to my list of
animal brands in the
I had noticed Saniffer as a presence in the
storage test market some
years before but I didn't have a reason to write about it. We only started
talking to each other about the SSD market this year. That's when Michael
told me he first noticed my SSD articles about 10 years ago.
fun talking about the early days of the SSD market in China and we both knew
many of the same people who had founded companies which went on to achieve
He asked if I had been to China. I said - no -
I don't travel anywhere for work reasons because I find being connected is more
efficient use of my time.
Another explanation is I tend to get lost
easily. Even if my starting point is
than half a mile from where I live if you want to know the worst of it. (And
a story popular in my family is how I spent 3 days in 1974 walking around the
streets of Southampton without being able to find the university where my degree
in Electronic Engineering was due to commence. When I got hungry I abandoned my
quest to get food and then started searching again. This loop was exited only
when I met some others doing the same course - one of whom later became my
What did the SSD mouse learn from an SSD dragon?
location... Because of where he is, and the nature of his business, Michael
Wang is in an ideal position to become aware of SSD drive and controller
companies in the China market from the time they are being designed.
written before about the business benefits of
and Michael confirmed that he's seeing some of his customers designing custom
SSDS and even new controllers and he said there are new SSD startups in the
China market which will be significant when the outside world gets to hear
I was already sold on the strategic visibility and
potential of the design tools market. I told Michael that in 1990 when I
stuck a bus analyzer on multiprocessor systems to see what really was happening
to data in real-time and how data went through memory from SSD and HDD
storage compared to what everyone expected it confirmed that bottlenecks
existed in many places. We could fix them because in those days we had a lot of
the source code and the software mix was simple and under our control. But in
today's SSD market the software
comes from many places and
is the limiting factor for everyone.
It's a big problem to solve in
which bus analyzers and machine learning all have a part to play.
increasing complexity of memoryfication systems means that there are many prizes
to be won.
Knowing what happens is better than guessing. SSD
arrays can be improved by discovering behavior which is optimized for a
different view of dataflow economics compared to the target installation.
SSD test and verification market sounds like an exciting place to be.
- going back to the title of this blog - what answer can I offer to the
question of - who's who in the SSD market in China?
Bearing in mind
that all market data is imperfect and that even when you have "reliable"
data the way in which you interpret it is
by what your own position and preconceptions the answer is... no one knows
all the answers but it always helps to find others with similar interests who
might know more than you.
That's how we learn. From each other.
- Michael Wang suggested that for those in China a new (to me) SSD engineering
community web site is SSDfans.com
|About the publisher -
more pages like
|new test software from Quarch traces
real-time SSD watts|
Editor:- October 30, 2017 - The power
consumption of an SSD design is a key determinant of its reliability and
array density in system deployments. But how do you accurately measure the power
over a range of performance and application demands?
a new software solution - Quarch Power Studio - which in conjunction with the
company's test modules enables engineers to capture live scope traces of
voltage, current and power performance; record high resolution results
continuously over multiple days; scroll through multi-gigabyte data sets and
zoom in to the smallest detail; examine minimum, maximum, mean and RMS
statistics; and export images and trace sections.
BiTMICRO launches raft of NVMe SSDs for industrial and military
Editor:- October 23, 2017 - BiTMICRO recently
announced several new SSDs for the
high capacity PCIe SSD
applications - a pragmatic approach for systems designers in recent years in
cloud markets has been to use carriers which can support multiple
M.2 SSDs. BiTMICRO
the MAXio S-Series NVMe HHHL PCIe industrial grade PCIe x8 add-in card that
aggregates the performance and capacity of upto 4x M.2 SSDs in a temperature
tolerant, rugged reliable NVMe SSD with upto 8TB capacity today.
military 2.5" SATA and U.2 NVMe applications - BiTMICRO
availability of 2 new secure erase SSDs which support a wide range of
temperatures, altitudes of up to 120,000 feet, and 1500G of shock. The new SSDs
are available with MLC or pSLC flash, maximum pSLC is 1TB, and maximum MLC is
"BiTMICRO is an industry pioneer, delivering ruggedized and
secure solid state drives to leading customers in the industrial and military
markets for over 17 years, and has continually strived to meet the expectations
of our customers. This level of customer support coupled with our experienced
team and proprietary technology differentiates our product offerings from the
rest of the market," said Stephen Uriarte,
President of BiTMICRO.
new report sizes NVDIMM market at 12 million units in 2021
October 19, 2017 - October 22, 2017 - Objective Analysis
opined today that the market for NVDIMMs is poised to grow at a 105% average
annual rate to nearly 12 million units by 2021.
This forecast is a part of the company's new 80-page report titled -
from the NVDIMM Market (outline pdf), single user price
- which among other things predicts unit and revenue shipments through 2021.
See also:- hybrid
DIMMs - market timeline,
SSDs, market research
Toshiba said to have lost flash fab output due to malware
October 19, 2017 - Adding to the
manufacturability yield woes which we already knew had contributed to the
recent memory shortages and their
impacts on the SSD market there were reports earlier this week that Toshiba had lost
production due to the impact of ransomware.
Digitimes - the
first to report this story - said malware had delayed about 100,000 wafer
starts. Later comments on
Analysis put the story into a better context.
DCIG compares flash arrays from Dell EMC and Pure Storage
October 18, 2017 - Power consumption and data center footprint are among the key
differences noted in a new report -
Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage Flash Arrays Differ - by DCIG.
In the introduction DCIG
says - "All-flash data centers are coming and with every all-flash array
providing higher levels of performance than previous generations of storage
arrays, enterprises need to examine key underlying features that go deeper than
simply fast they perform. Their underlying architecture, the storage protocols
they support, and the software they use to deliver these features are all
features that impact how effective and efficient the array will be in your
New Visions for Digital Storage
Editor:- October 11 ,
2017 - The 2017 Storage Visions
Conference . will be held Monday, October 16, 2017 in Milpitas, CA..
The conference theme is "New Visions for Digital Storage"
and the conference will bring together the vendors, end users, researchers and
visionaries that will meet the growing demand for digital storage for all
aspects of unstructured and lightly structured data. Among other things
expert panels will include:-
- Bringing Compute to the Data.
Over the entire history of
computing data has resided in storage and memory, and has been summoned to the
data processing element as it is needed. Today the industry is discovering that
the movement of Big Data to the processor consumes inordinate power and incurs
significant time penalties.
This panel, featuring leading companies
who address this issue, will discuss their current efforts to move compute to
the data to save power, accelerate processing speed, and even improve
scalability, in order to greatly enhance the cost/performance of tomorrow's
- Hardware Visions for Ubiquitous Storage and Memory.
non-volatile solid-state storage technologies are set to replace or supplement
DRAM in many applications. New fabric technologies will enable fast network
storage using NVMe devices.
Flash memory is moving to more and more
3D layers with three-level cells and four-level cells capable of reducing the
costs for flash memory and driving its use. At the same time, HDDs as well as
magnetic tape and optical storage are getting faster.
Infinidat secures $95 million C round
Editor:- October 3, 2017 - Infinidat today
it has closed a $95 million Series C financing round. Equity raised by the
company to date totals $325 million.
Infinidat says that several
hundred enterprise customers have adopted its (hybrid storage)
with more than 2 exabytes of storage deployed globally.
comments:- Although we've become accustomed to storage box makers reporting
funding rounds like this
and so in that respect this wouldn't attract much comment from me - the
interesting thing from an
trends viewpoint is this funding story shows that the
hybrid storage appliance
model for the enterprise - in which SSDs and HDDs both play a part - is
still being regarded by investors as a valid business model. Although the
of segments in the market which have product gaps still remains - as ever
shortages of 2017 demonstrated that solid state storage makers couldn't
make enough SSDs with their in place production plants to sustain the needs of
the SSD market even at inflated
SSD news in Octobers of yore |
- October 2000 - Viking siad it would soon ship the industry's highest
capacity CompactFlash cards to resellers nationwide. The 256MB components
were for digital cameras, MP3 players, portable computers and PDAs.
- October 2002
- Platypus Technology named customers and announced lower pricing for its
fast (50,000 IOPS) QikDATA M-series redundant solid-state storage
accelerators. The PCI bus 8GB model cost approximately $12,500.
- October 2003
- Memtech said its Wolverine 2.5" military SSD (8GB 12.5mm high) was
available with 8 years warranty.
- October 2008
- IMEC started research on Resistive RAM (RRAM) cells as a potential candidate
to replace conventional flash memory.
- October - 2009
- Seagate - which had previously been hostile and dismissive about the
importance of the SSD market -
it was sampling its 1st SSD product to major oems.
|While no one can guarantee
that MRAM, ReRAM or 3DX / Optane will all continue to be available and
competitive in multiple future generations - the continued future existence of
any one particular alternative to flash and DRAM is less significant than the
balance of probability that there are enough technologies out there (and coming
in the works) to make it worthwhile for software and hardware designers to apply
their minds to enriching the vocabulary of their architecture song books.|
|2017 - adding new notes
to the music of memory tiering|
there yet? |
| After more than 20 years of writing guides to
the SSD and memory systems market I admit in a new blog on
we there yet? - that when I come to think about it candidly the SSD
industry and my publishing output are both still very much "under
|If you're one of those who
has suffered from the memory shortages it may seem unfair that despite their
miscalculations and over optimimism the very companies which caused the
shortages of memory and higher prices - the major manufacturers of nand flash
and DRAM - have been among the greatest beneficiaries. |
of the 2017 memory shortages|
- the next box|
| Throughout the
the data storage market we've always expected the capacity of enterprise user
memory systems to be much smaller than the capacity of all the other attached
storage in the same data processing environment. |
new blog on StorageSearch.com
adapted memory systems - asks (among other things) if this will always be
Like many of you - I've been thinking a lot about the
evolution of memory technologies and data architectures in the past year. I
wasn't sure when would be the best time to share my thoughts about this one.
But the timing seems right now. ...read the
|RAM has changed from being
tied to a physical component to being a virtualized systems software idea - and
the concept of RAM even stretches to a multi-cabinet memory fabric. |
RAM really? - RAM in an SSD context|
|If you're trying to predict
and anticipate how the supply of next generation nand flash will ramp up in the
next year compared to how you've seen memory successions before then the 3D nand
flash market has presented many problems of analysis and interpretation.|
|3D nand successions?-
more dimensions of analysis|