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NGD Systems

Based in Irvine, California, NGD Systems, formerly known as NxGn Data, is focused on bringing a new generation of intelligent SSD Solutions to market. With a vision of delivering on the concept of "compute to storage" efficiently and cost effectively, the company is building a converged platform that delivers both enterprise SSD storage capabilities, and the added value of computational functionality directly on stored data. NGD Systems was founded in 2013 by a group of seasoned SSD industry veterans with more than 100 years of combined industry experience. The company has been granted 14 patents in key areas of SSD design, with an additional 13 patents filed. In their various roles at companies like Western Digital, STEC and Memtech, the founders have helped drive and shape the storage industry during this period of rapid growth and expansion.

The company is led by Nader Salessi, Founder & CEO, Vladimir Alves, Co-Founder & CTO, and Richard Mataya, Co-Founder & SVP SSD Solutions. These 3 veterans have over a decade in the SSD industry working for such companies as Western Digital, STEC, and Memtech in various executive capacities and have helped drive and shape the industry during this period of rapid growth and expansion.
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Zsolt Kerekes, editor and publisher - - April 2018

NxGn Data made its first appearance in the Top SSD Companies List in the Q1 2016 edition. NGD Systems rose to the top of the list #1 in Q4 2017, and remained at #1 in Q1 2018.

The idea behind "in-situ SSD processing" also goes by other names too. Examples being "Processing In Memory", "Computational Memory" and "Computational RAM".

Although for historic and practical reasons some people might suggest that an FPGA processor embedded in a DRAM array (Rambus-Xilinx / Micron's Advanced Computing Solutions, or a tensor processor embedded in a computational ASIC (Google's TPU) are different types of animals to a customizable controller in a flash array (SSD). But I would argue they are simply different latency adjusted approaches which solve similar problems.

One back story to these developments is that big memory has been converging with flash as RAM as part of the trend towards tiered memory and bigger memory in the same box (to reduce fabric latencies which become significant even with 10GbE, PCIe and Gen-Z fabrics). Flash as RAM (which came into market being as software products from FlashSoft and others initially leveraging PCIe SSDs but then became form factor agnostic) delivers well understood cost and performance benefits but also involves the tuning complexities of controllernomics and its enthusiastic adoption has created more demands for faster memory than it can solve using dumb memory (however smartly tiered).

The market experience of early NVDIMMs and SCM DIMM wars makes it clear that other architectural uses of memory - such as those mentioned above - along with software recognition of particular memory types "Memory Defined Software" can provide orders of magnitude better application acceleration when coupled with similar semiconductor assets compared to tiered memory used with conventional processors - albeit these accelerators may be heavily optimized for some applications and provide little or no benefits for others.

In some ways these differences in design thinking are similar to the SSD heresies seen in earlier phases of the modern SSD era. Different permutations of IP encapsulated by competing designers to solve similar problems.

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NxGn Data exits stealth with promise of in-situ SSD processing
Editor:- July 29, 2014 - NxGn Data today exited stealth mode.

NxGn will use advanced adaptive DSP technology to enable small form factor SSDs (such as M.2) aimed at the enterprise market - using MLC and TLC down to 1z-nm geometries.

Fully functional FPGA-based samples will be available in early 2015, followed by final production samples of SoC-based M.2 solutions in late 2015.

NxGn says it will be the first SSD controller company in the industry with in-storage computation capability - what it calls "In-Situ Processing".

Editor's comments:- Earlier this year I published a couple of reports and mentions about SSD suppliers (LSI and Memblaze) who have modifed their controller firmware to eliminate or bypass functions from the lowest level SSD drive - for large customers like Baidu - who then use their array level software to get better utilization and performance.

And in the industrial market InnoDisk - uses what it calls 3rd generation architecture - to partition intelligent data actions between the controller and software stack.

Until recently - only Fusion-io (in whose products the flash controller and apps server - share the same CPU cores) has been able to maximize high end context intelligence with low level flash block data access at a similar latency level.

But once you've solved the problem of making SSDs reliable and fast - it's tempting to create an SSD instruction set which which focuses on application layer needs too - and not just those of dumb storage.

See also:- Active Flash: Towards Energy-Efficient, In-Situ Data Analytics on Extreme-Scale Machines

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"One way to interpret the new #1 company (NGD Systems) is as a signal that the idea of in-situ SSD processing is close to moving into the mainstream."

Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - re the Top SSD Companies in Q4 2017 (January 19, 2018).
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After 2017 - memoryfication solutions (tiering at the board, box and cloud level) will no longer be restricted to the same old tunes restricted by the paucity of melodies obtainable from DRAM, flash and the intervening interface dynamics.
adding new notes to the music of memory tiering (Nov 2017)
recently in the SSD news archives
April 2018 A research study of Google consumer workloads showed that in memory processing could at the same time halve power consumption and execution time.
March 2018 Nallatech entered the in-situ SSD market.
February 2018 Gen-Z specification 1.0 released for futuristic memory fabric designers.
January 2018 Foremay launched its "Immortal" brand of radiation hardened military SSDs.
December 2017 ChinaDaily reported that China's NDRC was looking at complaints about high prices in the semiconductor memory market to determine if there was evidence to open an antitrust inquiry.
November 2017 IntelliProp demonstrated a memory controller for the emerging Gen-Z memory fabric.
October 2017 Quarch Tech launched a test suite which measures real-time SSD watts.
September 2017 Toshiba announced the winner of the $18 billion beauty pageant to find a suitable buyer for its memory and SSD business.
August 2017 Western Digital agreed to acquire Tegile which had pioneered innovative "utility" based customer pricing models in the hybrid storage array market.
July 2017 Viking shipped 50TB planar MLC 3.5" SAS SSDs based on a controller platform designed by rackmount SSD maker Nimbus.
June 2017 Toshiba began sampling the world's first 64 layer QLC (x4) nand flash memory. The 768Gb chips were the highest density nvms available.
May 2017 Micron entered the rackmount SSD market.
news archive 2000 to 2018
NxGn Data is now called NGD Systems
Editor:- February 22, 2017 - NGD Systems (formerly called NxGn Data) today announced the availability of a new product aimed at the PCIe NVMe SSD market. The Catalina SSD has 24TB of 3D TLC flash which the company says uses less than 0.65 watts per terabyte.
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."
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