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Radian Memory

Radian Memory Systems, headquartered in Calabasas, California, is redefining software to enable the next generation of data center Flash storage.

See also:- Radian faqs, Radian mentions on StorageSearch.com

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Who's who in SSD? - Radian Memory

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com, September 2015

Radian Memory which emerged from stealth mode in August 2015 says it had been working for 4 years to develop its core SSD software technology called Symphonic which manages the flash resources in SSDs to operate better in an enterprise SSD perspective - by replacing traditional FTL with a new approach which assigns functionality and responsibility for dealing with flash management in several different palces - some at the local controller and some in the host software stack.

"Radian's Symphonic technology abstracts lower level Flash attributes while enabling the host system software to perform what the company calls Cooperative Flash Management."

This is a modern approach to improving the reliability, performance and efficiency of flash arrays which we've seen discussed in the past year or so by some big web scale entities - in particular Baidu.

A year earlier - in 2014 - Memblaze - one of the first PCIe SSD companies to talk publicly about this - called this "a 3rd generation approach".

Also in the same year InnoDisk said it was using 2 level controller techniques in enterprise SATA SSDs sold in its rackmount systems which were later remarketed by its susbsidiary - AccelStor.

And my guess was that many of the SSDs and controllers which Seagate was reported to be selling to big cloud companies in China would also have their firmware customized to enable this multi level aray optimized data management..

Returning to Radian...

The company summarizes its own view of this 3rd generation controller approach neatly in their architecture overview as being - "The right amount of abstraction, at the right level in the stack".

Radian's launch product was a 2.5" NVMe PCIe Gen x4 Interface SSD with 2TB eMLC and an unusually high amount (2GB) of "host controlled" NVRAM.

Radian explains that the host "can issue a single delegated move command, transferring data between SSD's NVRAM and Flash without copying data back into system memory."

While not going as far as the in-situ processing proposed (but not yet delivered) at that time by NxGn Data - Radian's approach is part of design approach what I called "adaptive intelligence flow symmetry" in my 2012 article - how fast can your SSD run backwards? - In which article I said "some companies have SSD IP sets in which knowledge about different parts of the SSD can be optimized and fed back to control and enhance SSD functionality over and beyond the standard accepted SSD function block boundaries".

Radian's software technology and its compatible launch SSD deservedly earned them a best of show award at the August 2015 Flash Memory Summit.

Re the possibility of support for other SSD interfaces - Radian says this.

"The technology was designed with the intention of being able to support SAS, but a SAS version has not been developed or tested. There are no plans to support SATA."

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recent headlines from 40 years of SSD history

clicking on the link for each month below takes you to an archive of all the SSD news stories which were noted here in that period
May 2015 Researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab publish survey of data compression techniques and applications in cache and main memory
June 2015 Altera introduces adaptive flash controller IP leveraging technology from NVMdurance into its FPGA product line
July 2015 interest in Micron surges based on rumor that Tsinghua Unigroup might buy it
August 2015 DIMM wars heat up with Memory1 (flash as RAM) from Diablo and 3D XPoint (alt nvm) from Intel and Micron
September 2015 Mangstor gets series B funding for fastest NVMe flash
October 2015 OCZ offers "Host Managed SSD Technology" in 2.5" SSDs
November 2015 Netlist allies with Samsung to codevelop flash-as-RAM DIMMs
December 2015 NSF funds NxGn Data project to progress in-situ SSD processing
January 2016 Quarch says many SSDs fail their first hot plug tests.
February 2016 It's not worth paying more for SLC reliability in PCIe SSDs says Google field study
March 2016 New funding for endurance stretching NVMdurance

Cadence and Mellanox demonstrate PCIe 4.0 interoperability at 16Gbps.
April 2016 Samsung began mass producing the industry's first 10nm class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM chips.
May 2016 efficiently coded memory architecture unveiled in new systems by Symbolic IO

Encrip announces tri-state coded DRAM IP which can be used with any standard process
June 2016 Pure Storage said its AFA revenue in Q1 2016 was more than the leading HDD array brand
July 2016 Diablo announced volume availability of its Memory1 128GB DDR4 system memory module.
August 2016 see SSD news
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storage search banner

"Despite reaching state of the art status, the metrics for the best SSDs are still substantially behind the native performance of NAND Flash silicon. This is a direct result of SSD architectures which have from the outset been focused on complete backwards compatibility."

FTL SSDs, not NAND Flash,
have reached their architectural limit

(a faqs blog on Radian's web site)


the SSD Bookmarks - series overview
spinning down to HDD's retirement (collected articles)
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM
meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon
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SSD ad - click for more info

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Radian will sample PCIe based competitor to NVDIMMs October 2016
Editor:- August 2, 2016 - Radian Memory today announced it will be sampling in October a new byte addessable, regular (NVRAM-flash cache ratio), 12TB PCIe SSD which has on-board host controlled tiering between its flash and NVRAM.

Editor's comments:- Radian is positioning the new product as a cost effective alternative competitor to hybrid NVDIMMs and similar emerging products in the SCM DIMM wars market.

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what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD?
Editor:- November 10, 2015 - I thought I knew the answer to the question - what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD? - And I was going to write a short article about it. Turns out I would have been wrong.

Here's the story of how I learned some useful things about a significant product in the 2.5" NVME SSD market by simply asking a few questions. ...read the article


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"In the past year we've been witnessing a renaissance in SSD inspired enterprise architecture - on a scale of ambition we haven't seen since the Year of SSD Revolutions in 2007."
Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com, December 2014 in the 30th quarterly edition of the Top SSD Companies.

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SSD ad - click for more info

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90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive
In one of the most highly read articles on StorageSearch.com in recent years - I looked at drivers, mechanisms and routes towards consolidation in the enterprise SSD systems market along with some other outrageous and dangerous ideas. The conclusion?

"90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive."

Before publication - I discussed these ideas with various readers for about 3 months and since publication you won't be surprised when I tell you it has been at the core of many conversations since. ...read the article


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pcie  SSDs - click to read articleI think it's not too strong to say that the enterprise PCIe SSD market (as we once knew it) has exploded and fragmented into many different directions. (And some big bang PCIe SSD dreams have shrunk too.)
what's changed in enterprise PCIe SSD?


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SSD ad - click for more info