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SiliconSystemsSiliconSystems - 2004 to 2009

SiliconSystems designs, manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of solid-state storage solutions engineered and optimized for the unique requirements of the enterprise system OEM market.

The company's patented and patent-pending SiliconDrive™ technology meets the rigorous demands of applications in the netcom, military, industrial, interactive kiosk, medical, and mobile computing markets.

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SiliconSystems mentions in SSD Market History.
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From the time when SiliconSystems first appeared on our SSD pages in 2004 it was clear that the company was talking in a different way to the rest of the market. Of the 4 main market segments which I identified for SSD market penetration (published 2005) - I mentioned SiliconSystems as the pioneer in "High Reliability DAS".

Quoting from that article - "The customer value proposition of the High Reliability DAS SSD is that the interval between server failures will be extended by several years compared to HDD technology."

In March 2005 - SiliconSystems announced that Bell Microproducts would distribute its SSD products in North America. This would greatly simplify the access to this technology for thousands of systems integrators and oems.

In April 2005 - SiliconSystems published (what turned out to be) a classic white paper - Increasing Flash SSD Reliability.

In January 2006 - SiliconSystems announced a new technology called SiSMART built into the company's entire SiliconDrive product line. By monitoring read/write activity, SiSMART technology enabled designers of SSD systems to collect raw data from which to extrapolate flash wear out effects and predict application specific SSD operating life.

In June 2006 - SiliconSystems launched its SiliconDrive Secure family which included the widest range of available storage security features in a solid state disk.

In June 2007 - SiliconSystems said that it had received an additional patent for its PowerArmor voltage detection and regulation technology. PowerArmor, used in the company's SiliconDrives protects critical operating system files and application data from corruption due to power disturbances.

In May 2008 - California based SiliconSystems opened its first office in the People's Republic of China. And its founder and CEO, Michael Hajeck, was selected as a regional finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the 2nd consecutive year.

In August 2008 - SiliconSystems doubled the capacity of its miniature embedded USB SiliconDrives.

In September 2008 - SiliconSystems announced faster versions of its 2.5" SATA / PATA SiliconDrives - with upto 50MB/s read / write speeds and the company became a founding member of the SNIA's Solid State Storage Initiative.

In October 2008 - SiliconSystems contributed its SiliconDrive II Blade specification to the Small Form Factor Special Interest Group for the purpose of creating an official governing standard.

In December 2008 - SiliconSystems published a significant whitepaper - NAND Evolution and its Effects on SSD Useable Life (pdf). Starting with a tour of the state of the art in the flash SSD market the paper introduces several new concepts (including write amplification and wear leveling efficiency) to help systems designers understand why current wear usage models don't give a complete picture.

In - January 2009 - SiliconSystems announced that its SiliconDrive Blade has been selected as a "2008 Best Electronic Design" technology of the year winner in the embedded small form factor category. The awards are chosen by the editorial staff of Electronic Design magazine from announcements they have received during the year. Editor Bill Wong cited SiliconDrive Blade's innovative design as a necessary development in accelerating wide-spread adoption of SSDs in embedded systems.

In March 2009 - SiliconSystems' VP of Product Planning, Gary Drossel - shared his SSD Bookmarks with readers of StorageSearch.com. And the company also announced it has shipped over 4 million SiliconDrives integrated with its SiSMART technology. SiliconSystems also said it will ship faster versions of its 2.5" and 1.8" SiliconDrives in the next quarter - with R/W speeds up to 100MB/s and 80MB/s respectively, and (SLC) capacity upto 128GB.

Also in March 2009 - Western Digital entered the SSD market by acquiring SiliconSystems for $65 million. Integration into WD begins immediately, with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the WD Solid-State Storage business unit, complementing WD's existing Branded Products, Client Storage, Consumer Storage and Enterprise Storage business units. WD has published a FAQs page about this acquisition.

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"Customers are pleased when they locate our replacements for their EOL Sandisk or SiliconSystems PCMCIA or compact flash card.

We would prefer they standardize on our cards to ensure long term availability, but can also reverse engineer cards to meet their current specifications."
Michael Furtado, PCcardsDirect (July 8, 2014) replying to this question from Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com - "What’s the most surprising thing which customers still look for/ and which delights them when they find them on your site."

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SSD ad - click for more info
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the cultivation and nurturing of "reliability"
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Companies which use industrial SSDs for use in equipment and embedded systems need to be confident that they can continue obtaining these products during the lifetime of their programs - which are typically 3 to 5 - but can also be more than 7 years.
the changing face of the industrial SSD market
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"SSD is going down! - We're going down!"
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
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Fast Purge SSDs - when "Rugged" won't do
Fast Purge flash SSDs directory & articles The need for fast and secure data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD or its data are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.

Take a look at the Fast purge / secure erase SSDs directory on StorageSearch.com
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A reader contacted me to say he was worried about the viability and reliability of large arrays of SSDs as used in enterprises.

His email included detailed calculations about FITs (failures in time) related in specialized components in the SSD power management circuits.
FITs, reliability and abstraction levels in SSDs
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Just as having a stable BOM to reduce the cost of requalification and redesign is a desirable service offering for drive level industrial SSDs - so too can having a stable - no frills design - for industrial systems users too.
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs

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