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SSD Market Milestones - 2010 timeline

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

2010 was the first year in which SSD market revenue reached billions of dollars.
January 2010 -ioSafe launched "disaster-proof" backup SSDs

IDC said that SSD shipments in 2009 exceeded 11 million units, an increase of 14% year over year.

ioSafe launched the ioSafe Solo SSD - an ultra rugged USB / eSATA external flash SSD with upto 256GB capacity ($1,250) designed to provide data protection against disasters such as fire, flood, and building collapse.

LSI and Seagate announced they have collaborated on designing PCIe SSDs for the enterprise accelerator market which will sample in Q2 2010.

Plextor announced it would enter the notebook SSD market in Q1 2010 with a new product line based on SSD controllers from Marvell.

RunCore has started shipments of the 1st SSDs aimed at the PXI Express market (a standard which brings PCIe performance and functionality into the robust modular form factor popular in automated instrumentation test systems). RunCore's 3U CPCIe\PXIe SSD card provides upto 768GB MLC or 384GB SLC capacity and has sustained R/W speeds upto 400MB/s. Available with industrial operating temperature range and MIL-STD-810F processing, the module provides a fast purge rate of 5GB/s.

IP-nest published a report called - Nand Flash Controller (NFC) IP Market Forecast 2009-2014 ($1,590).

SMART is sampling the XceedIOPS SATA - SLC and "enterprise grade" MLC flash SSDs in 1.8" and 2.5" form factors - based on the SF-1500 processor from SandForce. Performance is upto 30K IOPS random read/write. SMART uses a combination of write attenuation technologies to attain a 5-year projected lifetime for its 400GB MLC XceedIOPS SATA model ($2,900 oem qty price) in an environment that demands 250MB/s sustained write and a 40% duty cycle.

Storage related news coming out of CES was a disappointment to me - because nearly all the major news about SSD products had already been preannounced (and covered on these pages) in the months leading up to the show. If it's not new - and we've already talked about it - it's not news. That's why editorial arising from this event has been sparser than expected. SSD marketers in many companies have got into the habit of preannouncing products anything upto a year ahead - as part of the SSD Bubble. In that way they hope to get multiple shots at web visibility. It doesn't work that way here on My purpose is to save you time - not to waste it.

White Electronic Designs has introduced a 4GB secure PATA SLC SSD in a 22mm x 27mm PBGA for embedded military applications. This product is designed for applications in aircraft, communications and missiles. A hardware and software triggered fast purge can eliminate all data in less than 10 seconds and device options include sanitization compliant with various government agency specifications.

Texas Memory Systems announced it is delivering open source drivers on Linux and Solaris for its RamSan-20 PCIe SSD accelerator.

Viking Modular Solutions announced it is sampling a range of SAS and SATA compatible SSDs using controllers from SandForce. Form factors will include:- 1.8", 2.5" and innovative "non-HDD-like" solutions for space constrained and/or rugged applications.

Toshiba announced it is sampling 128GB mSATA MLC SSD modules (30mm x 50.95mm x 4.75mm ) aimed at the netbook PC market. Sequential R/W speeds are 180MB/s and 70MB/s respectively. Weight is 9g.

Avere Systems announced it is shipping new SLC flash SSD options in its FXT Series 10GbE NAS compatible SSD ASAPs. The 2U FXT 2700 appliance features 64GB of DRAM, 1GB of NVRAM, and 512GB of SLC flash SSD. FXT clusters can scale to 25 appliances and support millions of operations/sec and tens of GB/sec throughput. Pricing starting at $82,500.

SanDisk announced results for the quarter ended January 3, 2010 - revenue of $1.24 billion increased 44% on a year-over-year basis and increased 33% sequentially. SanDisk's Chairman and CEO, Eli Harari, said the company had achieved unit sales growth of 55% and gigabyte growth of 100% compared to the year prior quarter.

Austin Semiconductor announced it plans to change its name and (along with some other companies) it will be merged into a new entity and brand to be called Micross Components.

Cactus Technologies launched a rugged 32GByte industrial grade CF SLC flash SSD in an extended height (6.4mm) form factor. The 303 Series offers high endurance (>2M write cycles per block), wear leveling, defect management and 4M hours MTBF
February 2010 - 25nm geometry NAND flash sampled by Intel and Micron published a new directory on the subject of - SSD Backup.

ioSafe's CEO, Robb Moore - shared his SSD Bookmarks with readers of

Denali Software published an article - the Evolving Enterprise SSD - which comments on detailed SSD market size predictions from Gartner related to SSD form factors and interfaces.

Micron Technology announced an agreement to acquire privately held Numonyx in an all-stock transaction worth approximately $1.3 billion.

STEC reported that its revenue for full-year 2009 grew 55% to $354 million.

Intel and Micron announced they are sampling the world's 1st 25nm NAND flash memory. This gives 8GB MLC (classic 2 bit) flash memory in a stackable TSOP. The new chips will enable higher density SSDs to ship in volume in Q2.

Silicon Motion announced that its SSD controller shipments increased over 50% year-on-year - in the most recent quarter and now account for almost 10% of its ($87 million annual) corporate revenue. The company said - that the vast majority of controllers that are shipping are for 40nm and 30nm NAND flash and they are on track to deliver controllers for 20nm NAND flash that is expected to be available in the 2nd half 2010. In the 4th quarter 2009 the company also began shipping 3-bits per cell MLC controllers.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched this month, uses an SSD error correction architecture designed by ECC Technologies. Phil White, inventor of this scheme said - "You can think of the SDO spacecraft as containing a parallel-transfer, fault-tolerant SSD that uses DRAM chips instead of NAND Flash chips... Multiple DRAM chips can fail with no loss of data or performance."

Compellent published a case study (pdf) - which shows the benefits of automated tiering SAN storage - applied to the online marketing of real estate.

Foremay started sampling its EC188 D-series 2nd generation fast PCIe SSDs with capacity upto 4TB (MLC) and 1TB (SLC). Sequential R/W speeds are up to 1.6 GB/s and 1.5 GB/s respectively, and R/W IOPS up to 200K/180K.

Aitech launched a new model in its family of PMC/XMC SSDs. The M224 has 128GB capacity, and hardware RAID options which support the onboard flash array. Sustained sequential R/W speeds are 170MB/s and 120MB/s respectively. The M224 is available in air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions as well as in 3 levels of ruggedization depending on shock, vibration and humidity requirements. OS support includes VxWorks, Windows and Linux.

SanDisk said it was shipping its G3 range of SSDs which had been preannounced in January 2009 - and originally expected to ship "in mid 2009."

Calypso Systems launched an SSD performance testing and characterization service for SSD manufacturers ($3,500 for standard tests, $5,000 for custom). This simplifies the process of sourcing independently verfied performance data to populate brochures and press releases.
March 2010 - 300% annual revenue growth - reported by PCIe SSD evangelist Fusion-io published a new directory - SSD videos.

Infortrend joined the ASAPs market with its EonNAS 5100 .

OCZ disclosed it has closed $15 million in funding to support its growing SSD business.

iSuppli published a report called - Data Flash Q2 2010 Market Tracker. It addresses issues such as:- how do SSDs impact the flash market and what are new emerging markets and their trends.

Viking Modular Solutions announced that its SATA Cube3 128GB DOM (launched in March 2009) has successfully completed tests pursuant to the MIL-STD-810F specification.

RunCore unveiled a new security feature for a consumer notebook SSD at CeBIT 2010. If your notebook is stolen you send a (cell-phone) text message to it - and it destroys the data.

STEC has started sampling a new family of Slim SATA and SATA-CF 32GB/64GB flash SSDs for use in embedded markets. Performance is 15,000 / 6,000 R/W IOPS and R/W transfer rates are up to 135MB/s and 130MB/s respectively.

Fusion-io disclosed it has experienced more than 80% quarter-over-quarter sales growth and more than 300% sales growth year-over-year. This emerged in an announcement that Silicon Valley veteran Dennis Wolf has joined the company as senior VP and CFO to help it manage its rapid growth as it continues to expand into new markets around the globe. Wolf has led several public and private companies as CFO, COO and CEO. Most recently, he served as executive VP and CFO at MySQL where he was integral in MySQL's growth strategy and its ultimate sale to Sun Microsystems in a transaction valued at $1 billion.

FalconStor announced technical and VAR channel support for Violin Memory's 2U rackmount FC flash SSD - the Violin 1010 . Although the headline specs of this very fast flash SSD are substantially the same as when it was launched in November 2008 the 2 important things which changed were:- the price point - $32,000 for the 500GB version, and the availability of SSD ASAP-like features implemented by FalconStor's SafeCache and HotZone software.

WD Solid State Storage began shipping a new range of 2.5" 128GB SATA SLC SSDs - for high reliability 24/7 embedded markets - called the WD SiliconDrive N1x. R/W speeds are upto 240MB/s and 140MB/s respectively. Write endurance is quoted as 701GB/Day - compatible with 5 year limited warranty. And data integrity (non-recoverable error rate) is better than 1 in 10exp15 bits read. WD also announced its entry into the SSD notebook market. WD's SiliconEdge Blue 2.5" MLC SSDs offer capacity upto 256GB (MSRP $999), R/W speeds of 250MB/s and 170MB/s.

Super Talent Technology announced imminent availability of a new encrypted USB 3 flash SSD - with upto 256GB capacity. The USB 3.0 SuperCrypt is a true SSD (with wear-leveling). Internally the module (95 x 34 x 15.4 mm) is a SATA SSD with a USB bridge chip.

WhipTail Technologies announced a Europe wide distribution and support agreement with Consolidate IT.

GreenBytes unveiled the GB-1000 (under $10,000) a 1U 4TB SSD accelerated dedupe appliance which supports simultaneous SAN and NAS deployments. Ingest and restore performance is stated as 0.54TB/hr.

OCZ announced it's shipping a 32GB 2.5" MLC SSD for under $100. R/W speeds are unremarkable - at a mere 125MB/s and 70MB/s respectively - but the main point of this launch - according to OCZ's CEO, Ryan Petersen - was to publicize the price point and show what the company is doing "to make SSDs more affordable to end-users."

Pliant Technology published benchmark results to illustrate the capability of its 3.5" SAS SSDs when used in arrays. The measurements performed and validated by OakGate Technology were performed on an array of 16 SSDs and are summarized in a video.

hyperI/O announced that its hIOmon software supports the collection of Microsoft "TRIM" related SSD metrics - which can be captured during normal, everyday application use and without any OS, file system, file, or application changes required.

In yet another simulated benchmark published today related to Adaptec's SSD ASAP caching technology - which they leverage in their MaxIQ SSD product - I learned that the underlying technology was originally developed by (surprise! surprise!) - Microsoft.

Forward Insights announced imminent availability of a new report - SSD Innovations ($4,499) - which explores key innovations to improve the performance and lifetime of SSDs. contents pages (pdf), SSD Market Analysts

TDK launched the SHG2A series of half slim, encrypted industrial SATA SLC SSD modules with upto 32GB capacity and R/W speeds of 95MB/s and of 55MB/s respectively. ECC is 8 bit/sector (512 byte) correction (15 bit/sector correction). Endurance is 100,000 write cycles per block address (6.3 billion writes for a 16GB model). TDK has a life span assessment tool which enables customers to monitor the life span of these SSDs in their systems.
what happened next? - see SSD Market Milestones - 2010 2nd quarter

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It may seem like a huge leap from a 4U $290K rackmount RAM SSD (with internal flash backup and load) to hybrid DIMM (modules) but good ideas in SSD architecture have often made that kind of transition in SSD history.
flash backed DIMMs / NVDIMMs

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ioSafe demos its disaster proof backup SSD on BBC news ... In January 2010 - ioSafe launched its disaster-proof backup SSD. This clip - taken from BBC tv news - showed the kind of stresses that the new drive could survive without needing any data recovery.

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