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SSD Market Milestones - 2010 4th quarter

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

see also:- SSD news, SSD futures and SSD history
storage history
storage history
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
11 Key Symmetries in SSD design
SSD ad - click for more info
SSDs as computer tonics?
The risk of flash SSD wear-out due to ineffective endurance control is like that of influenza.

Just because you've already had it before - or been innoculated against the previous strain doesn't mean you are invulnerable to what may happen in the next flash / flu pandemic.
image shows the mouse wizard Spellabyte stirring the potion - click to read SSD tonic article A good way to think about SSDs is like vitamin supplements or medicine for computers. the article
Flash Cache Realities
Editor:- December 4, 2010 - Mike Workman, CEO of Pillar Data Systems recently published a blog - Cache Works – Sometimes.

In it he demonstrates why one of the failures of reality versus expectation in enterprise SSD acceleration is the "average flash cache performance" beloved by marketers. It's the peaks which are the memorable parts of the apps speedup experience. the article

See also:- RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs, the Problem with Write IOPS.
SSD ad - click for more info
multi-million IOPS SSD marketing
Editor:- December 22, 2010 - Woody Hutsell - who for a decade led the enterprise SSD marketing business at Texas Memory Systems - and who recently joined ViON has recently started a blog about SSDs.

His first article bemoans the current trend of marketers to quote ever higher millions of IOPS - a marketing tactic - which he freely admits he started back in his days at TMS.

In this entertaining and thought provoking article Woody says - "One million IOPS. Yawn! Is that all youve got! In fact, I would argue if the extent of your marketing message is your IOPS you dont have enough marketing talent." the article
SSD Data Recovery Concepts
It's hard enough understanding the design of any single SSD. And there are so many different designs in the market.

Have you ever wondered what it looks like at the other end of the SSD supply chain - when a user has a damaged SSD which contains priceless data with no usable backup?
broken barrel image - click to read this data recovery article If so - this article - written by Jeremy Brock, President, A+ Perfect Computers - who is one of a rare new breed of SSD recovery experts will give you some idea. read the article
SSD ad - click for more info
October 2010 - Samsung supplies SSDs to EMC ...

DensBits closed Series B funding, led by a new investor, Bessemer Venture Partners and existing investor Sequoia Capital.

Fusion-io launched a new iniative - the Fusion-io Technology Alliance Program which help to accelerate the development and market dissemination of products which leverage the company's ioMemory technology.

PhotoFast started taking orders for a new 960GB PCIe MLC flash SSD - which - with a 512MB buffer - delivers upto 1,500MB/s write speeds - and costs approx $4,300.

Texas Memory Systems announced a Quad Data Rate InfiniBand card interface option for its RamSan-630 3U SSD - which effectively doubles the IOPS to 1 Million (compared to the performance previously obtainable with the fibre-channel) connection option. published the 14th edition of the Top 20 SSD OEMs. The list ranks SSD companies by search volume in the quarter ending September 30, 2010 - and is an indicator of probable future business success.

Samsung said it is shipping 200GB 3.5" SATA SLC SSDs to EMC. Sequential R/W speeds are 260MB/s and 245MB/s respectively. R/W IOPS are 47,000 and 29,000. The new Samsung SSDs have an 'end-to-end data integrity' function and encryption.

SandForce announced availability of its next generation SF-2000 family SSD processors - for oems designing SAS 3 class (6Gbps) enterprise acceleration SSDs. The SF-2000 supports 500MB/s sequential R/W, 60,000 sustained random IOPS, wire speed encryption, end to end data integrity checks and industrial temperature operation in a skinny flash SSD architecture. Also new in this controller generation is support for sector sizes additional to 512-bytes e.g., 520, 524, 528, 4K, etc., with Data Integrity Field (DIF) for true enterprise-class SAS drive behavior and performance.

A new edition in our SSD Bookmarks series was published with suggestions by Scott Stetzer, VP Marketing STEC.

Hyperstone announced that Toshiba (Europe) has agreed to provide the company with a variety of ASIC design and manufacturing services. New SSD controllers based on Toshiba semiconductor process technology will sample in Q1, 2011.

SMART announced it is sampling a new 2.5" 200GB SATA SLC flash SSD for mission-critical defense and industrial applications. The Xcel-100 solid-state drive achieves up to 30,000 IOPS random read/write and 250MB/s sustained read/write. Validated to MIL-STD-810F it's designed to operate in a temperature range that extends from -40°C to +85°C, with the ability to sustain 50g operating shock and 16.4g operating vibration. The Xcel-100 offers high reliability and data integrity (< 1 in 1017 bits read) that is supported by extensive error-correction and detection capabilities, multi-level data-path and code protection, data-fail recovery, and data-integrity monitoring. The Xcel-100 also supports the ATA-7 Security Erase.

Dataram has launched a campaign called - Let Us Prove It to You - to persuade users to evaluate its XcelaSAN (an FC rackmount SSD ASAP) - which the company says can dynamically and transparently improves I/O performance up to 30x in the users own SAN environment with block-level caching. Dataram is so confident in the results and ease of installation that a 32GB iPad will be given to organizations that complete the evaluation.

Web-Feet Research released its latest technology assessment report on Flash Memory, DRAM and the rise of alternative Non Volatile Memories and Storage Class Memories in - MTS650FT-2010 (summary pdf) - price $7,500.00. This new report evaluates the most promising SCM memories: PCM, STT-RAM, MRAM, Z-RAM, ReRAM, CBRAM, QsRAM, and FeRAM. The manufacturability of SCM storage is evaluated for: CMOx, PCM-S, RRAM-S, 3D NAND and some claims that SST-MRAM can fulfill the storage function.

OCZ announced it will open a new SSD manufacturing plant in Taipei, Taiwan this month increasing overall manufacturing capacity to 140,000 units a month. OCZ said it sold over 54,000 SSDs in August - 3x the monthly level at the start of this year.

ViON announced that it has launched a new practice focused on application acceleration. To head this new effort, Tom Frana, President and CEO of ViON, has enlisted Woody Hutsell, a noted expert in enterprise application acceleration and solid state storage.

PhotoFast said it will ship a 256GB USB SSD for the MacBook Air at the end of November. Sustained R/W speeds are 250MB/s. Random R/W speeds are 50MB/s and 30MB/s respectively. But later:- in November 2010 - a report in said that Apple had put pressure on PhotoFast to withdraw this MacBook Air compatible SSD.

Fusion-io has opened a sales office in the UK.. The phone number is +44 (0)1295 264 33. The UK Sales Manager Trevor Cooper was previously at Data Domain.

OCZ launched a 2nd generation version of its RevoDrive - a bootable legacy architecture PCIe SSD with R/W speeds up to 740MB/s and and 120,000 IOPS which uses 4x SandForce SF 1200 controllers.

ATP Electronics launched a vertical Slim SATA Embedded SSD module with 2GB to 16GB capacity and sequential R/W speeds upto 116MB/s and 102MB/s respectively. ATP's new SSD module has internal wear-leveling and has drivers for Windows and Linux. Its small size (54mm x39.8mm x4.0mm) makes it a viable replacement for 2.5" SSDs in space constrained embedded applications.
November 2010 - Fusion-io does 1 million IOPS on a PCIe SSD card

Foremay announced shipment of the fastest 1.8" micro SATA slim flash SSDs - with 280MB/s R/W and random IOPS as follows:- up to 30,000 read and 15,000 write. The 5mm high SSDs have capacity up to 400GB and are available in industrial temperature versions.

Walton Chaintech announced availability of 3 new 2.5" SATA 2 SSD ranges for consumers and gamers which feature SSD controllers from SandForce (from $147 60GB) and Indilinx (from $91 30GB).

STEC announced that revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 declined 12% from the year ago period to $86 million) although it was 40% higher than the preceding quarter.

Memoright launched its first range of MLC based SSDs - the 2.5" FTM-25 range are SATA 2 compatible - and have upto 400GB capacity. From the performance figures (50k / 30k R/W IOPS) I guess they use a SandForce controller. The new SSDs have over-voltage and over-current protection and Memoright's quality management system (evolved for military SSDs) offers 100% traceability for every SSD.

RunCore has launched the world's first CF card compatible SSDs with fast (typically 30 seconds) on-board sanitization functions. The fast erase - which is designed to protect confidential data leaks and thwart any attempts at data recovery - is achieved by pressing a button or activating erase pins while the device is powered. It can be once again used by formatting after the data destruction process.

Greenliant Systems has begun sampling SATA compatible variants of its NANDrive GLS85LS (miniature SSDs). The new SSDs offer oems upto 64GB capacity in a 14mm x 24mm x 1.85mm 145 BGA. Active-mode power consumption as low as 500mW and a deep power-down mode can reduce this to 10mW. The SSDs have content protection zones and designers can select areas of the storage to protect with fast erase.

Fusion-io said it will ship a web based control panel - called ioSphere - for monitoring, analyzing real-time performance and controlling its SSDs sometime in Q1, 2011.

Virident Systems (a PCIe SSD company) announced that it has closed a new round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.

Penguin Computing launched a new family of fast 160TB DAS RAID storage systems which the company says provides the performance and scalability of 40Gbps InfiniBand environments. The company uses SSDs internally to improve reliability and accelerate performance.

Violin Memory (which makes rackmount SSDs) unveiled a multi-terabyte SSD cache solution for NAS systems which use NFS. Violin says its vCACHE expands to 15TB of useable cache and delivers over 300,000 NFS operations per second over 8x 10GbE ports. It uses software from Gear6 which Violin acquired in June 2010 after the software developer had burned its way through $24 million funding and crashed.

Hitachi said it was sampling 3.5" FC SSDs and 2.5" SAS SSDs with upto 400GB SLC capacity and 535MB/s read and 500MB/s write throughput (6Gb/s SAS) 46,000 / 13,000 R/W IOPS.

Anobit (an SSD controller company) announced that it closed a new funding round of $32 million led by Intel Capital - bringing Anobit's total funding to over $70 million.

Fusion-io (a PCIe SSD company) this week set new speed records with its double-wide slot ioDrive Octal SSD - achieving 1 million IOPS 6.2 GB/s of bandwidth while offering capacity up to 5.7TB.

Kove (a rackmount SSD company) demonstrated a 4U InfiniBand & FC compatible RAM SSD product line called Xpress Disk - which can sustain 20GB/s throughput via 6x InfiniBand ports.
December 2010 - Micron embeds data integrity controller into raw MLC flash memory

Micron announced availability of enhanced 16GB to 64GB 25nm MLC flash memory chips with integrated error management - which the company says - removes the burden of ECC from the host and simplifies the use of flash in enterpise apps.

Anobit's chief scientist Naftali Sommer wrote an article - Signal Processing and the evolution of NAND flash memory - which was published in Embedded Computing Design magazine. The article describes the role of DSP in improving the integrity of logic states read from flash cells.

Curtiss-Wright launched the XMC-552 - a rugged 256GB XMC/PMC form factor SATA SSD with 200MB/s throughput, fast purge (in 4 seconds), bad block blocking and 128-bit AES encryption - for defense and aerospace applications. published a new article - Introduction to SSD Data Recovery Concepts and Technologies - written by Jeremy Brock, President, A+ Perfect Computers.

An article on discussed the write performance of the tachIOn (PCIe SSD) from Virident Systems - which was measured at various percentages full. The author - Vadim Tkachenko - says "Virident's card maintains very good throughput level in close to full capacity mode, and that means you do not need to worry ( or worry less) about space reservation or formatting card with less space."

Memoright launched a new range of 1.2" SATA SSDs with secure erase, 8,000 IOPS, 100/80MB/s R/W performance and upto 64GB capacity.

STEC announced that MLC versions of its ZeusIOPS SSDs are being used in IBM's Storwize V7000 (RAID systems).

Fusion-io announced that it has been working closely with Credit Suisse to integrate ioMemory SSDs with its Advanced Execution Services trading platform to improve its data access performance, maximizing the effectiveness of its low latency trading platform architectures. I asked Fusion-io's CEO David Flynn to tell our readers more about how banks viewed the issue of MLC flash in their critical apps.

Samsung announced it is sampling 400GB 2.5" SATA MLC SSDs for use as the primary storage in enterprise storage systems (instead of hard drives). The new drives can process random read commands at 43,000 IOPS and random writes at 11,000 IOPS. In addition, they have an 'end-to-end data protection' function with advanced data encryption algorithm to assure reliability and security for the drive.

Intel announced a new SSD for use in notebooks. The Intel SSD 310 is an m-SATA MLC SSD with upto 80GB in a 51mm-by-30mm by 5mm form factor. Sequential R/W throughput is 200MB/s and 70MB/s respectively with random R/W performance upto 35K and 6.6K IOPS. It weighs less than 10g and has typical active power consumption of 150mW.
1st quarter 2011 - what happened next? - continue this narrative or take a look at SSD news is published by ACSL