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Capacitor hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
is remanence in persistent memory a new security risk?
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?
what were the big SSD memory architecture ideas in 2016?

new edition of the Top SSD Companies
Editor:- November 24, 2016 - NxGn achieved its highest ever ranking in the new Q3 2016 edition of the Top SSD Companies published today.

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3D XPoint - walking back the original claims
Editor:- December 6, 2016 - 3D XPoint: a Guide to the Future of SCM - a recent blog on Tom's Hardware keeps alive the ongoing story of this preannounced and over stated technology which was unveiled by Intel and Micron in 2015 as an investor oriented reassuring response to competitive announcements in the DIMM wars market - which pointed towards a much reduced market long term role for conventional server DRAM.

I - like others - stated my doubts about the so-called market readiness hinted at in the early 3DXPoint razzmatazz. And this year those early doubts have been salami sliced by successive analysis as more technical information has emerged or failed to emerge in support of the early bold claims.

This new blog by Paul Alcorn includes a nicely judged narrative and brings the story of the successive pilot show teasers up to date. Among other things Paul says:-

"unfortunately, the two companies recently began walking the performance claims back."

"...the companies have yet to explain, beyond ECC tuning, why the endurance specifications have taken such a drastic plunge."

"The ultimate goal of the next generation of memory is to have the worlds of storage and memories collide permanently, with just one medium emerging for both purposes. 3D XPoint isn't suitable for that role, at least not yet, but it could help lay the groundwork." the article

Editor's comments:- this is what I said here in SSD news - August 2015...

"Much less easy to place within any particular calendar year and to rate for its significance to future SSD history - however - due to its distinctly vaporware-like aspects and stunning lack of technical details - was the stage managed unveiling of a newly branded memory architecture by Intel and Micron - which (like the emperor's new clothes) may or may not become significant for enterprise applications in 2016, or 2017 or 2018 - depending on when we can see it working and depending on what other competitors are doing at that time."

And in June 2016 - I brought reader attention to a thoughtful video - 3D XPoint, reality, opportunity, competition which looked at boundary capabilities of the technology from a competing semiconductor point of view.

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I noticed that whenever I repeated the power off and power back on again cycling (into what we'd now call a "cold boot" condition) most of the contents of the RAM looked similar to what they had been before, instead of scrambled which is what I expected.
does persistent memory pose new new security risks?

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Reliability is an important factor in many applications which use SSDs. But can you trust an SSD brand just because it claims to be reliable in its ads?
the cultivation of "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD brand

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do custom SSDs have to cost more?
custom SSDs Few questions in the SSD market have simple answers.

Do custom SSDs cost have to cost more?

See my new blog - some thoughts about SSD customization.

90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?
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SSD news

new blog on the home page of

Editor:- December 2, 2016 - If you've been having difficulty finding a common thread which links together all the apparently disconnected hot new technology developments which we have been reading about in 2016 and which will dominate most of the SSD and memory developments in 2017 then you're not alone. But I think I've found it. And it's at the heart of my new home page blog on the new article

Young-Jin Jeon joins BeSang advisory board

image shows mouse at the one armed bandit - click to see VC funds in storage
VCs in SSDs
Editor:- November 28, 2016 - BeSang today announced that Young-Jin Jeon, a reknowned VC in the semiconductor sector, has joined BeSang Inc. as a member of its advisory board.

Among other things Young-Jin Jeon has invested in 40 start-up companies and helped 16 companies go to IPO.

"As an investor in BeSang, I strongly believe in growth potential of BeSang and its $120B TAM. BeSang has disruptive technology and could provide unsurpassed value to the semiconductor and data storage sectors..." said Young-Jin Jeon.

Inside SK Hynix's 3D NAND

Editor:- November 28, 2016 - a new blog - Inside SK Hynix's 3D NAND - on EE Times compares the memory density Gb/mm2 per tile of various leading 3D NAND die which are now available in the market.

Among other things the author - Jeongdong Choe, Senior Technical Fellow - TechInsights (a patent services company) - says "All of the 3D NAND players have their own unique cell structure, including FG-based and CTF-based cells. Which one would be better for 128 or higher stacked 3D NAND from the process integration and reliability viewpoint may be revealed in a couple of years."

Violin discloses plan to retain CFO until end of January

Editor:- November 25, 2016 - An SEC Form 8-K filing by Violin Memory discloses that on November 19, 2016, the Board of Directors of Violin Memory, Inc. approved the award of a bonus payment of $150,000.00 to Cory J. Sindelar, Violin's CFO.

In consideration for the Bonus, Mr. Sindelar agreed to remain employed by Violin and to continue to perform services for and provide good faith assistance to Violin in connection with ongoing matters through an earned date which will be no later than January 31, 2017.

Editor's comments:- due no doubt to rubbernecking Violin moved up one position to#3 in the Q3 2016 edition of the Top SSD Companies.

Microsemi - an M&A blog on Seeking Alpha

Editor:- November 23, 2016 - A new article about Microsemi - Once Overlooked, Microsemi is Now The Belle Of The Ball - published on Seeking Alpha - discusses the state of the company from a speculative mergers and acquisitions perspective.

See also:- Top SSD Companies, acquisitions in the SSD market, aerospace and space SSDs

Silicon Motion has SD 5.1 flash controller for Android market

Editor:- November 21, 2016 - Silicon Motion today announced the "world's first merchant SD 5.1 controller solution."

"Android Smartphone shipments accounted for more than 85% of the worldwide market share, and 70% to 80% of these phones have microSD slots," said Nelson Duann, Senior VP of Product Marketing at Silicon Motion, "With the SM2703 controller (2000 / 650 random R/W IOPS on a single TLC die) now supporting SD 5.1, our partners can rapidly bring to market a new generation of SD cards to enable a much better user experience and extend the usability of the Android smartphones."

See also:- SSD controllers, storage market research

WDC shows prototype RapidIO DRAM controller

Editor:- November 17, 2016 - Western Digital today said in a blog it will show a prototype memory controller aimed at big data which uses RapidIO as the interconnect at SC16.

"This new approach to incorporating SCM into the memory hierarchy can potentially provide the flexibility to deploy ultra-low latency, coherent SCM across high-performance computing and hyperscale environments, without disrupting compatibility with the existing infrastructure, scaling up to petabytes of data generated by applications and analytics in the age of "Big Data". the article

Editor's comments:- The first mention of RapidIO here on was in March 2005 . More recently in May 2014 - I drew attention to a blog - Do You Really Know RapidIO? - by Eric Esteve , founder of IPnest who said - "Maybe it's time for the server/storage industry to give a second chance for the RapidIO protocol."

a winter's tale of SSD market influences - new blog on

Editor:- November 15, 2016 - Recently I spoke to AccelStor's President - Charles Tsai.

We talked about many changing influences in the SSD market. I thought you might be interested to see some of the things we spoke about in a new blog on - a winter's tale of SSD market influences - because it will give you an idea of how many strategic changes in the SSD market can now influence every business decision about what new products to create - even when those changing factors seem at first to be only loosely connected like the flash controller, industrial SSD, SCM, software and enterprise rackmount SSD markets. But all those factors entwined the flow of this SSD conversation which really started 2 years before. the article

Netlist quarterly revenue up 60% yoy

Editor:- November 14, 2016 - Netlist today announced revenue for the quarter ended October 1, 2016 was $2.6 million, up 60% from the year ago period.

hybrid DIMMs
hybrid DIMMs
C.K. Hong, CEO of Netlist said - "In August we introduced our HybriDIMM™ storage class memory solution and remain on track to bring this innovative product to market next year. In September we filed a complaint in the U.S. International Trade Commission against SK hynix for infringement of 6 of our patents covering billions of dollars of their high performance memory. In addition, we achieved year over year product revenue growth from a new base of OEM and data center customers. We believe that our actions in the quarter have set the stage for growth and diversification as we enter 2017."

Editor's comments:- Netlist was one of the two fastest climbing companies in the Top SSD Companies Q3 2016.

Military storage
military SSDs
V&G shows mil SSDs at German trade show

Editor:- November 4, 2016 - V&G today announced it will showcase its military SSDs this week at Electronica in Munich, Germany.

Editor's comments:- Other SSD exhibitors at the show include:- Kingston, Silicon Power and Swissbit.

Elastifile gets patent for flash-aware adaptive cloud scale data management

SSD cloud image
SSD cloud
Editor:- November 3, 2016 - Elastifile today announced it has been granted a US patent (No. 9,465,558) for a method of flash-native, collaborative data storage when running on multiple interconnected nodes.

Elastifile's technology (which is integrated in software solutions) is aimed at the hybrid cloud market.

The patented technology enables efficient, distributed storage across full-mesh clustered architectures in which all nodes interact with one another across multiple sites and clouds, in complex or constantly varying network conditions, and/or at a scale that may encompass thousands of diverse configurations.

"One of the greatest challenges for private and hybrid cloud data services has been ensuring consistent performance for distributed data writing, especially due to noisy and mixed environments," said Ezra Hoch, chief architect at Elastifile. "Our patented approach adaptively and efficiently manages how and where data is written, mitigating the constantly changing conditions—at cloud scale."
What happened before?
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seeking the inner SSD
11 years ago in SSD market history
December 2005 - Fusion-io was founded.

It would take a couple of years for the significance of this new company to become clear. Their technology and business approach changed the way that all commercial servers were designed and marketed so that all new enterprise servers included some kind of SSD based acceleration as a standard option.

Seagate Nytro PCIe SSD
PCIe SSDs for a wide range of deployments
Nytro flash accelerator cards
from Seagate

AccelStor NeoSapphire  all-flash array
1U enterprise flash arrays
InfiniBand or 10GbE iSCSI or 16G FC
NeoSapphire series - from AccelStor

related guides

industrial mSATA SSD
industrial grade mSATA SSDs
>2 million write cycles per logical block.
from Cactus Technologies

related guides
All the marketing noise coming from the DIMM wars market (flash as RAM and Optane etc) obscures some important underlying strategic and philosophical questions about the future of SSD.
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
2.5" removable military SSDs
for airborne apps - GbE / SATA / USB
from Targa Systems

related guides
I 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.
what's changed in enterprise PCIe SSD?
selected headlines from

the news archive
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
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
August 2016 Nimbus re-emerged from stealth with a 1PB / U high availability flash storage array (4PB raw in 4U).
September 2016 Everspin files for IPO to expand MRAM
October 2016 Rambus announced it is exploring the use of Xilinx FPGAs in its Smart Data Acceleration research program.

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