| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
|top SSD companies
SSDs - boring right?
after AFAs -
what's the next box?
3D nand fab
yield - the nth layer tax?
how fast can your SSD
hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
where are we
heading with memory intensive systems?
|adding new notes to the
music of memory tiering |
|Editor:- November 14, 2017 - If you're wondering
why I haven't written much about the SSD market in recent weeks the simple
answer is - I moved house.|
Did I forget to pack the internet? You may
It's strange how even the simplest of things which you take for
granted in your old house are actually because of layers of past efforts which
In the new house simple things like - let's get some
heat - lead to - the control knob breaks off in my hand. Let's see what happen
when I press this light switch - trips the whole house. And the range cooker
is an ornament which no one within 100 miles wants to fix. (OK I was prepared
for some of this and have Yellowstone camping stoves, logs for the fire, my
legacy just- in-case-they're-right about Y2K Honda low noise electricity
Did I really forget to pack the internet?
could say - yeah it was in a box - but there were about 100 other boxes in the
way. But really I just needed a rest.
Part of the plan in moving (is
it really only 200 yards? - yes - it's the very next house along the lane where
I lived before - there are many nice things around here which look familiar -
and wonderful neighbors too) - was to free up more time for writing. I mean
writing for the next 10 years - not the first 10 days. Few strategic changes are
entirely bumpless. Anyway I've still got many boxes to open.
time offline I got to thinking about the past year and past decade. (You know
the sort of thing.) And the future too.
So I scribbled some notes -
2017 - adding new notes to the music of
Thanks for your patience.
|who's who in the SSD market
in China? |
editor - October 16, 2017|
|Nowadays you can't expect to understand
the worldwide SSD market and realistically predict the likely source and
direction of strong influences without having some cognizance of the SSD
market in China.|
As the publisher of StorageSearch.com I have been
in the fortunate position that (since the 1990s) the founders of many SSD
companies have contacted me. Consequently during a long span of
I've had thousands of conversations with influencers in this market
trying to understand
the unfettered potential for memory systems products and discuss how to solve
the barriers of technology,
In the early days of earning my
living from the
SSD market the principal movers and shakers were mostly US based companies.
But from about 2006 I started to see significant products entering the
international SSD conversation from companies who were coming from China.
wasn't as fluid as talking to US companies because my working language is
But I quickly realized from our common language (the
characteristics of the SSDs themselves) and from our email discussions that
there was a treasure trove of talent in China which had independently been
looking at SSD related design problems and solving them for their own customers.
the time some of these China based SSD companies emerged as "newcomers"
to the international markets via news or ads on my web site and others some of
them were already fully operating companies and had more actual customers
than is typically the case for US tech companies when they emerge from stealth
or seek VC funding or
launch their first products.
StorageSearch has always been an
By the close of 1993 my
publication had customers and readers in over 23 countries. So I've always
been receptive to learning more about companies which are pushing the boundaries
forward in the technology segments I write about regardless of where they are.
And with single exception of the
military and aerospace SSD
markets - where the proximity of the manufacturer and customer are an
essentially intertwined and primary part of the qualification equation - I
mostly think that - SSD technology has no geographic boundaries.
why I've never published a list of "SSD companies based in China".
Although if you wanted a list like that you could make a good start and
prepopulate it - were you minded to do so - by a
search of the
archives here on the mouse
If you prefer a commercially off the shelf list of China SSD
companies, however, I recall that - in
March 2016 -
announced a report Opportunities
in China's SSD Market which among other things listed oems, controller
suppliers and others in that region of the SSD ecosystem. (See more
SSD market analysts,
list of market research
companies who have been mentioned in storage context.)
thing you could do if you were interested in the SSD market in China would be to
look at events like - China
Flash Market Summit - which took place last month.
which above is long way of setting the scene for a very long conversation I
had last Friday with Michael Wang
who is founder of Saniffer whose
company is the leading distributor of special test equipment and bus analyzers
for SSD companies in China.
this year I had added Saniffer's logo - which is a dragon - to my list of
animal brands in the
I had noticed Saniffer as a presence in the
storage test market some
years before but I didn't have a reason to write about it. We only started
talking to each other about the SSD market this year. That's when Michael
told me he first noticed my SSD articles about 10 years ago.
fun talking about the early days of the SSD market in China and we both knew
many of the same people who had founded companies which went on to achieve
He asked if I had been to China. I said - no -
I don't travel anywhere for work reasons because I find being connected is more
efficient use of my time.
Another explanation is I tend to get lost
easily. Even if my starting point is
than half a mile from where I live if you want to know the worst of it. (And
a story popular in my family is how I spent 3 days in 1974 walking around the
streets of Southampton without being able to find the university where my degree
in Electronic Engineering was due to commence. When I got hungry I abandoned my
quest to get food and then started searching again. This loop was exited only
when I met some others doing the same course - one of whom later became my
What did the SSD mouse learn from an SSD dragon?
location... Because of where he is, and the nature of his business, Michael
Wang is in an ideal position to become aware of SSD drive and controller
companies in the China market from the time they are being designed.
written before about the business benefits of
and Michael confirmed that he's seeing some of his customers designing custom
SSDS and even new controllers and he said there are new SSD startups in the
China market which will be significant when the outside world gets to hear
I was already sold on the strategic visibility and
potential of the design tools market. I told Michael that in 1990 when I
stuck a bus analyzer on multiprocessor systems to see what really was happening
to data in real-time and how data went through memory from SSD and HDD
storage compared to what everyone expected it confirmed that bottlenecks
existed in many places. We could fix them because in those days we had a lot of
the source code and the software mix was simple and under our control. But in
today's SSD market the software
comes from many places and
is the limiting factor for everyone.
It's a big problem to solve in
which bus analyzers and machine learning all have a part to play.
increasing complexity of memoryfication systems means that there are many prizes
to be won.
Knowing what happens is better than guessing. SSD
arrays can be improved by discovering behavior which is optimized for a
different view of dataflow economics compared to the target installation.
SSD test and verification market sounds like an exciting place to be.
- going back to the title of this blog - what answer can I offer to the
question of - who's who in the SSD market in China?
Bearing in mind
that all market data is imperfect and that even when you have "reliable"
data the way in which you interpret it is
by what your own position and preconceptions the answer is... no one knows
all the answers but it always helps to find others with similar interests who
might know more than you.
That's how we learn. From each other.
- Michael Wang suggested that for those in China a new (to me) SSD engineering
community web site is SSDfans.com
|Everspin says it will make current STT-MRAM
generation more competitive |
Editor:- November 15, 2017 - A
on MRAM-info.com says that Everspin has decided
to delay the introduction of its 1Gb STT-MRAM devices and instead focus on its
256Mb chips which are already in production.
In Everspin's recently
financial results press release the company's CEO said the company is
progressing from being "a developer of innovative MRAM technology into one
that can develop markets, scale operations and reduce costs to compete..."
PCIe SSDs (enterprise and notebook M.2) did well in Q3
November 15, 2017 - TrendFocus
market shipment data for Q3 2017.
Only one segment, enterprise
PCIe, saw unit growth where every other segment client drive format
factor, client modules, enterprise SATA and enterprise SAS, all declined from
the prior quarter.
enterprise SSDs market declined 7% Q-Q, which includes
PCIe. The bright spot
within this overall decline was the healthy 15.6% increase in PCIe units. As
hyperscale companies continue to migrate away from SATA, PCIe should continue to
grow in both units and exabytes. SATA, still the highest volume of all
enterprise categories, managed to stay just above 4 million units shipped but
did decline sharply in CQ3. However, exabytes shipped in the SATA SSD market
grew due to the transition to higher capacity units. SAS SSDs now represent the
lowest unit volume of the enterprise SSD segments, but still maintain a large
lead in average capacity shipped at over 2.1 terabytes.
shipments fell 4.5% sequentially but exabytes shipped was flat. Client modules
now represent almost 2/3 of all client SSDs shipped. Even more impressive within
this segment is that M.2
PCIe is now 50% of this segment illustrating the continued migration for
OEMs to integrate with this interface.
3D NAND accounted for more than
50% of all bits shipped for the first time in CQ3, as all of the NAND suppliers
are well into the transition.
Enmotus tiers NVDIMMs with NVMe flash at SC17
November 13, 2017 - Enmotus
it is demonstrating a fully automated tiered volume with 2 million IOPS
performance using NVDIMMs and NVMe flash technology from Micron at the SC17
Conference being held this week in Denver, Colorado.
Enmotus FuzeDrive Virtual SSD Software combines the
NVDIMMs and NVMe flash into a single, fully automated virtual volume, said
Andy Mills, CEO of
Enmotus. The software identifies the active data set of applications, and
dynamically allocates the appropriate storage resources to optimize performance.
Qualcomm invests in Excelero
Editor:- November 7,
2017 - Excelero today
a strategic investment from Qualcomm Ventures which brings the total of VC funds
invested in Excelero to $30 million.
"NVMe SSDs and innovations
like 3DXpoint need new scale-out architectures so that IT teams can consolidate
resources enterprise-wide into flexible and reliable infrastructures, without
compromise," said Lior
Gal, CEO and co-founder of Excelero. "We're proud to receive the
ultimate vote of confidence from esteemed strategic investors such as Qualcomm
Ventures leaders who are driving innovation in data center technologies.
We look forward to building out our offering and helping enterprises to deploy
the hyperscale data center of tomorrow."
VC funds in SSD,
after AFAs -
what's the next box?
AccelStor doesn't use capacitor holdup to boost new HA arrays
November 6, 2017 - The complex interdependencies between
hold up time on
RAM flash caches
and reliability in
SSDs has been discussed many times in StorageSearch.com.
today about its new 2U flash array for the
market - the
(pdf) (array of 24 SATA SSDs with 8x 10GbE SFP+ or 4x 16G FC connectivity) -
"Some vendors adopt NVRAM as a write cache and use
supercapacitors to provide energy to write the RAM content into flash in the
event of a power failure. However, supercapacitors can still cause a single
point of failure. AccelStor aims to provide comprehensive data protection. With
the special write-through design, its NeoSapphire AFAs acknowledge the
completion of incoming I/O only when 100% of the data has been written on the
AccelStor became known for their high performance arrays for
optimized market. The new H510 also includes data
including cryptographic erase.
Many flash arrays includes some kind
of performance hit during software upgrades and maintenance. Accelstor says
its shared nothing architecture requires no maintenance window. "You can
simply perform the maintenance on a single node while receiving the full
performance and capabilities of the secondary node."
comments:- I wrote about Accelstor's thinking about the use of NVMs and arrays
failover gotchas in
article last year.
new test software from Quarch traces real-time SSD watts
October 30, 2017 - The power consumption of an SSD design is a key determinant
of its reliability and array density in system deployments. But how do you
accurately measure the power over a range of performance and application
a new software solution - Quarch Power Studio - which in conjunction with the
company's test modules enables engineers to capture live scope traces of
voltage, current and power performance; record high resolution results
continuously over multiple days; scroll through multi-gigabyte data sets and
zoom in to the smallest detail; examine minimum, maximum, mean and RMS
statistics; and export images and trace sections.
BiTMICRO launches raft of NVMe SSDs for industrial and military
Editor:- October 23, 2017 - BiTMICRO recently
announced several new SSDs for the
high capacity PCIe SSD
applications - a pragmatic approach for systems designers in recent years in
cloud markets has been to use carriers which can support multiple
M.2 SSDs. BiTMICRO
the MAXio S-Series NVMe HHHL PCIe industrial grade PCIe x8 add-in card that
aggregates the performance and capacity of upto 4x M.2 SSDs in a temperature
tolerant, rugged reliable NVMe SSD with upto 8TB capacity today.
military 2.5" SATA and U.2 NVMe applications - BiTMICRO
availability of 2 new secure erase SSDs which support a wide range of
temperatures, altitudes of up to 120,000 feet, and 1500G of shock. The new SSDs
are available with MLC or pSLC flash, maximum pSLC is 1TB, and maximum MLC is
"BiTMICRO is an industry pioneer, delivering ruggedized and
secure solid state drives to leading customers in the industrial and military
markets for over 17 years, and has continually strived to meet the expectations
of our customers. This level of customer support coupled with our experienced
team and proprietary technology differentiates our product offerings from the
rest of the market," said Stephen Uriarte,
President of BiTMICRO.
new report sizes NVDIMM market at 12 million units in 2021
October 19, 2017 - October 22, 2017 - Objective Analysis
opined today that the market for NVDIMMs is poised to grow at a 105% average
annual rate to nearly 12 million units by 2021.
This forecast is a part of the company's new 80-page report titled -
from the NVDIMM Market (outline pdf), single user price
- which among other things predicts unit and revenue shipments through 2021.
See also:- hybrid
DIMMs - market timeline,
SSDs, market research
Toshiba said to have lost flash fab output due to malware
October 19, 2017 - Adding to the
manufacturability yield woes which we already knew had contributed to the
recent memory shortages and their
impacts on the SSD market there were reports earlier this week that Toshiba had lost
production due to the impact of ransomware.
Digitimes - the
first to report this story - said malware had delayed about 100,000 wafer
starts. Later comments on
Analysis put the story into a better context.
New Visions for Digital Storage
Editor:- October 11 ,
2017 - The 2017 Storage Visions
Conference . will be held Monday, October 16, 2017 in Milpitas, CA..
The conference theme is "New Visions for Digital Storage"
and the conference will bring together the vendors, end users, researchers and
visionaries that will meet the growing demand for digital storage for all
aspects of unstructured and lightly structured data. Among other things
expert panels will include:-
- Bringing Compute to the Data.
Over the entire history of
computing data has resided in storage and memory, and has been summoned to the
data processing element as it is needed. Today the industry is discovering that
the movement of Big Data to the processor consumes inordinate power and incurs
significant time penalties.
This panel, featuring leading companies
who address this issue, will discuss their current efforts to move compute to
the data to save power, accelerate processing speed, and even improve
scalability, in order to greatly enhance the cost/performance of tomorrow's
- Hardware Visions for Ubiquitous Storage and Memory.
non-volatile solid-state storage technologies are set to replace or supplement
DRAM in many applications. New fabric technologies will enable fast network
storage using NVMe devices.
Flash memory is moving to more and more
3D layers with three-level cells and four-level cells capable of reducing the
costs for flash memory and driving its use. At the same time, HDDs as well as
magnetic tape and optical storage are getting faster.
Infinidat secures $95 million C round
Editor:- October 3, 2017 - Infinidat today
it has closed a $95 million Series C financing round. Equity raised by the
company to date totals $325 million.
Infinidat says that several
hundred enterprise customers have adopted its (hybrid storage)
with more than 2 exabytes of storage deployed globally.
SSD Bookmarks -
from Infinidat, VCs in
there yet? |
| After more than 20 years of writing guides to
the SSD and memory systems market I admit in a new blog on
we there yet? - that when I come to think about it candidly the SSD
industry and my publishing output are both still very much "under
|If you're one of those who
has suffered from the memory shortages it may seem unfair that despite their
miscalculations and over optimimism the very companies which caused the
shortages of memory and higher prices - the major manufacturers of nand flash
and DRAM - have been among the greatest beneficiaries. |
of the 2017 memory shortages|
- the next box|
| Throughout the
the data storage market we've always expected the capacity of enterprise user
memory systems to be much smaller than the capacity of all the other attached
storage in the same data processing environment. |
new blog on StorageSearch.com
adapted memory systems - asks (among other things) if this will always be
Like many of you - I've been thinking a lot about the
evolution of memory technologies and data architectures in the past year. I
wasn't sure when would be the best time to share my thoughts about this one.
But the timing seems right now. ...read the