| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
SSDs - boring right?
after AFAs -
what's the next box?
3D nand fab
yield - the nth layer tax?
how fast can your SSD
who in the SSD market in China?
hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
after 2017 - questions re SSD's onward
consequences of the 2017 memory shortages
|improving the latency and
energy of commodity DRAM using adaptive architecture - new research|
|Editor:- March 13, 2018 - The enterprise flash
SSD market has a long history of design advances which came from the cumulative
understanding gained by the independent characterization of memories - this
mostly having been done by independent SSD and
rather than the original manufacturers of the
themselves. But I haven't heard much in the past 10 years about similar
activities related to DRAM - and part of the reason may well be that the
companies which used to do such in depth RAM characterizations in earlier phases
history - the RAM SSD
companies like Texas Memory Systems and Solid Data Systems - had mostly stopped
design work on new high capacity RAM SSDs by about 2008 due to the competitive
advantages (in a storage array context) of
I was surprised and delighted to come across a new
Understanding and Improving the
Latency of DRAM-Based Memory Systems (pdf) - by Kevin K. Chang
- Carnegie Mellon University (submitted December 2017 as part his PhD) which
document (in 200 pages approx) describes his ongoing work and insights into
DRAM characterization and system optimization opportunities.
research measured and analyzed the relationships between supply voltage and
latency in commodity DRAM and explored ways to optimize latency while still
maintaining data integrity and reducing power consumption. Among several schemes
also described in this paper:-
- an adaptive latency scheme he calls "Flexible-LatencY DRAM (FLY-DRAM)"
which leverages the variation of latency that occurs within different
locailities of DRAM chips.
...read the article (pdf)
- Voltron - a new mechanism that improves system energy by dynamically
adjusting the DRAM supply voltage using a new performance model which is based
on a better understanding of the relationships between cell retention, refresh
rate, temperature and other system factors.
also:- what's RAM really? - RAM
in an SSD context
|"In 2017, DRAM bit
volume growth was 20%, half the 40% rate of increase registered in 2016. For
2018, each of the 3 major DRAM producers (e.g., Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron)
have stated that they expect DRAM bit volume growth to once again be about 20%.
However monthly year-over-year DRAM bit volume growth averaged only 13% over
the 9-month period of May 2017 through January 2018."|
the Major DRAM Suppliers Stunting DRAM Demand? - announcing the new
Report by IC Insights
(March 6, 2018) |
|"There are a multitude
of trends (way too many to ignore!) that are causing OEM Customers to start
thinking about getting rid of traditional SSDs all together. Now you think Im
crazy, right? As a matter of fact, its already started to happen and its about
to become even more prevalent than you think."|
(previously Director of Product Marketing - Samsung Semiconductor and now
Product Strategist at Hitachi Vantara) in his article on linkedin -the
SSD Market is about to collapse! Save $100M's by reading this (March 2,
future application roles for FRAM|
|Editor:- March 1, 2018 - Applications for FRAM
are discussed in a new
EETimes. Among other things mentioned in the article - Cypress says its "FRAM
line was designed specifically for the high-speed nonvolatile data logging
needed for autonomous vehicles." ...read the article
- Cypress Sees a Future for FRAM|
Editor's comments:- From a
(first mentioned in a news story here on StorageSearch back in
November 2002 )
can be seen as a natural successor to the battery backed SRAM which became
popular in industrial equipment designs including programmable controllers and
process control instrumentation in the early 1980s.
ahead - if there's a need for reliable fast data logging to enable crash
recovery and instant restart and resume state of random state of play
operations in IoT and machine applications which require small scale speed and
reliability rather than masses of streaming data (a role where the capacity of
flash compensates for its poor random write latency) then FRAM is one of
several contenders for designers.
Defined Software - a new market in the making|
|Editor:- February 14, 2018 - There's a new
software idea that's been experimented on in the AI skunkworks in the cloud
and as patentable secret enhancements in next generation embedded processor
designs. This new concept and exciting new market (for the VCs reading this)
will be more significant than a new OS and will mark a break in the way that the
enterprise thinks about software. |
You had had plenty of warning about
the new chips but memoryfication doesn't stop with faster storage. The idea
didn't have a name when I started writing about it. But what it should be
called is obvious.
Memory Defined Software doesn't have to
work at being backwards compatible because the legacy storage industry will
import and export to it if they want to play in data's future.
more about this in my new home page -
Memory Defined Software. (Sometimes you can change the world with software
which breaks all the rules - if you can find the right platform to run it on.) ...read the
- 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
StorageSearch archive using:-
|Nimbus samples 100TB SAS SSDs|
March 19, 2018 - Nimbus
Data Systems has made another significant advance in the development of
multipetabyte energy-efficient solid state storage racks with the
today that it's sampling 100TB 3.5
SAS SSDs with
DC100 has balanced performance 100K
IOPS R/W and
up to 500 MBps throughput and consumes 0.1 watts/TB - which Nimbus says is 85%
lower than competing drives used in similar array applications - such as the
Micron's 7.68TB 5100
Nimbus says the use cases are:-
is expected to be summer 2018.
- Data centers and cloud infrastructure (scale, efficiency)
- Scale-out systems (object and file storage)
- Edge computing (IoT, embedded applications)
this way to the
petabyte SSD (2010)
what's the cost of deciding what is to be done?
March 10, 2018 - "In any computer architecture, it takes a lot more energy
to fetch and schedule an instruction than it does to execute that instruction"
Danilak, founder and CEO - Tachyum
- in his new blog -
Law Is Dying - So Where Are Its Heirs? - which among other things - shows
how the transactional costs of fetching instructions and data in classical
Editor's comments:- the needs of the cloud, coupled
with growing understanding between the tradeoffs between
and energy consumption since the widespread deployment of solid state storage
have been the inspiration for rethinking all the classical elements of computer
architecture. Some of that thinking has been rooted in the memory space but
just as significant has been a rethinking of what processors should aim to do.
Tachyum announced external funding for its Cloud Chip
last month. And
as with previous disruptive technologies - part of the warm up process for the
market - is to educate more people about how things work now so they can better
appreciate what the new technologies offer.
WDC's enterprise flash hopes which were pinned on SanDisk are
evaporating - says The Register
Editor:- March 8, 2018 - If you're
interested in seeing market share charts for the biggest enterprise SSD
drive companies then take a look at a new entertaining article -
years and $19B later: What happened to WD's SanDisk enterprise flash advantage?
on The Register by Chris Mellor who
says among other things:- "WDC bought SanDisk in October 2015 for $19B. The
deal closed in May 2016. Since then SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra and a string of
other execs have joined Micron, now run by Mehrotra. It's tempting to see much
of Micron's gain as WDC's loss." ..read
Editor's comments:- If the enterprise SSD market
was expected to stay the same in terms of architecture, software and purpose
then today's market shares would mean more.
But as you know I think
the next advance towards supporting big memory apps may make AFAs and enterprise
SSDs seem as quaint as
Enterprise SSDs won't EOL overnight -
suggests that AFAs and other storage arrays will continue to exist for another
decade or more but as a progressively declining percentage of the
memoryfication systems market. And eventually enterprise storage systems may
just head towards being a legacy emulation in software defined memory
systems and the cloud rather than real actual Storage PHY and on-premises
Going back to
acquisitions come patents too. Maybe they will prove to be more valuable than
acquisitions - 2000 to 2017
mouse site readers not scared by memoryfication of content
March 1, 2018 - Strange as it may seem - article views on StorageSearch.com in February 2018
were 23% higher than the year ago period.
Having written for
so long about SSDs and the impact of flash on the enterprise it would be ever so
easy to just rest awhile longer in those comfortably worn grooves.
be truthful it's been a struggle for me to visualize and try to anticipate the
important next step trends of the memoryfication of everything. Unlike storage -
which was relatively simple and well bounded by latency tiers and interfaces
and form factors - the new threads of architectural data system change are
appearing in disparate places - such as memory systems, inside the dark spaces
of processors and slashing across the legacy imaginings of system software.
Unscrambling the next generation possibilities isn't straightforward -
because ever since
2016 new developments in rackmount boxes and NVDIMMs and SSD controllers
have not been so isolated in their immediate market impact as they used to
So I'd like to say thanks to my readers for keeping up your
interest and thanks too to the many industry muses who by what they do and say
and talk about - keep me thinking about the next thing. And thanks too to my
past and present) without whom my web publishing career would have been 22
A3Cube's Cofounder 'Rising Entrepreneur of the Year'
February 28, 2018 - A3CUBE
that its co-founder Emilio Billi
has been nominated among the Rising U.S. Entrepreneurs of the Year 2017 by
The Technology Headlines
which identifies top entrepreneurs that have shown an unwavering focus on
innovation and create an organization which delivers change to the industry.
"I have always believed in my ideas even if many times 'experts'
said to me that there was no market for them. I never listen to them." said
Emilio whose story was chosen as the cover for the December issue of the
Editor's comments:- I'm not a fan of "editor pick"
awards but re this one for Emilio at A3CUBE I said on
- "Rightly so. A3Cube's pioneering hardware commitments to big low latency
memory fabric were years ahead of the other
fabric solutions. And they set themselves very demanding latency
StorageSearch.com readers (as you'd expect) often
recognize the significance of new memory related technologies before anyone
4 years before the above headline recognition A3CUBE
entered the Top SSD
Companies researched by readers in
Q1 2014. This was
the same quarter in which the company exited stealth mode and I commented on the
rarity of such quick breakthroughs at the time.
new industrial single chip PCIe NVMe SSDs from Silicon Motion
February 27, 2018 - Silicon Motion
production of 2 new industrial grade single chip PCIe NVMe SSDs.
- SM689 supports PCIe Gen 3x4 interface in 16mm x 20mm
products can support multiple capacity configurations ranging from 16GB to 256GB
and include enterprise-grade advanced data integrity and reliability
capabilities using Silicon Motion's proprietary end-to-end data protection, ECC
and data caching technologies.
- SM681 supports PCI Gen 3x2 interface in 11.5mm x 13mm
Data integrity features include
end-to-end data path protection, which applies ECC to the SSD's SRAM and DRAM
buffers as well as to the primary NAND Flash memory array.
who makes single chip SSDs?
farewell to reassuringly boring industrial SSDs
ioFABRIC awarded patent for latency aware software
February 27, 2018 - ioFABRIC
it has been awarded a patent for an innovation in its Vicinity policy engine for
creating and managing data volumes based on latency requirements.
The patent protects a method for maintaining fast response times by
auto-migrating data when hardware resources are added or decommissioned, when
performance degrades due to overconsumption, or application use requirements
change. Vicinity can apply this policy even when a volume is spread over
multiple nodes and storage devices
Latency - the SSD
Innodisk joins industrial M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD market
February 21, 2018 - Innodisk
has joined the nascent market for industrial grade
M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs and will
such new products (which will be available in both 2 and 4 lane PCIe 3.0
versions) at the Embedded World
event next week in Germany.
Gen-Z 1.0 now available to view
Editor:- February 13,
2018 - The Gen-Z Consortium
that the Gen-Z Core Specification 1.0 is publicly available on its website.
memory media independence and high bandwidth coupled with low latency enables
advanced workloads and technologies for end-to-end secure connectivity from node
level to rack scale.
Editor's comments:- Gen-Z follows in the
multidecade footsteps of
Infiniband and then
recently PCIe memory fabrics - but Gen-Z was born with with confident
expectations that because of SCM DIMM wars andthe memoryfication of the
enterprise there is a real business potential that
could become the mainstream instead of sitting in the side lines of HPC.
rev 1.0 specification is a 980 plus page pdf - which I haven't read through yet
- but which shows definite promise of a being a thought provoking page turner.
what I've seen so far the thinking looks like a modern, secure and media
agnostic way to request or respond to byte and block addressable (or
addressed by default as the next component) data packets between a huge
scalable population of components which can be memory devices, processors or
|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|
of the Top SSD Companies|
|Editor:- January 19, 2018 - StorageSearch.com today published
the Top SSD
Companies in Q4 2017 - the 43rd quarterly edition in this market
a new #1 - which portends changes coming to the market soon.
Previous #1 SSD companies in the past 11 years (and the pivotal
factors which escalated them to the top at that time) have included:-
(enterprise SSDs - #1 in 2015)
(fastest 2.5" SATA flash SSDs - #1 in 2008)
Want to know who moved up to #1 in
Q4 2017? ...read
- BiTMICRO (first
TB 3.5" SSD - #1 in 2007).