|editor's comments:- May 2015 - Toshiba
entered the enterprise SSD market in
2009 with a
range of SAS SSDs.
Toshiba's presence in the enterprise market has been greatly reinforced by
OCZ - which has given the
Toshiba group strong products and depth in
SATA SSDs and entry
flash memory supplier
Toshiba has been involved in the
market almost as soon as that market began. But Toshiba didn't enter the SSD
market with its own products until the
1st quarter of 2008
at which point Toshiba entered the
Top SSD Companies List.
|Who's who in SSD? - Toshiba|
by Zsolt Kerekes,
January 22, 2014 - Compared to earlier
acquisitions in the
SSD market upto the end of 2013 - Toshiba only spent a miniscule
sum to acquire the SSD assets of
So you might
be surprised when I say I think this offers a significant springboard of
opportunity for Toshiba in the SSD market - particularly in the
of the things you have to take into consideration is the strength of the old OCZ
brand and its past successes before its business started to hit the rocks and
reveal the scale of its profitability problems in the 3rd quarter of
to that point the old OCZ was reporting SSD revenues over $100 million /
In a conversation with OCZ Technology's "get the train
back on the tracks" interim CEO, Ralph Schmitt
in November 2013
(BTW Ralph is the CEO of the new Toshina group OCZ too) - I came to the
conclusion that a lot of hard won success which the company had been getting
in the enterprise market - was under reported and undervalued. And I wrote at
that time - that if and when the financial straightjacket which limited OCZ's
every move at that time was ever lifted - their mastery of the entry level
enterprise market - which is a difficult market for all vendors - might pay
It's tempting to draw parallels and glean lessons from some
other past SSD company acquisitions - for example
have to wait and see what unfolds in future
SSD news - but for now at
least (taking January 2014 as my reference point) I think the SSD prospects
for Toshiba with OCZ as a group company - are considerably better than would
have been the case without them.
- the rebranding of HGST
(by various acquisitions) as the enterprise SSD battalion of
Toshiba milestones from
In May 2008 -
approximately $30 million of shares in
- Toshiba sampled a 256GB 2.5" SATA MLC flash SSD with R/W speeds of 120
/ 70 MB/s.
In December 2008 -
Toshiba said it will
sample a new family of MLC flash SSDs with 256GB capacity in 2.5" and
128GB capacity in 1.8" form factors in Q1 2009.
In January 2009 -
Toshiba announced it will
start volume production of dual port
SAS SLC flash SSDs in
Q2 2009. The 2.5" SSDs
will have 100GB capacity, and 25,000 read IOPS, and 20,000 write IOPS. One of
the enabling factors for the high write IOPS is the use of a non-volatile cache
- which was predicted in StorageSearch.com's article -
the Flash SSD Performance
Roadmap. This brings the number of oems who have announced SAS SSDs to 6.
See SSD Buyers
Guide table for the full list.
In May 2009 -
Toshiba announced it is
SSDs as an option in notebooks for the Japanese market. The new,
Toshiba-developed 512GB SSD employs a 2-bit-per-cell
MLC flash memory -
which gives 4x the capacity of SLC flash used in industrial and
enterprise SSDs for the same silicon wafer footprint. One of the
failures of the SSD
market in 2008 was the low performance of SSDs integrated in notebooks.
Toshiba's new notebook seems to address that market failure . The company says
its new SSD controller
boosts data throughput figures of 230MB/s reads and 180MB/s writes.
September 2009 - A report in DIGITIMES said
that Toshiba has
ordered flash memory card controllers from ITE Tech to diversify its
In January 2010 -
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
In April 2010 -
Violin Memory announced
a significant investment from
2011 - Toshiba
announced it was sampling
- 24nm flash memory chips (with upto 64GB capacity) with integrated ECC
controllers to simplify the design of consumer products which need storage.
January 2013 - Toshiba
started sampling a new range of 2.5"
SAS MLC SSDs - with
self encrypting security
features and on board
it has licensed its advanced Memory Modem technology (a variety of
and DSP flash controller IP) to
Toshiba for use in
new designs of SSDs.
In November 2013 -
OCZ announced that it would
file for bankrupty and also said it had received an offer from
acquire substantially all of its assets.
|Toshiba nudges Violin's
late entry into PCIe SSD market|
|Editor:- March 4, 2013 - Violin is entering the
market for PCIe SSDs.
PCIe Memory Cards range have
regular RAM caches
and are available in 3 physical sizes.
- Low profile - 1.37TB raw capacity, 110K
- Full height, half length - upto 5.5TB raw capacity, upto 250K IOPS
comments:- in October
2012 - I wrote that Violin's lack of a PCIe SSD card product line was a
serious business weakness - which limited their accessible revenue in the
enterprise SSD market.
- Full height - upto 11TB raw (8TB usable) capacity, upto 500K IOPS
This product gap would have been an important
scoring factor in any potential company assessing Violin's value as an
It was one of several significant reasons why
Texas Memory Systems
IBM) looked like a much
more attractive acquisition candidate in the early part of last year than
Violin - even though both companies had market-leading
SSD architectures - and despite Violin having sought acquisition much
Violin's lack of a PCIe SSD product line till now was a serious
misjudgement of the opportunities
for its technology in the enterprise SSD market and not due to any technical
defficiencies. The company's first SSD racks launched in
(the Violin 1010 Memory
Appliance) had - in fact - been launched with PCIe interfaces.
will Violin's late entry into the PCIe SSD card / module market impact
The established leaders in this market space are:-
Texas Memory Systems,
OCZ (and another 35 or so
companies are listed on our
PCIe SSD page). One
more company in this market mix won't make any material difference to sales
forecasts - even if that newcomer is Violin. Instead it will mean that the
fuzzy edge of users' vendor shortlists will appear sharper - and companies
which shouldn't have been in these lists in the first place will drop out. (But
they wouldn't have been the ones who got the business anyway. There are a lot of
different specialized types of PCIe SSDs - and
just because they may
look the same on the outside - doesn't mean they compete equally for the same
My guess is that Violin's new products will be most
attractive to companies which already like its rackmounts - and who were already
looking for a more complete single supplier solution around which to hang their
So I anticipate that customers in the big web economy and
SSD dark matter users
will predominate early demand for these new products. And - for any server
companies which haven't yet acquired their own enterprise SSD IP - Violin (the
company) will now look more attractive too.
release later today:- we learned that the final stimulus which nudged
Violin tipping into the PCIe SSD market may have been:- hints, inducements
and probably pressure from investor, memory supplier and wannabe-bigger-in-SSD
partner - Toshiba.
also:- my classic article -
if Fusion-io sells
more - does that mean Violin will sell less?
|Toshiba demonstrates 3.5"
|Editor:- May 18, 2015 - Toshiba today
demonstrations of a new hybrid drive which combines HDD and flash in a
3.5" form factor
with an Ethernet interface.|
comments:- for reasons which were obvious to systems architects 10 years
ago - and haven't changed today - you will always get better control of
performance and cost by designing a
hybrid storage array
with distinctly separate HDDs
and SSDs compared to combining both these functions in a single type of drive.
the dream of combining these functions in a single drive to add value to hard
drives does re-emerge in different guises from time to time.
only merit I can see to such a product - as the new hybrid from Toshiba - is
that if you have very simplistic and primitively designed systems
with using large arrays in a single type of applicaton - then combining both the
flash and magnetic storage in a single drive could simplify the
aspects of the design by spreading the risk and consequences of drive failures
in a homogenistic way which makes writing the software easier.
consumer market -
where we've seen most of the past market experiments with
- it doesn't matter if the product is withdrawn from the market after a year or
so - because the design costs only have to make sense for a brief window of
But in the enterprise market - the risks of
committing an array design to a drive type which is single sourced and hasn't
got an independently arguable credible future roadmap means that such system
implementations are rare.
|Toshiba samples 48-layer 3D
March 26, 2015 - Toshiba
it is sampling the world's first 48-layer 3D stacked 2 bit nand
flash memory in 16GB
chips aimed at the high capacity SSD market. |
Mass production is
anticipated to be in the first half of 2016.
|Toshiba shows early version
of BGA PCIe SSD|
January 7, 2015 - Toshiba
it will showcase a prototype of the worlds first PCIe single package SSD -
with up to 256GB in a single BGA package at
CES this week. |
compatible device fits into 16mm x 20mm x 1.65mm and weighs under 1g.
|OCZ relaunches as a
Toshiba Group company|
|Editor:- January 21, 2014 - Toshiba today
some details of how OCZ
Storage Solutions (which was based on the recently acquired assets of
OCZ Technology Group) will operate within the Toshiba Group of Companies.|
The new OCZ Storage Solutions, under the continuing direction of CEO Ralph Schmitt
- will leverage Toshibas cutting-edge NAND and combine it with the companys
proprietary controllers, firmware and software to provide both client and
enterprise customers with innovative and cost-effective SSD solutions.
OCZ Storage Solutions will continue to maintain its established
worldwide sales channels. Its headquarters will remain in San Jose, California,
with strategic design centers located in Irvine (California), Tel Aviv (Israel),
and Abingdon (UK).
The acquisition of OCZ further expands our
solid-state storage capabilities and represents Toshibas commitment to this
high-growth area, said Seiichi Mori, VP of Toshiba's Semiconductor and
Storage Company. Our goal is to offer a leading edge portfolio of solid state
solutions to address the storage challenges faced by both client and enterprise
customers, and the acquisition of OCZ is an ideal addition to our team in
realizing this strategy.
The acquisition provides Toshiba with OCZ's
enterprise and client SSD businesses and enables the established OCZ brand to
continue in full force with a current product portfolio that includes SATA and
PCIe consumer drives for high-performance and mainstream applications, and SATA,
SAS and PCIe enterprise drives supported by virtualization, cache and
|Toshiba offers to buy
assets of OCZ|
|Editor:- November 29, 2013 - Just before the
its working credit lines had been terminated - forcing the company to
file for bankrupty. |
OCZ also said it has received an offer from Toshiba to acquire
substantially all of its assets in a bankruptcy proceeding provided various
conditions are satisfied - which preserve the value of OCZ's business
including the retention of employees. ...more in SSD news
|Toshiba samples encrypted
|Editor:- January 6, 2013 - Toshiba
it's sampling a new range of 2.5"
SAS MLC SSDs - with
self encrypting security
features and on board
The PX02SMQ/U has upto 1.6TB capacity.|