Monthly Archives: April 2012

DensBits Debuts with eMMC Controller

DensBits Promises Higher Performance While Reducing CostDensBits, a flash memory controller company, has just introduced its new DB3610 “Memory Modem” eMMC controller for 3-bit or TLC flash.  The controller is the first to use DensBits’ new technology which the company claims can coax better reliability out of 3-bit flash than most controllers can out of 2-bit MLC, to provide important cost savings to OEMs.

Read and write performance is also said to be nearly on a par with 2-bit MLC.

DensBits’ Memory Modem is a blend of Continue reading

Western Digital CEO: Hybrid Drives “Strategic”

Hybrid HDD - An HDD with a NAND Flash CacheDuring Western Digital’s April 26 earnings call (as transcribed by Seeking Alpha) CEO John Coyne disclosed that Western Digital has ongoing development efforts in hybrid HDDs: “In addition, we are continuing investments in strategic growth areas such as SSD, hybrid drives and the digital home.”

It’s encouraging to see a second entrant into this market.

After a false start that was synchronized with the ill-fated launch of Microsoft’s Vista operating system, hybrid HDDs have been a technology that is rarely ever mentioned.  So far the hybrid HDD has been the sole domain of Seagate Technology with Continue reading

The SSD Pricing Maven

Andy Higgenbotham of Price G2When I have a question about SSD retail pricing I know exactly who to consult.  Andy Higgenbotham (pictured here) and his Price G2 service track HDD and SSD retail pricing and publish data to a very high degree of resolution.

Price G2 data has been used in another post in the blog: When Will SSD Prices Drop Below HDD Prices?

This company publishes weekly reports of pricing from all major HDD and SSD manufacturers (Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Samsung, Intel, Micron, and the like) with information on market trends like this for the week of April 23:

Flat to increasing pricing continues throughout 2012. Only on the 512GB have we seen sustained price drops from Q1 and through Q2. The 512GB capacity currently sells for $1.05/GB in week 17.

Amid recent rumors of steep SSD price declines this service has served to disprove any notion that the SSD market is undergoing fundamental change.  The SSD Guy highly recommends Price G2 for anyone whose business relies on timely and thorough HDD and SSD price tracking.

The SSD You Can’t Fly With

Press photo of Boeing 747-8 (courtesy of Boeing Corp.)RunCore has just introduced a wonderfully innovative new SSD feature that could create new problems for air travel.

From the company’s press release: “RunCore’s Xapear is a smart USB 2.0 connected SSD solution with RFID protection, allowing you to split your data into a freely accessible partition, and a hidden partition that only becomes accessible by applying a special RFID key to your SSD. Furthermore, the Xapear offers remote data destruction by simply sending an SMS over your GSM from your mobile device to the integrated GSM receiver, which then will immediately start Continue reading

Another Look at SSD Performance

Percona Benchmarks of SSD Performance across a Range of File SIzesLast week The SSD Guy was at a conference for users of the open source MySQL database program.  This is a gathering of foward-thinking mavericks who try new technologies ahead of many others.  This group has been deeply involved with SSDs for at least the past four years.

Vadim Tkachenko, co-founder of Percona (the show’s sponsor) shared a lot of significant new research that he has performed over the past year on SSDs.  I thought the chart in this post’s graphic Continue reading

Intel Jumps Into the PCIe SSD Market

Intel's 910 PCIe SSDIntel has gotten into the fast-growing and lucrative market for PCIe SSDs.  The company has announced a PCIe SSD, the 910, that provides the high performance you would expect of a PCIe drive with the quality guarantees that customers expect of Intel.

Who could blame them?  Fusion-io has become a Wall Street darling for creating the PCIe SSD market, and still rides it to continually growing revenues.  LSI is fascinated by the growth of its Warp Drive.  Micron attained a significant design win at EMC, Texas Memory Systems (TMS) has had success in its own narrow markets, and Virident, OCZ, and STEC have also participated in the PCIe SSD’s market growth.

Intel’s 910 consists of four Hitachi SAS SSD Continue reading

Violin D-Round Values Company at $800M

A Violin Memory VIMM Memory ModuleViolin Memory has announced a $50 million mezzanine round that indicates that its latest crop of investors values the company at $800 million.  That’s pretty good for a start-up whose product has only been shipping since the end of 2008.

This round includes increases from existing investors Toshiba and Juniper Networks (a Violin user) along with new investors SAP Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and others now joining the pool.

The company has been recruiting a highly-pedigreed staff from companies like Continue reading