Monthly Archives: June 2012

An ReRAM SSD Design

Chuo University EmblemA colleague pointed The SSD Guy to an ExtremeTech article about researchers at Japan’s Chuo University who have designed an SSD that uses a resistive RAM (ReRAM) as a buffer and is built using TSV technology.  The design was presented at the IEEE’s 2012 Symposium on VLSI Circuits this month in Hawaii.  A Nikkei article gives additional information.

The basic architecture reminds me of an FRAM + NAND SSD design that a Korean university presented at the Flash Memory Summit a few years ago.  Either approach gets past the problem of using a failure-prone battery, a temperature-sensitive supercap, or a big bulky bank of Continue reading

SanDisk Acquires Schooner

Benchmarks Comparing Schooner's MySQL against Standard ImplementationsSanDisk today announced the acquisition of Schooner Information Technology, a developer of SSD-optimized software.  Terms were not announced.

This is a good move for SanDisk and a good move for Schooner.  SanDisk’s enterprise strategy is suddenly coming into focus.

Schooner has had an interesting and difficult history.  The company started out as a manufacturer of appliances based on standard computer hardware, one that ran MySQL, and the other Continue reading

SMART Optimus Ultra+ SSD: SLC Performance Using MLC Flash

SMART Guardian vs Normal Flash Management - More good BlocksSMART Storage Systems has introduced a new enterprise-class SSD that the company says: “increases the endurance of cMLC Flash to a level that makes SLC drives obsolete.”  That’s a pretty hefty claim!

The new Optimus Ultra+ SSD is specified at 100K read IOPS and 60K write IOPS, through its 6Gb/s SAS interface.  With capacities ranging from 100-800GB, this SSD supports up to 50 full drive writes per day over its 5-year lifespan, double that of the company’s Optimus Ultra which was introduced in February.  That’s quite something for an MLC-based SSD.

SMART has tapped into its Guardian technology to reap SLC benefits from MLC flash through both enhanced external and internal algorithms.  Like all other SSD makers and SSD controller makers SMART has focused a lot of attention on error correction, DSP, and other means of correcting errors externally to the flash.  The company has also partnered with Continue reading

Seagate Invests in DensBits

Seagate and DensBits Strategic AgreementSeagate today announced an investment and technology agreement with DensBits, an Israeli SSD controller company mentioned by The SSD Guy in another post.

According to the press release Seagate will use DensBits’ technology for “consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (“TLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (“MLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD.”

A pattern is starting to emerge.  We understand that Seagate’s current Pulsar SSDs use chips from Link_A_Media (the subject of another recent post) which has only recently Continue reading

SK Hynix Jumps into the SSD Market

Packaging for SK Hnix' New SATA III Self Encrypted DriveOnly four days after announcing the company’s acquisition of Link_A_Media SK Hynix has announced its entry into the Client SSD market.  The company’s new 2.5″ SATA III self-encrypting drive (SED) will ship in 128GB and 256 GB capacities and boasts serial read speeds of 510MB/s, writing at 470MB/s. Random 4kB performance is said to be 55k IOPS read and 85k IOPS write.  It’s interesting that the write performance is higher than the read performance – not many SSDs perform this way.

Although this drive is said to be a client SSD, it supports end-to-end data protection, a feature more common to enterprise SSDs.  More specifications are listed on SK Hynix’ SSD website.  The benchmarks on this website are of particular interest, since SK Hynix claims Continue reading

Link_A_Media Acquired by SK Hynix

SK Hynix Semiconductor Acquires Link_A_Media DevicesLink_A_Media, recently graced with a new design win and serious accolades for its new SSD controller, was acquired on June 20 by Korea’s SK Hynix Semiconductor.

According to the Wall Street Journal, SK Hynix paid $248 million for the company.

This is the fourth SSD controller company to be acquired recently:

What’s going on?  Why are Continue reading

Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut

Tom's Hardware Best of Computex 2012 Award for Corsair Neutron Series SSDsIt’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume.  To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort.  It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.

The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th.  Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed.  Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!

But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two Continue reading

Five-Minute IOPS Survey

Asking for Help with the Coughlin Associates/Objective Analysis IOPS Survey

Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates and Yours Truly: The SSD Guy are polling as many IT professionals as we can with a very simple 5-minute survey asking about your IOPS needs.

Please click HERE and let us know what kind of storage performance you need. Even a hunch is good.

Many thanks!

Contact

Jim Handy
Objective Analysis
SSD Market Research
+1 (408) 356-2549
Jim.Handy (at) Objective-Analysis.com

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