Using AI to Manage Internal SSD Parameters

Old wise man with a disk symbol coming out of his headFor a long time The SSD Guy has meant to write something about the budding use of AI in SSDs.  It’s an interesting approach whose time has come.

If you’re not conversant with AI, and maybe find the whole subject to be daunting, don’t worry.  AI comes in many forms, and some are very simple.  When major Internet firms like Google and Facebook use AI to Continue reading “Using AI to Manage Internal SSD Parameters”

Solidigm, SK hynix’ New SSD/Flash Subsidiary

Solidigm LogoWhile many of us, The SSD Guy included, were preparing for our New Year’s celebration, SK hynix, on December 30, closed the first phase of the company’s takeover of Intel’s NAND flash and SSD business, and created a new subsidiary that has been named Solidigm.

This is the first of two phases of the acquisition, which the companies agreed to in October 2020.  With this move, SK hynix has Continue reading “Solidigm, SK hynix’ New SSD/Flash Subsidiary”

Micron’s Big Product Launch: The 7400 Series

Photo showing all seven form factors of Micron's 7400 series of SSDMicron announced last week (6 Oct., ’21) a family of datacenter SSDs, the NVMe 7400 series, in a roll-out that includes more product versions than The SSD Guy ever has seen in a single announcement.

Micron calls this product series: “the broadest selection of Continue reading “Micron’s Big Product Launch: The 7400 Series”

WDC Rearchitects the HDD

Pretty sketch of an HDD with a lightningbolt representing NAND flashWestern Digital today announced a change to the architecture of HDDs that the company showed can increase an HDD’s capacity and performance without changes to the heads, media, or mechanics.   Since the design, called OptiNAND, involves a good bit of NAND flash, The SSD Guy decided that it warranted discussion here.

That, and the fact that the company said Continue reading “WDC Rearchitects the HDD”

New SSDs Dedicated to Chia

Photo of terra cotta Chia Pet bust of Joe BidenPNY sent The SSD Guy an interesting press release about a new SSD designed for use in Chia plotting operations.

For those unfamiliar with Chia, it’s not the silly Chia Pets (like the Joe Biden Bust in this post’s graphic) that use vegetation to replicate hair, but is instead a new cryptocurrency somewhat similar to Bitcoin.  We are told that Chia uses “Proof of Space and Time” models for mining rather than the “Proof of Work” models that Bitcoin employs.  While that means that Bitcoin’s approach is compute intensive, Chia’s takes advantage of unused Continue reading “New SSDs Dedicated to Chia”

Computational Storage Hits the Mainstream

Chart showing two lines on a graph of performance vs number of SSDs. With "Scale In" the performance is proportional to the number of SSDs. With a standard server the performance diesn't change. With 16 SSDs the performance is 4 timeas as much, and with 32 SSDs it's 8 times as much.There’s an idea that has been kicking around for a number of years, and it seems now to be gaining traction.  The idea is to use the inherent smarts and high available bandwidth within an SSD to perform functions that would normally be done by a server’s processor thereby reducing the load on the processor while minimizing the amount of data that needed to make a round trip from the SSD to the processor and back for some trivial function.

Such data movement is said to consume a very Continue reading “Computational Storage Hits the Mainstream”

Failures Plague SSDs

Pomander from Organic AuthorityOver the past year there has been a rash of SSD failures unmatched by any prior year.  This came to a head a month ago when Apple’s M1 Mac started to show undue SSD wear.  It seems that people trapped at home and working remotely have taken up new habits on their notebook PCs (most of which now use SSDs) and these habits are causing their SSDs to wear out faster than they have in other, more normal years.

The “Work from Home” phenomenon has not only caused Continue reading “Failures Plague SSDs”

Intel Discontinues Optane Consumer SSDs. Is This Important?

Intel Optane Memory M10 Press PhotoOn Friday, January 15, Intel announced the discontinuation of certain of the company’s Optane SSDs for consumers PCs.  Naturally this is making Optane users curious about the future of the entire product line.  Is this a big move?

In a word: “No.”  It’s a relatively small part of overall Optane shipments, and it is probably Continue reading “Intel Discontinues Optane Consumer SSDs. Is This Important?”

Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?

Intel recently sold its NAND flash business, which was mainly producing SSDs, to SK hynix, a Korean competitor.  Some people have asked the SSD Guy why did Intel do this? The company had highly-regarded products that could command top prices.  Since Intel’s NAND flash fab is in Dalian, China, one person even asked if the divestiture could have been in response to the US-China trade war.

A better question is: “Why did Intel Continue reading “Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?”

How Many Optane SSDs has Intel Sold?

Cartoon of a detective looking through a magnifying glassIf you’re an industry analyst like The SSD Guy you find that useful data can come from unexpected places.  When Intel announced the sale of its NAND flash business to SK hynix this month the company also provided useful information about Optane SSD sales.  You have to know a little bit about Intel’s organizational structure to understand.  Let me explain.

The SSD part of Intel’s Optane business has been Continue reading “How Many Optane SSDs has Intel Sold?”