When it comes to storage, SSD’s are gaining traction at an incredible speed. With SSD prices sinking closer to HDDs, there are very few reasons why people would avoid the large speed advantage that upgrading your drives can have. Fixstars wants to move that advantage to a whole new market, with a 13TB SSD drive titled Olive.
Fixstars’ Olive isn’t just a 13TB SSD drive, with it essentially packing the abilities of a server into the 2.5 inch SSD drive. This advantage comes courtesy of an FPGA (field programmable gate array), something which enables you to reprogram the Olive to perform certain tasks. With the ability to share and spread movies, or even collect information from a selection of devices, the Olive doesn’t just have a lot of storage space.
The downside with FPGA’s is that while they can be fast, you have to program any tasks directly onto the hardware, something which isn’t a very common skill in the industry and is limited to just the tasks that are embedded within the FPGA. Thanks to its size though the FPGA could be used for anything you might normally use a server for, such as quickly backing up a system or even acting as an independent server should one of yours fail.
Currently, the Olive only runs 32-bit Linux, with 512MB of RAM and an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, although it has been suggested that it could be modified to speed up the Olive and enable 64-bit computing in the future.
Still experimental, the Olive hasn’t got a price yet while Fixstars evaluate feedback and decide if there is a market for something so unique.