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.
The drive uses a SATA 6Gbps interface and is based around 15nm MLC NAND flash technology from Toshiba – a minority shareholder in Fixstars – but with a proprietary Fixstars controller that boasts faster sequential read and write speeds of up to 580/520 MB/s. The random read/write speeds are yet to be revealed.
The SSD-13000M will be sold directly via the Fixstars website, and not through other retailers. While Fixstars sees the drive as appealing to enterprise and business customers, anyone with $13k to burn can get their hands on one.
Competitors in the SSD market have indicated that they don’t plan to release a drive to compete with Fixstars’ 13TB drive in the immediate future, with SanDisk launching 6TB and 8TB SSDs this year, and Samsung releasing a 4TB SSD.
Fixstars has also revealed a 10TB iteration, the SSD-10000M, which is also expected to be priced at around $1-per-gigabyte. The release date for both SSDs is yet to be confirmed.
Now Fixstars is back to blow us away again with the world’s largest capacity 2.5-inch standard form factor drive, sporting an incredible 6TB capacity. The drive does go beyond the more common 7mm drive height and instead uses the 9.5mm height that most 2.5-inch HDDs come in. Fixstars used that all that space and packed it with 15nm MLC NAND. Fixstars did not specify which brand of NAND they were using, but with 15nm technology it can really only be either Toshiba or SanDisk that jointly developed this.
The drive is said to perform pretty well despite the capacity with sequential read reaching up to 540 MB/s and writes reaching up to 520 MB/s. The figures come directly from Fixstars and the test environment wasn’t specified, neither was the random 4K performance (IOPS), but I’m sure those specifications will be released as the launch gets closer. The drive also supports all the basic features such as NCQ, TRIM, and SMART.
Fixstars backs the drive with a 3-year warranty and it is expected to launch in July this year. The 6TB SSD is designed mainly for video storage, medical applications, big data analytics, communications infrastructure and other industrial applications, but that doesn’t stop us power users from enjoying it too, if the price is right.
Fixstars Solutions announced the start of sales for 3TB SSD (SSD-3000M) and 1TB SSD (SSD-1000M), but sadly only in North America this time; the drives were already released in Japan last November.
The 3TB SSD-3000M has the world’s highest capacity for 2.5-inch SATA drives which can reduced the amount of drives needed significantly. These new disks integrate Fixstars’ proprietary NAND controller preventing latency spikes and performance deterioration to ensure a consistent high performance. Applications for which fast and stable disk writes are crucial such as 4K video recording/editing and encrypted storage for film will benefit the most from Fixstars solid state disks.
“The SSD-3000M/1000M were released in Japan last November, and have been getting great feedbacks from our customers,” said Satoshi Miki, CEO & Co-Founder of Fixstars Corporation (Tokyo), “As an innovator of storage solutions, we are focused on providing high performance and reliability SSD solutions, to accelerate our customer’s business.”
Fixstars used flash originally designed for the use in small-scale mobile devices in these drives, allowing them to fit so much into such a little space. The drives can still provide impressive sequential speeds up to 520MB/s reading and up to 500MB/s writing. They are based on 19nm MLC NAND and support TRIM, Advanced Garbage Collection, and SMART.
A drive like this won’t be cheap and the Fixstars order quote page lists the drive at $990 plus tax for the 1TB model. If this shouldn’t be enough, Fixstars are planning to launch a 5TB version before Q1 2015 is over.
Thanks to PRwire for providing us with this information