HGST Sets New World Record with 3 Million IOPS SSD

HGST has announced a new PCI Express SSD with 3 million IOPS in queued environments and a random read access latency of 1.5 ms in non-queued settings. HGST demonstrated this new technology at the Flash Memory Summit 2014.

“The PCM SSD demonstration is a great example for how HGST sets the pace of the rapidly evolving storage industry,” said Steve Campbell, chief technology officer, HGST. “This technology is the result of several years of research and advanced development aimed at delivering new levels of acceleration for enterprise applications. The combination of HGST’s low-latency interface protocol and next-generation non-volatile memories delivers unprecedented performance, and creates exciting opportunities for new software and system architectures that HGST is exploring with our customers and industry partners.”

The memory used in this SSD consists of Phase Change Memory (PCM) components with a capacity of 1Gb. PCM is one of several new classes of high-density, non-volatile memories that exhibit dramatically faster read access times when compared to NAND Flash memory.

In order to fully expose the capabilities of these new memory technologies to the server system and its software applications, HGST has also developed a low-latency interface architecture that is fully optimized for performance and is agnostic to the specific underlying memory technology. HGST used its controller expertise to integrate the 45 nm 1Gb PCM chips to build a prototype full height, full length PCIe Gen 2×4 SSD card.

To achieve latencies close to 1us, HGST devised, in conjunction with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, a new communication protocol. This new interface protocol was introduced earlier this year at the 2014 Usenix conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST).

“Three million IOPs is exceptional, but that is not the most exciting part of the demonstration,” said Dr. Zvonimir Bandic, manager of Storage Architecture at HGST Research. “What is really exciting is to be able to deliver latencies close to 1us for small block random reads. This is something that just cannot be done with NAND Flash and current controller and interface technologies.”

The HGST PCM SSD will be demonstrated in the HGST booth #316 at the 2014 Flash Memory Summit in the Santa Clara Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thank you HGST for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of HGST

 

10-Years Warranty Added to New SanDisk Extreme Pro SSDs

SanDisk have unveiled their top-fo-the-line SSD lineup in the Extreme Pro series, having the most interesting and significant change noticeable in its warranty.

A 10-year warranty is apparently backing the given lineup, having SanDisk be the first company willing to grant this type of extended guarantee to a SSD range. This is quite impressive, although the company might be risking a lot with this type of warranty.

In terms of specifications, the Extreme Pro lineup is said to deliver performance improvements compared to its Extreme II series, having sequential write performance increased by approximately 2-3% to gain speeds of up to 520 MB/s. In addition, random reads have been increased by approximately 5%, having them reach 100,000 IOPS, as well as adding a 15-20% increase in random writes, upping the performance to 90,000 IOPS. All values however are based on the SSD capacity, having only the sequential read constant throughout the lineup.

SanDisk has also added the nChache technology to the Extreme Pro, having the company state that it will optimise speed and endurance for heavy workloads, as well as efficiently handle multitasking and grant fast responsiveness.

The new Extreme Pro series has already been spotted on Newegg, having the 240 GB going for $189.99, the 480 GB for $369.99 and the 960 GB for 599.99. In addition to the price, the release date has been stated to be somewhere this month, having Newegg quoting a June 12 date.

Thank you Tech Report for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Report

Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Over the last couple of years I’ve had a look at numerous SSDs from many of the leading manufacturers in the world of SSDs and storage in general, however there has been one vendor that I have not worked with up to this point. This is of course Plextor and as things go, This company is said to be right up there in the rankings with the likes of Kingston, OCZ, Corsair, Sandisk and many more; but flash-based storage is not where this company has its roots buried. Since the formation of the company way back in 1985, Plextor have been making their name well-known in the world of optical storage with their name being made synonymous with high quality optical drives and media that performed way above that of OEM grade drives and media.Back when optical based storage was much more popular than it is today, Plextor’s drives typically demanded a far greater price tag over white box products, however the end-user was prepared to pay the premium due to the fact that Plextor’s products were far less susceptible to errors when burning media, which would otherwise leave you with a pile of coffee mug ‘coasters’ as they were known. As the market has moved on and the popularity of optical media fallen, Plextor branched out to the solid state market with their first SSD, the M1, coming to market in 2009. Since then we have seen the M series of SSDs grow and mature through the M2, 3 and 4 series and on to the current generation M5 drives with all the leading technologies and performance figures that the end-user looks for and demands in today’s performance driven market.

The M5 Pro Xtreme is the pinnacle of Plextor’s SSD design today and over its little brother, the M5 Pro, the Xtreme on paper doesn’t seem to be different, but there have been one or two subtle changes made to give slightly better performance figures over the M5 Pro when handling smaller file sizes (~4K). Considering both use the same third-gen dual core Marvell controller and 19nm Toshiba toggle flash MLC NAND, the performance differences are purely down to the use of sixteen NAND packages on the Xtreme over eight on the Pro and lower level drives.

Inside the box we find a typical set of SSD accessories with two sets of screws and a 2.5″ to 3.5″ drive bay adaptor, installation and warranty leaflets and a copy of NTI’s SSD Solution for drive cloning and migration to Plextor SSDs.

Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review

At the start of the year during CES, the major buzz word of the show as we all know was 4K, but whilst this was a buzz word, in the storage sector there were other goings on the was stirring a whole heap of interest. For many years now we have been watching the solid state drive grow and grow, not only in terms of popularity but also their performance and most importantly capacity. One common factor that is associated with SSDs is with out a doubt their more weighty price tag in relation to their mechanical counterparts, however over the last year or so we’ve started to see the price per GB of storage come right down to a highly affordable level, which in turn has made the drives even more desirable.

During CES, Crucial had something rather special to shout about and when we look back to only a few years ago, what they had to shout about would have then sounded insane. This shout out that I’m referring to is a mainstream consumer 1TB – yes a ONE TERABYTE SSD. Because of the speed at which technology has been moving forward, we’ve seen die sizes shrink and bigger and faster NAND chips appear on the market, making the possibility of greater capacity drives, not only a reality, but also at a price that’s not too outrageous.

So forward comes the M500 SSD from Crucial, a drive that not only packs up to 960GB of storage, but also has the tech inside to ensure that it keeps up the pace right through to the last byte as we will see later on. Like many other drives these days, the M500 fits into an ultra slim 7mm frame, which is quickly becoming a new standard, but as some situations still require the thicker build, Crucial also include a self adhesive 2.5mm spacer which can be quickly stuck onto either side of the drive to make it fit that much better.