New Storage Options Dominate Flash Memory Summit

New Storage Options Dominate Flash Memory Summit

Check out some of the latest storage technology making its way to this year’s Flash Memory Summit.

This year’s Flash Memory Summit (FMS) will be the showcase for all things storage, highlighting technologies just breaking into the market. NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), an important player at FMS since its inception, will continue make its presence felt, especially in terms of mobile and automotive applications. Another hot topic will be quadruple-level-cell (QLC) NAND flash, such as Western Digital’s and Toshiba’s 768-Gb, 3D BiCS flash-memory chips.

Swissbit will show off a range of rugged flash-memory storage devices. These include an M.2 X-60 module that delivers 1 TB of 3D MLC NAND, a USB 3.1 module, and the e.MMC EM-20 chip (Fig. 1). The X-60, which has a 6-Gb/s SATA interface, features DURABIT software that’s designed for more demanding embedded applications. The U-500 USB 3.1 module uses SLC NAND flash; its 10-Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 can significantly reduce boot time. The e.MMC EM-20 is available in a range of SLC, MLC, and pSLC versions.

1. Swissbit offerings include the 1-TB M.2 X-60 module (a), the U-500 USB 3.1 module (b), and the eMMC EM-20 chip (c).

Moving up the scale is the Viking Technology’s 25- and 50-TB SSDs (Fig. 2). They leverage planar MLC NAND memory, and come with a pair of SAS 2.x-compliant interfaces. The SSDs target enterprise and embedded applications where performance and redundancy are important. With typical power requirements of 16 W, they deliver 60,000/15,000 read/write 4-kB IOPS. They’re designed for 1 drive write per day (DWPD) for five years.

2. Viking Technology’s UHC-Silo squeezes 50 TB of flash memory into a 3.5-in form factor.

Developers looking to pack NVMe into rugged environments can take a look at One Stop Systems’ rugged, 4U NVMe rack system (Fig. 3). It can handle up to 200 TB of NVMe storage.

Each removable NVMe canister contains 25 or 50 TB of storage. The controller is based on a pair of Intel Xeon E5s running SanDisk ION Accelerator 3.0. The system has an N+1, hot-swap power-supply subsystem. It’s tested for MIL-STD-801F, MIL-STD-461E, MIL-STD-464A, and MIL-STD-704E. Commercial and rugged versions are available starting at $24,995.

3. The 4U rugged rack system from One Stop Systems can handle up to 200 TB of NVMe storage.

These represent just a few of the flash storage solutions making their way to the summit.

Flash Alternatives

However, it’s not all flash memory on the storage front at the summit. Most alternatives provide high performance or better write characteristics than flash memory. Capacity and availability tend to be limiting factors, but a wide range of embedded applications can still take advantage of their other features.

For instance, Crossbar will be on hand with its ReRAM technology. The resistive RAM T Series can be incorporated into designs with capacities of 8 Gb and more.

Everspin’s Spin-Torque MRAM (ST-MRAM) will be available in a DDR4 form factor. The EMD4E001G is capable of operation rates of up to 2133 Mtransfers/s per pin. It will be available in 1-Gb DIMMs.

Intel’s Optane is now readily available, and its latest versions will be on display. Optane is available in a range of form factors, including M.2.

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