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Brian

OCZ Provides Vision for Next Generation SSDs and Processors Discussion

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At the Needham 5th Annual HDD & Memory Conference today, OCZ revealed a good deal of vision about what both consumer and enterprise customers can expect out of the company in the coming quarters. OCZ highlighted a number of new initiatives; like the first SSD to use TLC NAND hitting the market early next year, their new Indilinx processors with support for up to 100,000 IOPS, the Intrepid 3 SSD and the NVM Express, OCZ's next generation PCIe SSD processor.

OCZ Provides Vision for Next Generation SSDs and Processors

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...and the NVM Express, OCZ's next generation PCIe SSD processor.

NVM Express is not a product, it's a specification:

The NVM Express 1.0 specification that defines an optimized register interface, command set and feature set for PCI Express® (PCIe®)-based Solid-State Drives (SSDs). The goal is to enable the broad adoption of SSDs using the PCIe interface.

http://www.nvmexpress.org/

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Flash technology is only getting worse and worse.

SLC -> MLC -> TLC , each progression caused a significant decrease in write cycles.

Even the reduction in process resolution (130nm, 90 nm, 65 nm etc.) causes a reduction in write cycles (drive lifespan as well).

There's a clear incentive for these companies to create drives that die after a few years and the way the tech is moving along, they seem to be doing just that.

I am fully aware that this is also necessary to reduce flash costs, but it's a worrying trend.

Edit: I'm not sure how accurate the following information is (wikipedia):

SLC NAND flash is typically rated at about 100k cycles (Samsung OneNAND KFW4G16Q2M)

MLC NAND flash used to be rated at about 5–10k cycles (Samsung K9G8G08U0M) but is now typically 1k - 3k cycles

TLC NAND flash is typically rated at about 100-500 cycles

100-500 cycles... seriously???

Edited by Nihility

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NVM Express is not a product, it's a specification:

The NVM Express 1.0 specification that defines an optimized register interface, command set and feature set for PCI Express® (PCIe®)-based Solid-State Drives (SSDs). The goal is to enable the broad adoption of SSDs using the PCIe interface.

http://www.nvmexpress.org/

Fair enough.

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Flash technology is only getting worse and worse.

SLC -> MLC -> TLC , each progression caused a significant decrease in write cycles.

Even the reduction in process resolution (130nm, 90 nm, 65 nm etc.) causes a reduction in write cycles (drive lifespan as well).

There's a clear incentive for these companies to create drives that die after a few years and the way the tech is moving along, they seem to be doing just that.

I am fully aware that this is also necessary to reduce flash costs, but it's a worrying trend.

Edit: I'm not sure how accurate the following information is (wikipedia):

SLC NAND flash is typically rated at about 100k cycles (Samsung OneNAND KFW4G16Q2M)

MLC NAND flash used to be rated at about 5–10k cycles (Samsung K9G8G08U0M) but is now typically 1k - 3k cycles

TLC NAND flash is typically rated at about 100-500 cycles

100-500 cycles... seriously???

100-500 write cycles is rubbish. With the software involved companies expect to get much more life out of lower quality NAND. I think some make this into a bigger concern than it is though, if a drive is rated to last 4 or 5 years, and it lasts 4 or 5 years, I'm not sure there's a problem, regardless of the theoretical write cap on the drive.

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100-500 write cycles is rubbish. With the software involved companies expect to get much more life out of lower quality NAND.

Did OCZ state how many terabytes of writes they expect a drive with TLC to withstand?

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No, that conference wasn't the forum for such a conversation. The drive hasn't even been formally announced, we just happened to be able to catch several news items to pass along to our readers. They're still working on the drive, and at least two months from production. I'd guess CES would be a convenient time to announce/release the drive.

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100-500 cycles? I thought we were seeing 2000-2500 cycles for 4-bit MLC... then again I can't remember which product those datasheets were for...

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What kind of conference was that? Financial oriented or technical oriented?

It was for institutional investors and analysts.

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A good summary of what is coming in 2012. OCZ is certainly painting an exciting picture of faster performance. When OCZ announced in their last public earnings conference call that deployed to "AOL, eBay, SAP, Prudential, MarketWire, EdgeCast, Ask.com, NTT DOCOMO, South Korea Telecom, Boxel, Boeing, Chevron, Carbonite, Honda, Bloomberg." it makes you think they should at least know what customers want?

Brian - given how rapid these advancements are coming, does it make you think the large data centers will wait, or run out any buy existing product like OCZ's VeloDrive PCIe drive?

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Based on what I saw at Supercomputing 2011, the big guys want max speed for certain applications and in thin servers, PCIe is the ticket. PCIe isn't perfect for storage but it seems to be good enough.

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