NVMdurance was founded in Ireland in 2013 when the ADAPT research group and the test equipment maker Evolvability Ltd were brought together at the National Digital Research Centre in Ireland. The technology is the result of 15 years’ foundry work on flash memory endurance optimization by the founding team.
The company’s core IP is proprietary and patented machine learning technology that enables deep characterization and parameter discovery of flash memory, resulting in several unique software solutions that we offer to customers. The team has been doing parameter discovery and memory characterization since 2000. Initially with SLC NOR, later with SLC NAND, then MLC, then TLC and laterally 3D NAND. This has all been done with silicon fabricators and major data storage manufacturers.
Originally applied manually in flash optimization work, NVMdurance has moved to a fully autonomous on-controller system, NVMdurance Navigator. Navigator constantly monitors the condition of the SSD and automatically adjusts the control parameters in real time. Prior to deployment of the flash memory, offline, a great deal of compute-intensive pre-processing is done by NVMdurance Pathfinder, a custom-built suite of machine learning techniques.
After extensive successful trials with multiple flash manufacturers NVMdurance is now announcing customer wins, expanding its team and focusing on the success of the early deployments of its technology.
|Joe Sullivan (then at Analog Devices, Limerick, Ireland) works on extending life of NOR flash memory
Preliminary work describes how varying parameters can achieve great life extension (AKA endurance)
Joe teams up with Conor Ryan at University of Limerick
NOR work formalized and papers published “automating the discovery of parameters by testing flash in specially constructed hardware”
They are approached by NAND flash manufacturers seeking to apply the technology
Joe and Conor establish that, due to the much higher complexity of NAND, substantial changes and highly sophisticated software is required
Joe and Conor form company, Evolvability Ltd, to do consulting work on extending NAND flash endurance
Several different software approaches taken
Scalable NAND test hardware is developed
Patenting process begins
Joe and Conor secure funding and support from NDRC (Ireland)
New approach developed that uses a combination of hardware testing, software simulation and Machine Learning
Fully autonomic, online controller for SSDs designed
Tom Burniece and Pearse Coyle provide consulting services to commercialize technology
First experiments show a 10-fold gain in endurance
“Most Innovative Technology” award at Flash Memory Summit, the key annual industry event in Santa Clara, California
Venture spun out of NDRC early, with $300,000 VC seed funding from New Venture Partners (NJ, USA) and NDRC
NVMdurance formed; Pearse Coyle joins as CEO, Tom Burniece as Commercial Director
Paid commercial trials commence
Further impressive results achieved with NAND flash devices of multiple vendors
2nd round of Seed Funding secured – $700,000, Enterprise Ireland and ACT Venture Capital join existing investors
Altera (now part of Intel) alliance announced – NVMdurance becomes part of FPGA offering to SSD controller market
David Eggleston, GLOBALFOUNDRIES joins board as non-executive director
Significant revenue advances secured
$2.5M Series A funding round announced
Team grows to 10 people
Key Machine Learning IP acquired under NDA
NVMdurance goes into stealth mode