Who’s Who is SSD: SearchStorage.com

Article written by Zsolt Zerekes of SearchStorage.com 23 May 2016


On a handful of occasions in more than 20 years writing about the SSD market I’ve spoken to companies which I known instinctively would change the way that the whole market thinks about itself. NVMdurance is one of those companies.

While we have seen many companies in the past 5 years telling us about the different ways in which their technologies can leverage the mysterious elasticity of flash endurance in an SSD controller context – most of those have leveraged combinations of techniques such as adaptive R/W pulse modication, DSP ECC, and big controller application or array awareness which become so closely tied to a particular product line or application space that the benefits derived from each element in the mix cannot be easily or quickly extracted and migrated to other applications.

NVMdurance has created a multigenerational and sustainable characterization methodology which – when applied to any kind of flash -and with the use of a lightweight firmware manager – enables endurance to be restated with a useful magnification effect (of x7 to x10) which is accomplished without the use of processor intensive DSP techniques – but which can be used as a restated foundation level of endurance which can then be used in conjunction with other proprietary endurance stretching techniques.

A simple way to state the market effect is like this.

All MLC or TLC nand flash – whether 2D or 3D – can now be thought of as having 2 endurance ratings:

  • the standard model rating of endurance, and also
  • the improved NVMdurance model rating of endurance (metascale advised, life-cycle fitted, virtually hardened flash endurance).

Most of the software based tricks which can be usefully applied to standard endurance can still be used (if required) taking the improved NVMdurance base level of endurance as the new starting point.

Therefore what you have – in effect – is a much greater pool of memory types.

SSD designers in the NVMdurance era now have greater freedom to use simpler, lower power controllers and cheaper (worse standard endurance flash) to get DWPD ratings which hitherto would have required more power hungry controllers or more expensive memory (or rare inhouse flash controller talent).

Part of the NVMdurance technology story is evolutionary but another part (the business model and the disruptive market impact of its brute force systematic offline characterization techniques) is revolutionary. I’ll be saying more about those in a follow up article.

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