Hopefully you have had chicken pox already, otherwise you might want to skip Shingled HDDs

Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: HAMR, western digital, ssd, hdd, Areal Density

Western Digital, along with Seagate, Toshiba, and Hitachi are working on the next step in increasing the storage density of platter based drives while HAMR is still in the works.  They will be adding overlapping tracks to their platters, which they are referring to as shingles (as in the roof, not the pox).  There will be two types implemented, with the first type having the shingling hidden to ensure compatibility with existing applications which might take exception to overlapping data tracks.  Type two will not hide its light under a bushel and will require applications to be aware of the shingling and hopefully take full advantage of the new type of magnetic recording.  According to the presentation that The Register attended we will see shingles in the near future, with HAMR due in 2016.

wd_areal_density_graphic.jpg

"Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) at present, in a couple of years there will be more fundamental hard drive technologies co-existing in the market than there are hard drive vendors."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction and Specifications

Introduction:

Intel has pushed out many SSDs over the years, and unlike many manufacturers, they have never stopped heavily pushing SSD in the enterprise. They did so with their very first push of the X25-M / X25-E, where they seemingly came out of nowhere and just plunked down a pair of very heavy hitting SSDs. What was also interesting was that back then they seemed to blur the lines by calling their consumer offering 'mainstream', and considering it good enough for even some enterprise applications. Even though the die-hard stuff was left to the SLC-based X25-E, that didn't stop some consumers from placing them into their home systems. The X25-E used in this review came from a good friend of mine, who previously had it installed in his home PC.

130611-223130-6.35.jpg

With several enterprise class models out there, we figured it was high time we put them all alongside each other to see where things are at, and that's the goal of this particular piece. We were motivated to group them together by the recent releases of the DC S3500 and DC S3700 drives, both using Intel's new Intel 8-channel controller.

Specifications:

  X25-E SSD 320 SSD 710 SSD 910* DC S3500 DC S3700
Capacity 32, 64GB 40, 80, 120, 160, 300, 600GB 100, 200, 300GB 400, 800GB 80, 120, 160, 240, 300, 480, 600, 800GB 100, 200, 400, 800GB
Read (seq) 250 270 270 500 500 500
Write (seq) 170 205 210 375 410 365
Read (4k) 35k 39.5k 38.5k 45k 75k 75k
Write (4k) 3.3k 23k (8GB span) 2.7k 18.7k 11k 32k
  • Since the SSD 910 is subdivided into 4 or 2 (depending on capacity) physical 200GB volumes, we chose to test just one of those physical units. Scaling can then be compared to other units placed into various RAID configurations. 910 specs were corrected to that of the single physical unit tested.
  • All other listed specs are specific to the tested (bold) capacity point.

 

 

Controllers:

Starting with the good old X25-E, which pretty much started it all, is Intel's original SATA 3Gb/sec 10-channel controller. Despite minor tweaks, this same controller was used in the X25-M, X25-M G2, SSD 320 and SSD 710 Series. Prior to Intel releasing their own 6Gb/sec SATA controller, they filled some of those voids by introducing Marvell and SandForce controllers with the 510 and 520, respectively, but those two were consumer-oriented drives. For the enterprise, Intel filled this same gap with the 910 Series - a PCIe LSI Falcon SAS RAID controller driving 2 or 4 6Gb/sec SAS Hitachi Ultrastar SSDs. Finally (and most recently), Intel introduced their own SATA 6Gb/sec controller in the form of the DC S3500 and DC S3700. Both are essentially the same 8-channel controller driving 20nm or 25nm IMFT flash, respectively.

More to follow on the next page, where we dive into the guts of each unit.

Continue reading our roundup of Intel's enterprise SSDs!

Super Talent Launches UltraDrive MX3 SSD In Both MLC and SLC Flavors

Subject: Storage | June 3, 2013 - 09:59 PM |
Tagged: super talent, ssd, mx3, computex 2013, computex

San Jose-based storage manufacturer Super Talent has announced its new UltraDrive MX3 SSD. This new drive is the successor to the existing UltraDrive MX2, and is allegedly twice as fast. In an interesting twist, Super Talent is releasing the MX3 in both MLC and SLC flavors, to serve the consumer and enterprise markets simultaneously with the same branded drive and controller.

Super Talent MX3 512GB.jpg

The MX3 is a SATA 3 6Gbps drive that is rated at 500MB/s reads and 400MB/s writes. The MLC version will come in capacities ranging from 64GB to 512GB while the SLC flash SKUs top out at 256GB. The chart below details the model numbers at each capacity point for both the MLC and SLC SKUs, depending on what you need.

Capacity MLC SLC
64GB FTM06M325H FTD06M325H
128GB FTM12M325H FTD12M325H
256GB FTM25M325H FTD25M325H
512GB FTM51M325H n/a

In the press release, Super Talent CEO Abraham Ma stated the following:

“We are excited to introduce the MX3.  Not only does it offer a considerable upgrade in speed from its predecessor, the MX2, it is also an extremely reliable device that we believe fits the needs of our OEM and consumer customers.”

Pricing and availability have not been announced, however.

Stay tuned to PC Perspective throughout the week for more Computex 2013 news.

Source: Super Talent

Crucial's inexpensive M500 makes MLC NAND affordable

Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: ssd, crucial m500, mlc, marvell 9187, RAIN

Before discussing the impressive price point of Crucial's M500 drive their are two features worth mentioning about this drive, RAIN and the Marvell 9187 controller.  RAIN is Redundant Array of Independent NAND which offers data parity which will allow you to successfully recreate data after an uncorrectable error, something which might put the minds of those still leery of SSDs to rest.  The new Marvell controller is the secret to the pricing of this drive, it allows the usage of 128Gbit (16GB) NAND dies as opposed to the more common 64GBit dies and is produced at a lower cost than other controllers.  [H]ard|OCP tested the 512GB drive and does warn that the specifications of the two smaller capacity drives are different enough to require individual testing.  However as you can pick up the 512GB drive for $400 you might simply opt for the largest drive which offers competitive performance at an amazing $0.78/GB.

H_m500.jpg

"Crucial's M500 offers the lowest price per gigabyte for an MLC SSD with enterprise-class features not seen on typical consumer SSD data drives. With new 128Gbit MLC NAND paired with the Marvell 9187 controller the M500 should deliver great performance at a historically low price point. Is the Crucial M500's performance up to par?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged: ocz, vertex 450, ssd, 20nm, sata

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

Last month OCZ introduced the Vertex 3.20, which took their popular Vertex line to 20nm flash territory. The Vertex 3.20 used the same tride and true SandForce controller used in previous iterations of that line. The older Vertex line was starting to show its age, and the move to 20nm didn't really help the issue. We knew it was just a matter of time before they brought 20nm to their Indilinx Barefoot line, and that time is now. The new model suggests OCZ may abandon the Vector name, and resurrect the performance of their flagship product line by shifting their Indilinx Barefoot 3 (BF3-M10) over to a newly dubbed Vertex 450:

130522-174932-7.48.jpg

Lets jump right into the specs:

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 128, 256GB, 512GB
  • Sequential read:  540 MB/sec
  • Sequential write: 525 MB/sec
  • Random read IOPS (up to):  85 k-IOPS
  • Random write IOPS (up to):  90 k-IOPS

Continue reading our review of the OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD!!

Podcast #250 - Haswell Iris Graphics, Intel Silvermont, AMD HD 9000 Series Rumors and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 11:30 AM |
Tagged: Volcanic Islands, ssd, silvermont, Seagate, podcast, pcper, iris pro, iris, Intel, haswell, gamer memory, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #250 - 05/09/2013

Join us this week as we discuss Haswell Iris Graphics, Intel Silvermont, AMD HD 9000 Series Rumors and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 1:19:46

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. Closing/outro

 

Seagate Unveils 12Gbps SAS 1200 Series and PCI-E X8 Accelerator SSDs for the Enterprise Market

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: x8 accelerator, virident, ssd, seagate 1200, Seagate, pci-e

In addition to its recently-announced 600 and 600 Pro consumer line of solid state drives, Seagate has unveiled two new drives aimed at the enterprise SSD market. The Seagate 1200 series is a 2.5" SAS SSD and the Seagate X8 is a PCI-E based accelerator card.

Unfortunately, details are extremely scarce on both upcoming enterprise drives. Performance, specifications, pricing, and availability are still unknown. Seagate has officially confirmed there existence and shared a few tidbits of information, however.

Seagate PCI-E X8 Accelerator SSD.jpg

The Seagate 1200 SSDs are 2.5" form factor drives with a 12Gbps SAS interface, which suggests that they will be at least somewhat faster than the consumer versions due to Seagate implementing the faster drive interface. The most important detail however, is that Seagate will be using its own custom SSD controller in the 1200 series. The new controller is still a mystery, but it is developed by Seagate and not Link A Media with customized firmware like the 600 and 600 Pro drives. I am especially interested to find out more about this aspect of the drive. Hopefully the new controller is successful and will trickle down to the company's next-generation consumer SSDs.

Meanwhile, Seagate's X8 Accelerator card is a half-height, half-length expansion card with up to 2.2TB of flash memory. The new PCI-E based drive is based on technology from Virident and can be used to accelerate applicators or database operations in servers. It will be available in capacities ranging from 550GB to 2.2TB. The SSD controller/management duties are handled by the host system's CPU and maintenance operations like garbage collection can be scheduled for periods of downtime when the server is not being hit hard by things like database requests for a popular web application. According to Seagate, each X8 Accelerator will be capable of up to 1.5 million IOPS.

Both of the new enterprise solid state drives will be released later this year.

Source: Seagate

Seagate's SSD is new but the components are familiar

Subject: General Tech | May 7, 2013 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600, LAMD

Seagate has used Link_A_Media's Amber LM87800 controller and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND along with their own custom firmware to create the Seagate 600 series of SSDs.  The components are very similar to Corsair's Neutron series of drives, it seems that the biggest difference is going to be in the functionality of the firmware.  The first difference [H]ard|OCP spotted was in the efficiency of the drives, they pulled less power than their rivals and the Pro version sported enhanced endurance and power capacitors which will be very important to enterprise users.  Check out the full review to see where they sit in the pack after the benchmarks were all completed.

H_segate600.jpg

"Seagate refreshes its line of consumer and enterprise SSDs with a new family of third-generation SSD products. We take a look at the consumer mainstream Seagate 600 and the enthusiast model, the Seagate 600 Pro. Will its LAMD Amber LM87800 controller, custom firmware, and Toshiba Type C 19nm MLC NAND make it a standout?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Seagate Enters The SSD Market With The 600 and 600 Pro SSD Series

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2013 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Seagate, LM87800, 600 Pro, 600

Seagate has officially moved into the solid state drive (SSD) market with two new consumer drives: the 600 and 600 Pro series. The new drives come in capacities ranging from 100GB to 480GB. Both series utilize the Link A Media (LAMD) LM87800 SSD controller and 19nm 2-bit per cell MLC NAND flash from Toshiba. Seagate has not provided pricing or availability dates, but pricing should be in-line with existing drives, and reviews are already available around the Internet.

Seagate Logo.jpg

The Seagate 600 series is the lowest-tier solid state drive. It will be available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Seagate is using 128GB, 256, and 512GB of NAND flash on 2, 4, and 8 channels respectively. In addition to the LM87800 SSD controller (which features custom Seagate firmware) and NAND flash, Seagate is including 1MB of DDR2-800 DRAM per 1GB of NAND flash for a total of 128, 256, and 512MB of DRAM on the 120, 240, and 480GB capacity drives.

The 600 Series is rated at up to 500MB/s peak 128KB reads and 400MB/s writes (limited to 300MB/s on the lowest-capacity 120GB drive). Further, Seagate states that the 120GB drive is capable of 80,000 random read and 60,000 random write (4K) IOPS, while the 240GB and 480GB drives can reach up to 80,000 random read and 70,000 random write (4K) IOPS.
Also note that the 600 series comes in both 7mm and 5mm form factors, which makes it compatible with most laptops. Seagate provides a 3 year warranty on the 600 series.

The Seagate 600 Pro series steps things up a notch by adding overprovisioning, capacitors for power-loss protection, and a longer 5 year warranty. The 600 Pro series will come in 100, 120, 200, 240, 400, and 480GB capacities. The 100, 200, and 400GB versions of the SSD offer additional overprovisioning which gives the SSD controller more space to work with. The capacitores are intended to provide enough power in the event of a PC power loss to write all data to the NAND flash and prevent data loss.

The 600 Pro drives offer the same 6Gbps SATA interface, LM87800 controller, and 1MB-to-1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. The Pro drives do not come in the 5mm high form factor, so laptop compatibility is limited.

Further, the 600 Pro Seagate SSDs are faster drives. According to Seagate, the Pro series offers up to 85,000 and 30,000 random read and write (4K) IOPS on the overprovisioned drives and p to 85,000/11,000 random IOPS on the 240 and 480GB drives. The 100 and 120GB drives are slower than the other drives though due to less NAND flash and channels between the flash and controller. The chart below details the rated specifications for all of the announced drives.

Series 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 Pro 600 600 600
Capacity 100GB 120GB 200GB 240GB 400GB 480GB 120GB 240GB 480GB
Random 4K r/w KIOPS 80/20 80/8 85/30 85/11 85/30 85/11 80/60 80/70 80/70
128KB r/w sustained sequential             >500/>300 >500/>400 >500/>400
128KB peak sequential r/w 520/300 520/300 520/450 520/450 520/450 520/450      

Blank areas indicate that rated specifications were not available.

Fortunately, the reviews available online (such as AnandTech's) do seem to support the new drives as far as performance is concerned. The drives are stacking up nicely versus the competition, which is interesting given the controller choice. For example, the sequential read speed looks promising.

The 600 and 600 Pro drives are looking like solid drives so long as the pricing is competitive. I'm excited to see where Seagate goes from here.

Source: AnandTech

Corsair's Neutron drives get even more dense

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: LAMD, corsair, neutron, ssd, asynchronous NAND, 22nm

Still featuring the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller but with all new 22nm SK Hynix Synchronous NAND the refreshed Corsair Neutron SSD series just arrived on [H]ard|OCP's test bench.  The refresh brings both good and bad attributes, while the 22nm NAND proves a little slower than the original 25nm it also brings a much lower price.  That lower price paired with a 5 year warranty should make this drive attractive to users that are holding off on picking up an SSD because of fears that the drive will stop functioning in a few years, or who have a hard time spending well over $1/GB for storage.

H_neutron.jpg

"Corsair keeps pace with continuing innovation in the NAND market by switching from 25nm IMFT NAND to the rarely seen 22nm SK Hynix NAND. This NAND provides a lower price point and extra capacity. Today we take a look to see if the Neutron Series performance remains and how this new SSD build stacks up to the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: [H]ard|OCP