FMS 2016: Liqid Combines Quad M.2 in to Powerful Packages

Subject: Storage | August 11, 2016 - 11:18 AM |
Tagged: FMS, FMS 2016, Liqid, kingston, toshiba, phison, U.2, HHHL, NVMe, ssd

A relative newcomer this year at Flash Memory Summit was Liqid. These guys are essentially creating an ecosystem from a subset of parts. Let's start with Toshiba:

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At Toshiba's booth, we spotted their XG3 being promoted as being part of the Liqid solution. We also saw a similar demo at the Phison booth, meaning any M.2 parts can be included as part of their design. Now let us get a closer look at the full package options and what they do:

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This demo, at the Kingston booth, showed a single U.2 device cranking out 835,000 4k IOPS. This is essentially saturating its PCIe 3.0 x4 link with random IO's, and it actually beats the Micron 9100 that we just reviewed!

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How can it pull this off? The trick is that there are actually four M.2 SSDs in that package, along with a PLX switch. The RAID must be handled on the host side, but so long as you have software that can talk to multiple drives, you'll get full speed from this part.

More throughput can be had by switching to a PCIe 3.0 x8 link on a HHHL form factor card:

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That's 1.3 million IOPS from a single HHHL device! Technically this is four SSDs, but still, that's impressively fast and is again saturating the bus, but this time it's PCIe 3.0 x8 being pegged!

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We'll be tracking Liqid's progress over the coming months, and we will definitely test these solutions as they come to market (we're not there just yet). More to follow from FMS 2016!


August 11, 2016 | 11:57 AM - Posted by PSTV (not verified)

This would be perfect for my Netflix like PLEX Server as I need 4K Playback for all of my Video I will be uploading to the PLEX Server it's self. Mechanical Hard drives won't do this but this beast of a M.2 will be perfect for my project.

Will follow this article all the way to see how it progresses.

PSTV

August 11, 2016 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Marius Tudor (not verified)

Can ping me direct, Marius.tudor@liqid.com. Can walk through some cools stuff we are doing in media/ent. Yes, these cards are perf beasts/ sustained R/W.

August 11, 2016 | 12:49 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Heat can be a serious factor with 4 x M.2s
packed so tightly e.g. compare The "Squid"
as reported here:

http://barefeats.com/hard210.html

"What about heat? We ran our storage stress test (constant recycling Blackmagic Disk Speed Test for several minutes). The sensors of the four SM951 AHCIs reported high temperatures of 158F, 160F, 158F, and 165F."

August 11, 2016 | 12:53 PM - Posted by Paul A. Mitchell (not verified)

Allyn,

Can we mount a real-time video camera and
microphone on your PCPER hat, and that way we
can follow you around FMS and you won't need
to spend so much time writing?

Half kidding / half serious!!

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