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.. is about thought leadership in the SSD market and was the first publication to recognize and promote the tremendous disruptive growth potential of SSDs.

Since the 1990s our readers have been accelerating the growth of this market and setting its direction and agenda.

This has been a year like no other in 40 years of SSD history. In my new blog (to the right of this) - miscellaneous consequences of the 2017 memory shortages - I look at the pain points and share with you my analysis of where I think the big fixes to the memoryfication market challenges will come from.
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are we there yet? lessons from 2016? why did 3D nand production stall in 2017? looking ahead SSD articles by topic
recently in the SSD news archives

click on the month name below to get all SSD news reported here in that period
September 2017 Toshiba announced the winner of the $18 billion beauty pageant to find a suitable buyer for its memory and SSD business.
August 2017 Western Digital agreed to acquire Tegile which had pioneered innovative "utility" based customer pricing models in the hybrid storage array market.
July 2017 Viking shipped 50TB planar MLC 3.5" SAS SSDs based on a controller platform designed by rackmount SSD maker Nimbus.

Micron's Inotera fab scrapped 60,000 wafers - equivalent to 1 month of worldwide 3D nand flash wafer starts.
June 2017 Toshiba began sampling the world's first 64 layer QLC (x4) nand flash memory. The 768Gb chips were the highest density nvms available.
May 2017 Micron enters the rackmount SSD market.

Everspin's MRAM exits emerging status.
April 2017 IP-Maker released NVMe FPGA IP to enable use of enterprise performance SSDs in low wattage "no CPU" embedded systems.

Rambus said it was working with Microsoft on the design of prototype super cooled DRAM systems to explore avenues of improvement in latency and density due to physics effects below -180 C.
March 2017 Excelero - emerged from stealth.

Everspin began sampling an NVMe PCIe SSD based on its ST-MRAM.

Intel began sampling an NVMe PCIe SSD based on Micron's 3DXpoint memory.
February 2017 Tachyum emerged from stealth mode
January 2017 Pure Storage said the "new stack" is becoming the standard thing.

Crossbar announced it was sampling 8Mb ReRAM based on 40nm CMOS friendly technology.
December 2016 Violin sought bankruptcy protection.

4Gb MRAM prototypes unveiled by SK Hynix and Toshiba
November 2016 Silicon Motion announced the "world's first merchant SD 5.1 controller solution."
October 2016 Rambus announced it was exploring the use of Xilinx FPGAs in its Smart Data Acceleration research program.
September 2016 Everspin filed its IPO to expand MRAM
August 2016 Seagate previewed 60TB 3.5" SAS SSD

Nimbus demonstrates 4PB 4U HA AFA at FMS
July 2016 Diablo announced volume availability of its Memory1 128GB DDR4 DIMM
June 2016 Pure said its AFA revenue in Q1 2016 was more than leading HDD array brand
May 2016 efficiently coded memory architecture unveiled in systems by Symbolic IO

Encrip announces tri-state coded DRAM IP which can be used with any standard process
April 2016 Samsung began mass producing the industry's first 10nm class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM chips
March 2016 Cadence and Mellanox demonstrated PCIe 4.0 interoperability at 16Gbps.
February 2016 A Google field study of enterprise PCIe SSDs concluded it wasn't worth paying more for SLC reliability compared to MLC.
January 2016 Quarch said many SSDs fail their first hot plug design validation tests.
news archive 2000 to 2017

1.0" SSDs
1.8" SSDs
2.5" SSDs
3.5" SSDs

1973 - 2017 - the SSD story

2013 - SSD market changes
2014 - SSD market changes
2015 - SSD market changes
2016 - SSD market changes

20K RPM HDDs - no-show

About the publisher - 1991 to 2017
Adaptive R/W flash IP + DSP ECC
Acquired SSD companies
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Animal Brands in the storage market
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Auto tiering SSDs

Bad block management in flash SSDs
Benchmarks - SSD - can your trust them?
Big market picture of SSDs
Bookmarks from SSD leaders
Branding Strategies in the SSD market

Chips - storage interface
Chips - SSD on a chip & DOMs
Click rates - SSD banner ads
Cloud with SSDs inside
Consolidation trends in the enterprise flash market
Consumer SSDs
Controller chips for SSDs
Cost of SSDs

Data recovery for flash SSDs?
DIMM wars in the SSD market
Disk sanitizers
DRAM (lots of stories)
DRAM remembers
DWPD - examples from the market

Efficiency - comparing SSD designs
Encryption - impacts in notebook SSDs
Endurance - in flash SSDs
enterprise flash SSDs history
enterprise flash array market - segmentation
enterprise SSD story - plot complications
EOL SSDs - issues for buyers

FITs (failures in time) & SSDs
Fast purge / erase SSDs
Fastest SSDs
Flash Memory

Garbage Collection and other SSD jargon

Hard drives
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History of data storage
History of disk to disk backup
History of the SPARC systems market
History of SSD market
Hold up capacitors in military SSDs
hybrid DIMMs
hybrid drives
hybrid storage arrays

Iceberg syndrome - SSD capacity you don't see
Imprinting the brain of the SSD
Industrial SSDs
Industry trade associations (ORGs)
IOPS in flash SSDs

Jargon - flash SSD

Legacy vs New Dynasty - enterprise SSDs
Limericks about flash endurance

M.2 SSDs
Market research (all storage)
Marketing Views
Memory Channel SSDs
Mice and storage
Military storage

Notebook SSDs - timeline
Petabyte SSD roadmap
Power loss - sudden in SSDs
Power, Speed and Strength in SSD brands
PR agencies - storage and SSD
Processors in SSD controllers

Rackmount SSDs
RAID systems (incl RAIC RAISE etc)
RAM cache ratios in flash SSDs
RAM memory chips
RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs
Reliability - SSD / storage
RPM and hard drive spin speeds

SCSI SSDs - legacy parallel
Symmetry in SSD design

Tape libraries

Test Equipment
Top 20 SSD companies
Tuning SANs with SSDs

USB storage
User Value Propositions for SSDs

VCs in SSDs
VCs in storage - 2000 to 2012
Videos - about SSDs

Zsolt Kerekes - (editor linkedin)

SSD headaches?

On a particularly bad day after reading a lot of conflicting blogs - you may be inclined to ask yourself:-
  • what do I really know about the SSD market?
  • what are my safe assumptions?
  • in the event of major conflicts of opinion, market data and differences of interpretation - who can I trust?
These ideas are explored in my classic blog - can you trust SSD market data?

If you've never had an SSD concept induced headache then you aren't reading enough.

animal brands in SSD
The SSD market isn't scared of mice.

But mice aren't the only animals you can find in SSD brands.

There are many other examples of animal brands in SSD as you can see in this collected article.

And before the SSD market became the most important factor in the storage market there were also many animals to be found in other types of storage too.
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© 1992 to 2017 all rights reserved.

Editor's note:- I currently talk to more than 600 makers of SSDs and another 100 or so companies which are closely enmeshed around the SSD ecosphere.

Most of these SSD companies (but by no means all) are profiled here on the mouse site.

I still learn about new SSD companies every week, including many in stealth mode. If you're interested in the growing big picture of the SSD market canvass - StorageSearch will help you along the way.

Many SSD company CEOs read our site too - and say they value our thought leading SSD content - even when we say something that's not always comfortable to hear. I hope you'll find it it useful too.

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miscellaneous consequences
of the 2017 memory shortages

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - September 7, 2017
Traditionally at this time of year I cast around for the the strategic threads which have underlied the stories reported in the SSD market. In 2017 there's no contest. There has been one factor which has dominated the fortunes and future directions of the entire SSD and memoryfication market. The memory shortages.

spellerbyte's SSD software factoryAs a long term evangelist of the SSD market and the rethinking of data architectures which it has enabled I have been naturally pleased to see that the adoption of solid state storage has gone so well.

We're now concluding series 19 of the SSD mouse site and the story line began before that with a different name but the same writer. If you missed those earlier story lines see why buy SSDs? - plot spoilers include - side-stepping the Y2K-CPU-GHz barriers to bring us faster applications processing, lowering the cost of big data and eliminating the software shackles of one more spin around the rotating media block which had fattened latencies and choked host interface arteries due to wasteful stuffit-just-in-case cache demands. But you don't need to know all those old episodes to appreciate where we are now.

SSD thinking is now at the center of all forward looking data architecture projects. SSD technology is the mainstream. Demand is high.

In many ways that's a good thing. But it's been a mixed blessing because production of memories has not kept pace with demand.

Some of the winners and losers from this have been easy to spot. But there have been new opportunities created by the memory shortages and higher prices of memory too. This has helped efficiency and utilization focused technologies to grab a hold on customer minds in ways which would otherwise have been harder or even impossible if memory prices had merely followed the decades old direction of travel.

effects on traditional memory makers

If you're one of those who has suffered from the memory shortages it may seem unfair that despite their miscalculations and over optimimism the very companies which caused the shortages of memory and higher prices - the major manufacturers of nand flash and DRAM - have been among the greatest beneficiaries.

In the first half of 2017 investment focused blogging sites were celebrating the increasing values of memory related companies on particular Micron which is a pure play memory stock.

And the upwards revaluing of memory fabs was a great help to the Toshiba group of companies which was looking to improve its solvency through the forced disposal of its memory business. (Think of how differently that prospect would have been interpreted if it had taken place against a backdrop of memory oversupply and plunging memory prices.)

For traditional memory companies the ability to allocate where its highly sought after memory chips were going in order to get the highest prices and establish influence in future strategic markets created opportunities for classic semiconductor game playing.

In the simplest business terms if a memory company has a choice of selling at a higher value - such as an enterprise SSD (instead of a consumer SSD) - then that's what it should do. Similarly systems such as AFAs and JBOFs start to look more attractive than selling drives. In reality none of the semiconductor companies had invested sufficiently in establishing viable systems brands before the 2017 shortages. But that didn't stop companies like Micron and Western Digital (which had a stake in Toshiba's fabs) from talking about it as a forward looking channel option.

re long time emerging memories

In the 13 years leading up to the memory shortages of 2017 there had been a variety of so called "emerging" alternative memory technologies including:- MRAM, PRAM, CMOx, PCM, ReRAM and others which at various times appeared in the SSD news pages - usually attached to a promise that one day soon they would fill an applications niche which upto that point had been dominated by nand flash. The perennial problem with those lookahead promises was that the density and cost of that pesky flash just kept improving (SLC, MLC, TLC, 4Xnm to 1Xnm and 2D to early 3D) so that the competitive comparison tipping point always lay at some point 2, 3 or 4 years in the future.

As the smallest capacity flash devices got bigger it was always possible that these other emerging memories might find small toe holds in the memory cliff face to which they could cling and attach but unless flash stopped getting better and stopped getting cheaper this looked to many observers like a race in freeze frame. The next generation flash was always more competitive than the next generation alternative nvm.

Aha! But then we had the 3D flash levels being stacked in a height busting tottering tower and the whole market edifice came crashing down with low yields and high prices and the evermore self improvement miracle of the flash market was caught in the spotlight of having been accidentally switched to pause.

In a news story in August 2017 commenting on this opportunity created by high traditional memory prices I said... "The unexpectedly higher price of DRAM and nand flash in the past several quarters due to demand and yield issues has been like manna from heaven to companies with alternative nvms. The change in relativistic competitive landscape has had the same effect as if the alternative nvms could time travel 2 years into the future while nand and DRAM have stayed looped in Groundhog Day."

Earlier - in May 2017 - in response to recent steps taken to productize and create sales channels for Everspin 's MRAM - I said - should we still be calling MRAM - emerging memory?

An advantage of the long emerging memories was that they could be manufactured in fabs which weren't already part of the DRAM / nand flash oligolopoly. And they were starting to clarify their suited application roles in the SSD and expanding SCM ecosystem:- as nvm in SoCs, caches in flash SSDs, low capacity SSDs, high temperature SSDs, persistent memory etc.

The exception was Optane / 3DX from Intel Micron which was evolved from and replaced Micron's earlier development of PCM. 3DX would have to fight internally for wafer starts in traditional memory fabs. The scale of how those internal priorities would be decided may be judged by the fact that Micron itself said in an earnings call in January 2017 that - "3D cross point is a very de minimis amount of revenue in fiscal 2017. We will ship for revenue, but it's actually a fairly small amount and then we've set the expectation for somewhere around 5% of company revenues in 2018."

And another difference with 3DX compared to other competing alt-nvms is that it apparently did not look like it would be any easier to make than the other 3D memories whose yields had caused the memory shortages. In January 2017 the CEO of BeSang said that looking at cross-point structure memories (such as Micron's 3DXpoint) - "is the worst nightmare for manufacturing".

re efficiency and utilization - subtext architecture, software and the cloud

What do I mean here by efficiency?

To put it crudely it's a comparison about the design and implementation of SSD drives and boxes.

I loudly called attention to this important business factor my 2012 article - Efficiency as internecine SSD competitive advantage. And I have often mentioned it in stories when praising one kind of design approach compared to another. But even though I thought this was a desperately important differentiator between competing product lines (as so did the innovative designers who had designed such products) you wouldn't have guessed this easily from the external signs seen in the rackmount SSD market. The reasons being that brand strength and actual bundled or implied software and services - coupled with the complexities of different use cases - were just some of the factors which could hide these internal differences from customers who were buying these systems.

Should they have guessed anyway - due to seeing different size boxes being offered to do exactly the same task? Don't blame the user for SSD box blindness. All they knew is what they were paying - and they weren't always too sure what they getting for their budgets anyway. Perhaps the investors in those AFA companies should have known - but they were usually the last to know anything. The street prices of enterprise flash storage arrays had become connected to chip headcount realities only by the most tenuous of formulas. And truth to tell - the difference between super efficient and less efficient designs and architectures didn't matter so much to small and medium users so long as the boxes they were buying today cost less than the boxes they had bought a little while before.

Designers of les efficient systems could argue - our boxes are more reliable (or some other distracting excuse) and by a process of waiting time - lo and behold - the chips got cheaper and the box was more profitable.

As long as you could buy all the chips you needed it didn't matter if some boxes used twice and many chips as others.

In contrast - in the mission critical embedded SSD drive market - where the power consumption of a single slot is looked at by someone who worries about watts in the box and what they do to reliability - the efficiency factor was a better appreciated personality trait of SSDs.

But let's get back to SSD boxes (hybrid arrays, AFAs etc).

Now in 2017 you can't get the chips - even if you can afford them. And maybe your customer won't like the price of the box even if you could assemble it.

Efficiency starts to matter more.

But there were some other words in the sub-headline too. Along with efficiency there was utilization.

What do I mean by that?

Utilization in this context is a measure of how much usefulness is delivered at the applications level by a particular raw size of installed flash. This usefulness benefit is usually delivered by a combination of software and firmware (and may also include within it a differently tiered and managed memory architecture). An extreme example of the the benefit can be where an existing flash array is improved to deliver significantly more reliability, performance or usable storage simply from a software update alone.

In the best designed systems efficiency and utilization tricks and tweaks are already integrated at many levels in the flash array.

Although software vendors like to talk about hyperconvergence, tiered memory, new stacks, memory defined storage etc - these can viewed as marketing and branding ideas. They will soon be as quaint sounding as the 1980s "RISC versus CISC".

During the years when new technology tricks do something better - their protagonists reap kudos. From the point of the memoryfication systems industry it doesn't greatly matter what label is given to a particular technique. The important thing is that the industry is working towards a better understanding of how to integrate very large populations of memory chips with diverse characteristics and grouped in historically defined interface combinations, and creating software bridges which satisfy legacy applications needs while also incorporating the newer memory focused demands of big data applications. In 10 to 20 years time all the best design ideas for memory systems will be mixed up in ASICs or FPGAs and seamlessly blended in the new standard software stack. The inventors may write blogs or books about how their IP babies changed the industry - but most people won't care.

Returning to the memory shortages... If - like me - you believe that the industry will most likely remain in a state where demand exceeds supply for a significant period (years rather than months of quarters) then the only affordable way that enterprise users will satisfy their needs is to head towards solutions suppliers which have the best efficiency and utilization stories to tell.

At its simplest - that will accelerate integration with the cloud - because for the past 10 years the cloud and webscale integrators have been ths companies with the sharpest focus on extracting value from improvment granularities which traditional box makers didn't care so much about.

But there are still huge opportunities in the enterprise box markets for companies ranging from JBOF to multipetabyte singing and dancing storage arrays to demonstrate by their pricing and their ability to satisfy shipment demands from repeat customers - that doing more with less flash is at the core of their thinking.

Software companies which promise they can upscale memory systems to do more with less chips in the box will be hot prospects. Symbolic IO was much praised in 2016 before the memory shortages. Their IP is bundled with hardware. But new memory efficiency partnerships can be software-only or software tied to a fab.

re hard drives and the memory shortages

In April 2017 Seagate was quick to squelch expectations in the investor community that a shortage of memory chips to make SSDs would have a positive impact on the sales of enterprise hard drives. Although there may have been some small changes of ordering patterns in the hybrid storage systems base Seagate wanted to dispel analyst expectations that there is equivalency in these markets and that an SSD sale won is an HDD sale lost.

This publication has noted that it is realistic for hard drives to retreat towards safer application roles which are compatible with but don't aim to challenge the clear and present reality of a confident SSDwards direction in server and storage markets. (Hard drives in an SSD world.)

And another factor is SSD-everywhere software. We've now in the post-HDD referential era of enterprise software. Most enterprise applications either doesn't work in a pure hard drive environment or if it did the performance would be so bad that you wouldn't want to use it.

In consumer markets particularly in PCs the deployment of HDDs and SSDs has evolved to be a horse of a different color . Nowadays SSD based PCs win or lose sales compared to other flash based devices such as tablets. The hard drive based PC - which survived SSD encroachment better than the unsuccessful market adaptation of the hybrid - was already on its way to becoming a vanishing species with or without nudges from the 2017 memory shortages.

re SSD manufacturers without captive memory fabs

The memory shortages of 2017 have highlighted the differences between those few SSD manufacturers who have their own captive source of memory and those others (the majority) which don't.

The common message I've heard from SSD makers in the latter category is that they could have sold more SSDs (and SSD based systems) if they had gotten more supplies of memory.

Another consequence of the shortages is that those without their own memory fabs have felt the squeeze most from pricing pressures.

Long before these recent shortages I had observerd that the memory fabless SSD companies tended to be those who had better designs and who invested most in both value added and innovatively efficient designs.

I also noted that in times of semiconductor memory gluts the fabless SSD companies were better positioned to grow market market share while remaining more profitable.

The memory shortages has been opening up cracks in SSD business plans which were too heavily predicated on expectations of falling costs.

An interesting development has been that even industries which weren't expecting to use the newest generations of highest density 3D flash - such as the industrial and military markets - have been hit by shortages in mature planar (2D) memory. You might have expected them to be immune to leading edge 3D TLC yield problems - because this is type of memory they are unlikely to use. The cascade of shortages into users of bigger line geometry components is partly because memory makers were already underway with hard to reverse plans to migrate most of their production to 3D before they realized the unprecenteded scale of associated problems. And also systems companies with SSD product lines which were ready to ramp to newer memories reacted by extending the shipments of older SSDs with as much memory as they could get until supplies dried up.

re phones, PCs and consumer gadgets

Industry reports said that PC makers were among the big consumer casualties of the 2017 memory shortages. Were users going to be happy to pay significantly more for the same old SSD based PC? No way. They didn't get the choice. The long decline in the PC market due to more than 10 years of badly designed SSD based notebooks was not an attractive enough market proposition to warrant high allocations of memory.

But the phone market was different.

People love their phones and it's a crisis if they can't get new ones.

re Samsung's phone business and memory

For Samsung which at the same time was one of the world's leading phone makers and memory makers the memory shortages provided opportunities to increase market share and profitability. (And maybe to expunge the negative market images of exploding batteries and recalls from its 2016 Galaxy 7's.)

re Apple's phone business and memory

Meanwhile centered around Apple (the other big phone maker - but without its own memory fabs - why? - because memory is a commodity Darling - which is also why Intel stayed so long out of the memory market which it created) the talk and speculation in the 3rd quarter of 2017 about the effects of the memory shortages on Apple were split between:- should Apple risk buying memory from its competitor Samsung? (When this story surfaced in 2016 Samsung was optimistically anticipating a glut in its nand availability.) Or should Apple join a consortium to acquire Toshiba's memory business - and thereby secure its memory supplies?

These outcomes were still unknown at the time of writing this. For samples of the reported Apple memory mood music see WDC asks Apple to join its bid for Toshiba (Sept 6), Apple says it won't buy Toshiba products if WDC gains control (Sept 8), Apple in talks with group which includes Dell and Seagate to buy Toshiba (Sep 14).

clarification - re the 2017 memory shortages

If you're being pedantic you may ask why did I keep referring to the "2017" memory shortages in the notes above - didn't the shortages begin in 2016?

You're right they did. But it wasn't clear in 2016 just how long the shortages would last and how much of a lasting impact they would make. Based on the experiences of past memory business cycles and the upbeat messages from the memory market it would have been reasonable to anticipate a quicker supply correction. That didn't happen and so instead of being a blip caused the industry's changeoever to next generation chip capacity - the shortages and higher costs of memory became the new normal.

how long until there's a correction?

look to software mitigation as a memory shortage fixer

In July 2017 the measure of what do we mean by "2017 memory shortages" was succintly stated by market research company IC Insights which said in a report - "DRAM, unit shipments are actually forecast to show a decline this year (2017). Moreover, NAND shipments are forecast to increase only 2%."

There you have it. Even after bringing new production capacity onstream the effect of yield (usable chips versus defects) is that the number of memory chips coming out of the world's semiconductor fabs was about the same as it had been the year before. And although a proportion of these were higher capacity the demands for memory were for both more chips and higher density chips.

I dealt at length with "no easy fix at the fab level" nature of the flash memory shortages in a blog in July 2017 - 3D nand fab yield - the nth layer tax - are more dimensions of analysis needed to get a clearer picture of future 3D nand successions?. That analysis underlies my belief that for the remainder of 2017 and 2018 we can't realistically expect the semiconductor memory market to return to oversupply and plunging prices from efforts and resources under its own control.

Having read this far you won't be surprised that I think the biggest contribution to mitigate pain for users and producers of memory systems will come from better architecture based efficiencies and firmware and sofware based utilization improvements rather than more precise deposition in the wafer fabs.

By their very natue (being tightly coupled to controller IP and software cycles) these solutions will take time to prove their worth and further time to gain wider market acceptance. Think of it as a software correction to this memory supply cycle problem and you'll get a better feel for the dynamics. This is completey different to the traditional semiconductor fab based (tweak the machinery settings to up the yield) which provided quick market corrections in past decades.

PS - the main fault with this new article is that it's too short and as with all my new blogs has been published with its rough edges still visible. I'm confident that I will find much additional material to add to it as the memory shortages of 2017 unfold into 2018. And if I am in a position to do so I promise to write a retrospective look back from the post shortage viewpoint when that inevitably occurs.
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who's who in the SSD market in China?
Editor:- October 16, 2017 - Last week I had an interesting conversation with a company in China which has unique visibility of SSD design activity and new startup companies in that region. What did an SSD mouse learn from an SSD dragon? Read more in SSD news.
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I asked Nimbus's CEO - How has Nimbus been affected by the memory shortages and higher memory prices?
Nimbus talks about SAS SSD array sauce
You can feel the Post Modernist Era of SSD in the air everywhere.

Momentum has been building during the past 4 years with signals coming from the appearance of memory channel SSDs, talk of in-situ SSD processing, and much practical rethinking about RAM architecture.

And as I indicated in an earlier article - All Flash Arrays - what next? (January 2017) - I think the next foreseeable staging point will be that storage becomes less relevant as a product and will instead become a supported legacy emulation concept within persistent memory systems.

What does that mean for CPUs?
optimizing CPUs for use with SSDs in the Post Modernist Era of SSD and Memory Systems
Is more always better?
The ups and downs of capacitor hold up in 2.5" military flash SSDs
The semiconductor memory business has wavered between under supply and over supply since the 1970s.
an SSD view of past, present and future boom bust cycles in the memory market
Controllernomics sets the limits to the quality of datasystems latency seen at the server motherboard level no matter how good the raw memory cell R/W times.
controllernomics - is that even a real word?

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Despite many revolutionary changes in memory systems design and SSD adoption in the past decade we are still not at the stage where it's possible to predict and plot the next decade as merely an incremental set of refinements of what we've got now.
Are we there yet? - 2017 and 40 years of SSDs

For me - the SSD companies which made me sit up and take notice because of the promise of better prospects for the SSD market implied by something new they did in 2016 were these...
4 shining companies which made me stop and think

Data recovery from DRAM?
I thought everyone knew that

I said to a leading NVDIMM company... This may be a stupid question but... have you thought of supporting a RAMdisk emulation in your new "flash tiered as RAM" solution?
what could we learn?

the dividing line between storage and memory is more fluid than ever before
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?

The convenience of DWPD as a way of selecting SSDs for application roles meant it quickly gained widespread adoption in the enterprise and cloud. Indeed it was so useful that within 3 years it was adopted in most of the other SSD markets too.

Now before this starts to sound too much like a DWPD fan club I'd like to say that - like all technical specifications - DWPD has its uses but also has its limitations too.
what's the state of DWPD?

Enterprise DRAM is the same latency now (or worse) than in 2000. The CPU-DRAM-HDD oligopoly optimized DRAM for a different set of assumptions than we have today in the post modern SSD era.
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM

Self awareness in the SSD and memoryfication market fabric has spun new tunneling effects in business strategies which now have the potential to instantly hop across segments with infinite improbability.
one big market lesson in SSD year 2016

In some ways the SSD market is like that lakeside village. It's not so long ago that no one even knew where it was.
Can you tell me the best way to get to SSD Street?

There's a genuine characterization problem for the SCM (storage class memory) industry.
is it realistic to talk about memory IOPS?

Many of the important and sometimes mysterious behavioral aspects of SSDs which predetermine their application limitations and usable market roles can only be understood when you look at how well the designer has dealt with managing the symmetries and asymmetries which are implicit in the underlying technologies which are contained within the SSD.
how fast can your SSD run backwards?

The enterprise SSD story...

why's the plot so complicated?

and was there ever a missed opportunity in the past to simplify it?
the elusive golden age of enterprise SSDs

Can you trust market reports and the handed down wisdom from analysts, bloggers and so-called industry experts?
heck no! - here's why

Why do SSD revenue forecasts by enterprise vendors so often fail to anticipate crashes in demand from their existing customers?
meet Ken and the enterprise SSD software event horizon

the past (and future) of HDD vs SSD sophistry
How will the hard drive market fare...
in a solid state storage world?

Compared to EMC...

ours is better
can you take these AFA startups seriously?

Now we're seeing new trends in pricing flash arrays which don't even pretend that you can analyze and predict the benefits using technical models.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing

Reliability is an important factor in many applications which use SSDs. But can you trust an SSD brand just because it claims to be reliable in its ads?
the cultivation and nurturing of "reliability"
in a 2.5" embedded SSD brand

A couple of years ago - if you were a big company wanting to get into the SSD market by an acquisition or strategic investment then a budget somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion would have seemed like plenty.
VCs in SSDs and storage

Adaptive dynamic refresh to improve ECC and power consumption, tiered memory latencies and some other ideas.
Are you ready to rethink RAM?

90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?

With hundreds of patents already pending in this topic there's a high probability that the SSD vendor won't give you the details. It's enough to get the general idea.
Adaptive flash R/W and DSP ECC IP in SSDs

SSD Market - Easy Entry Route #1 - Buy a Company which Already Makes SSDs. (And here's a list of who bought whom.)
3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market

"You'd think... someone should know all the answers by now. "
what do enterprise SSD users want?

We can't afford NOT to be in the SSD market...
Hostage to the fortunes of SSD

Why buy SSDs?
6 user value propositions for buying SSDs

"Play it again Sam - as time goes by..."
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs

Why can't SSD's true believers agree upon a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? (They never did.)
the SSD Heresies.

The predictability and calm, careful approach to new technology adoption in industrial SSDs was for a long time regarded as a virtue compared to other brash markets.
say farewell to reassuringly boring industrial SSDs

If you spend a lot of your time analyzing the performance characteristics and limitations of flash SSDs - this article will help you to easily predict the characteristics of any new SSDs you encounter - by leveraging the knowledge you already have.
flash SSD performance characteristics and limitations

The memory chip count ceiling around which the SSD controller IP is optimized - predetermines the efficiency of achieving system-wide goals like cost, performance and reliability.
size matters in SSD controller architecture

You'd think that it would be easy to compile a simple list of military SSD companies...
so why did I hesitate so long?

A popular fad in selling flash SSDs is life assurance and health care claims as in - my flash SSD controller care scheme is 100x better (than all the rest).
razzle dazzling flash SSD cell care

These are the "Editor Proven" cheerleaders and editorial meetings fixers of the storage and SSD industry.
who's who in SSD and storage PR?