Seagate And LSI To Produce PCI Express Solid State Storage Solutions

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 26 2010 10:56 AM
The solid state storage market is still in a growth period, with prices slowly falling and mainstream users warming to the idea of using them in place of the hard drives that have been so prominent the past decade. The PCI Express SSD market is just now catching on, but Seagate is hoping to get an early leg-up on the competition by partnering with LSI.

The two companies have announced today that they will be collaborating to deliver PCIe-based solid-state storage solutions for data center and cloud computing environments. Fusion-io has already launched PCIe-based SSD devices, but few others are widely available. SSDs have largely been used in notebook scenarios, but the PCIe scheme enables desktops to take advantage as well. Product samples are expected to be available to OEM customers in the second quarter of this year, but no pricing details are given. Note: Fusion-io ioDrive shown below...


Competition for Fusion-io?

LSI and Seagate Collaborate to Enter PCI Express-Based Enterprise Solid-State Storage Market Segment

 

New board-level solutions from LSI will integrate LSI and Seagate technology to achieve breakthrough performance, reliability and ease of use

MILPITAS, Calif., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) today announced a collaboration with Seagate Technology (Nasdaq: STX) to deliver robust, PCI Express® (PCIe®)-based solid-state storage (SSS) solutions for data center and cloud computing environments. Through this joint effort, LSI is expected to deliver board-level products that integrate LSI™ SAS and PCIe technology with Seagate solid-state drive (SSD) technology. The products are designed to provide enterprise OEMs and channel partners with new levels of performance, reliability and ease of use while addressing architectural challenges that have limited SSS adoption. Product samples are expected to be available to OEM customers in the second quarter of this year.

"LSI is uniquely positioned to execute a broad solid-state storage strategy," said Jeff Richardson, executive vice president and general manager, Semiconductor Solutions Group, LSI. "We're already deeply engaged in delivering solid-state storage technologies, from custom silicon to storage systems. Entering the emerging PCIe-based SSS market segment is a natural extension of our core competencies. By building upon the industry's most widely deployed SAS software stack, OEMs and system builders will gain a proven, lower-risk path to market and continuity across technology generations."

"IT professionals want server and storage solutions that can deliver the performance and efficiency benefits of solid-state technology without impacting system resources or further complicating already complex enterprise storage environments," said David Mosley, executive vice president, Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management, Seagate. "These new LSI products will accelerate enterprise application processing and help reduce I/O latency by using standards-based interfaces and protocols to minimize the impact to existing end user enterprise infrastructures. The collaboration extends Seagate's enterprise solid-state strategy, which is focused on delivering the best-fit solutions for IT using both traditional hard disk drives and solid-state storage."

Market research firm IDC forecasts that SSD revenue in the enterprise segment will reach $2.0B by 2013.[1] PCIe-based solutions will constitute a significant portion of this growing market segment due to their ability to further boost performance, reliability and ease of use within an existing IT infrastructure.

"Solid-state drives remain in the spotlight as a technology and an area of growth in the storage market," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, Hard Disk Drive Components and Solid-State Drives at IDC. "Future market requirements related to price per gigabyte, performance, power consumption and reliability align well with the benefits of solid-state storage, and PCIe-based SSS solutions are poised to meet these requirements in data center environments where higher performance is at a premium."

LSI and Seagate bring decades of enterprise-level experience in the design, manufacture and support of storage products for critical applications. Having two experienced leaders with proven engineering capabilities and the global scale to commit resources toward the development of PCIe-based SSS solutions will help pave the way to market maturity and broad enterprise adoption.  

About LSI

LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) is a leading provider of innovative silicon, systems and software technologies that enable products which seamlessly bring people, information and digital content together. The company offers a broad portfolio of capabilities and services including custom and standard product ICs, adapters, systems and software that are trusted by the world's best known brands to power leading solutions in the Storage and Networking markets. More information is available at www.lsi.com.

About Seagate

Seagate is the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions. Learn more at http://www.seagate.com.

[1] IDC Worldwide Solid-State Drive 2009-2013 Forecast and Analysis, Doc #218553, December, 2009.

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Jan 26 2010 4:54 PM

This seems like a great option to me because of the enhanced bus size on a PCI-x slot. A wider road allows more traffic therefore faster file movement.

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gibbersome replied on Tue, Jan 26 2010 10:07 PM

Agreed rapid1, this makes a lot of sense. I guess we'll be seeing motherboards equipped with more PCI-E slots in the future. I wonder what kind of performance gain we can expect from this.

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Jan 26 2010 11:14 PM

Well for now they are generally quite expensive (more even than SSD's in many cases). But it just seems to me to be a great utilization of PCI-x. I would not having a Nic in a pci-x1 or 4 slot either.

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realneil replied on Wed, Jan 27 2010 9:26 AM

More tech to look forward to. (I use the trickle-down adoption method)

I'd like to see a fiber optic Nic and I think that is gonna happen one day.

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ClemSnide replied on Wed, Jan 27 2010 10:10 AM

Bus-based memory is the next step in SSDs, to be sure, but I would imagine that companies will design cards for PCIe instead of PCIx. The Fusion-IO IoDrive uses a PCIe x4 slot, which is a great use for that second slot usually relegated to a secondary graphics card. But even a 1x slot will give you 1 GB/sec transfer, which is superior to SATA 6G's rate of 6 Gb (750 GB/sec). A 4x or 8x slot, if a memory device can keep up with it, would be even zippier.

Prices for PCIe drives are in the stratosphere, if not the mesosphere; and it will still take time and competition for them to come down to the troposphere. But the more companies that have products, the sooner that will happen. Seagate is a big name in storge, so their support will help a lot-- perhaps even more than OCZ's Z-drive.


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