Anobit's MLC NAND-Based SSDs Boast Unheard-Of Reliability

Seagate, Western Digital, OCZ, the regulars. You've heard of those guys, and you know what they create. But have you heard of Anobit Technologies? Likely not, but it may not be long before they're also a household name in the storage sector. This Israeli start-up has recently emerged onto the public scene, and the product they are touting could very well shift the way we look at SSDs.

The company's first product is a MLC NAND-based solid state drive, which they say is as "reliable as today's higher-end and higher-cost single-level cell (SLC) enterprise-class flash drives." According to the company, their Genesis SSDs "extend standard MLC endurance from about 3,000 to more than 50,000 write/erase cycles, an improvement of 20 times over the average consumer-class drive today -- making MLC technology suitable for high-duty cycle applications such as relational databases."

That would certainly be a huge change; today, MLC isn't usually chosen for use in high-demand applications, as it is usually reserved for simple consumer-based applications. If MLC could be tweaked for applications where reliability is of absolute importance, we may see more companies getting into this space (not to mention see more drives that are more durable over their lifetimes).

The SSD drives will initially ship in 200GB to 400GB sizes, all of which using SATA interfaces. They can also use an external bridge in order to interface with SAS or Fibre Channel. Speed? Check. They have a sustained sequential read rate of 220MB/sec. and a sustained sequential write rate of 180MB/sec. The trick of all this is (largely) a Memory Signal Processor, which "adds an additional layer of error correction to the traditional error-correction code (ECC) that all SSD controllers have." According to execs at the company, the 200GB Genesis SSD can withstand "2TB worth of data writes per day for five years, and the 400GB SSD can sustain 4TB of writes per day," with both able to "achieve a write rate of 20,000 I/Os per second and a read rate of 30,000 IOPS." Better still, these units have "native support for 512-, 520- and 528-byte block sizes and have a nonvolatile cache memory that's immune to power failures."

It all sounds pretty impressive on paper, but there's still some question as to when we'll see these widely available. But based on the amount of funding they've been able to round-up, it shouldn't be too long now.