Micron Demos Blistering 1GB/s Solid State Drive

When it comes to memory technologies, there are a few major names in the industry that are essentially the primary sources of the chip-level technologies that drive the market.  When it comes to DRAM and Flash memory, Samsung, Intel and of course Micron, are a few of the big names.  Lately, though DRAM technologies have taken a sleepy development curve, Flash memory for SATA-based Solid State Disk technologies, has been on fire. Recently we showed you what Intel's new X25 series of SSDs could do and without question, they're some of the fastest SATA Solid State Disks on the market.  In addition, there are various incarnations of Samsung's SSD product on the market and they offer potent storage solutions as well.  Though with any current traditional SSD technology, random write performance seems to be the Achille's heel versus traditional spinning media. 

Micron has been relatively quiet with respect to SSD technologies, however, that may change dramatically in the not so distant future.  Recently Micron demonstrated a dual processor, eight-core Xeon workstation with a pair of PCI Express-based SSDs installed.  Since the drives are directly attached to a PCI Express serial link, they were not limited to the 300MB/s bandwidth cap of the SATA interface.  What's more interesting is that the drives also incorporate data management algorithms that mitigate random write latency and increase performance in general. 

Micron's Joe Jeddeloh demonstrated in the following YouTube video, a single SSD that achieves 800MB/s and 150K IOPS throughput, as well as a dual card configuration capable of 1GB/s and over 200K IOPS.  This was achieved over an 8X PCI Express link in a full length card.  The technology is impressive to be sure but video of the IOMeter test is a little on the fuzzy side...

Jeddeloh notes that the dual SSD card will be "coming to you soon" and we can't help but wonder about the cost.  Regardless, with the kind of performance that is demonstrated here, the technology is obviously a significant break-out from the SATA paradigm that currently most all SSD manufacturers are working in, save perhaps for the folks at FusionIO who have a similar PCIe-based technology. 

Another blogger on Micron's site goes on to say, "...we have plans to deliver this product to selected customers in 2009, with wide availability in 2010. Unfortunately this specific product is not targeted at your laptop (unless you have a very big laptop!) but this is a good indication on where this technology can take us in the future. It is within the realm of possibility to deliver this type of performance in a laptop if the architecture would support it. Currently available buses in laptops would not keep up. In fact, desktop buses don’t keep up, either."

It's exciting to think where storage technology is headed and without doubt, the end of the line for rotational media is clearly on the horizon.

Tags:  SSD, Micron