Micron Makes A Splash In Storage With Edgy New SSDs And FWDNXT Acquisition

Micron 7300 SSD
Micron on Thursday made a series of storage announcements, including the introduction of two new solid state drive lines, the 7300 SSD and 5300 SSD. The 7300 SSD line is designed to bring NVMe levels of performance to "the masses" in the datacenter realm, while the 5300 SSD line represents the industry's first enterprise SATA SSD built on 96-layer 3D triple-level cell (TLC) NAND memory chips.

Micron 7300 And 5300 SSDs Specifications

Starting at the top, the 7300 SSD series also utilizes 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory chips to deliver low power and reduce the total cost of ownership for enterprise cloud customers. Micron says these SSDs are designed specifically to handle workloads requiring high throughput and low latency, saying they are "ideal for commonly used mixed read-write, compute, and virtualized tasks such as SQL and NoSQL, for hyperconverged infrastructures, and for compute-centric cloud platforms."

These drives are being offered in a variety of form factors, including 7mm U.2, 80mm M.2, and 110mm M.2. Capacities range from 400GB all the way up to 7.68TB, though available capacities vary by form factor, So does performance. Here's a look at the rated specs...

Micron 7300 SSD Specs
Source: Micron

Performance looks strong across the board, with sequential read performance scaling to 3,000MB/s and sequential writes hitting 1,900MB/s on the high end. We have seen even faster speeds on some consumer SSDs, including up to 5,000MB/s on PCI Express 4.0 drives. These, however, are based on PCIe 3.0.

Micron says its 7300 SSDs will be available to order starting in December 2019, and will complement the company's high performance 9300 NVMe SSD series announced earlier this year.

The new 5300 SATA SSDs, meanwhile, are optimized for read-intensive and mixed use workloads while offering reliability up to 50 percent higher than the industry average for SATA drives, according to Micron. These are also available in a range of capacities, from 240GB up to 7.68TB.

Micron 5300 SATA SSD Specs
Source: Micron

Speeds are on par with what we have seen in SATA territory—sequential read performance is rated to hit 540MB/s across the board, while sequential writes scale to 510MB/s on the high end, while dropping to 220MB/s on the very low end.

These drives will be offered in both 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors.

Micron Acquires FWDNXT To Bolster Its Deep Learning Portfolio

In addition to unveiling new SSDs for computing on the edge, Micron announced it has acquired FWDNXT (pronounced "forward next"), a software and hardware startup. The acquisition gives Micron a new set of high performance hardware and software tools for deep learning applications.

"FWDNXT is an architecture designed to create fast-time-to-market edge AI solutions through an extremely easy to use software framework with broad modeling support and flexibility," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana. "FWDNXT’s five generations of machine learning inference engine development and neural network algorithms, combined with Micron’s deep memory expertise, unlocks new power and performance capabilities to enable innovation for the most complex and demanding edge applications."

Micron says the acquisition will go nicely with its memory products to enable deep learning solutions for data analytics, especially in the IoT and edge computing categories.

On top of all this, Micron also introduced Authenta, the industry's first silicon-based sercurity-as-a-service (SaaS) platform protecting IoT edge devices.

"The new Micron Authenta Key Management Service (KMS) platform enables a cloud-first deployment model for a broad set of industrial and automotive applications. It allows installed Authenta-enabled devices to be switched on through a cloud-based service, mitigating some of the biggest challenges and complexities related to securing devices in an “everything connected” environment," Micron says.

Authenta KMS and applicable software development kits are available to customers today.