Items tagged with PCIe

As it turns out, Seagate isn’t going “all-hybrid” after all; the company announced today that it’s releasing an entire lineup of SSDs, including its first client side SSD and updates to its enterprise SSDs. Previously, Seagate had made a niche for itself with hybrid drives (SSHDs), offering the slim, faster-than-HDD options for notebooks, but now the company is braving the waters of the SSD market. The 2.5-inch Seagate 600 SSD is designed for laptops and offers multiple z-heights (including a 5mm drive) and with a SATA 6Gbps interface with up to 550/450 sustained sequential read/write speeds. It’s available in capacities of 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB. Seagate 600 SSD... Read more...
When it comes to solid state storage, or just about any type of storage technology for that matter, there are two things you can never get enough of -- capacity and speed.  SATA-based Solid State Drives offer a good balance of both currently, as NAND Flash density continues to scale, but they can't compete with PCI Express-based SSDs, when it comes to raw bandwidth. PCI-Express SSD cards offer "direct attached" storage on a native PCIe system interface, without the need for translation to and from the SATA (Serial ATA) interface.  As a result, bandwidth bottlenecks are alleviated and transfer times for both sequential and random workloads are generally much faster.  Of course PCIe... Read more...
ASUS developing an SSD? Surprising, isn't it? Well it shouldn't be. After all, the company makes everything from notebooks to smartphones to motherboards to graphics cards to monitors to optical drives to keyboards and mice to routers to audio cards to... alright, I need to stop myself. Given ASUS' huge enthusiast focus, moving into the SSD territory makes sense, but instead of going the "normal" route of starting off with 2.5" SATA models, ASUS has decided to reveal a PCIe product under its Republic of Gamers branding. Marco first introduced us to this upcoming SSD, dubbed RAIDR Express, at CES earlier this year, but details then were quite scarce. In fact, they're still quite scarce, but with... Read more...
OCZ has released more details of the VXL 1.3 cache and virtualization software it teased before this week’s CeBIT 2013 in Hannover, Germany, and the upgraded offering includes virtualized “SAN-less”, highly available, fault tolerant environments courtesy of the software’s new synchronous data mirroring capabilities. The idea is to prevent data loss and virtual machine downtime at all times. The software maintains two identical, live copies of virtual machine data by mirroring the information across OCZ Z-Drive R4 PCIe cards (have a peek at our review of the card for more info), which accomplishes the task of keeping two copies of the data and also leverages the PCIe cards’... Read more...
Most of the PCIe SSD cards on the market today, with the exception of products from Fusion-io, still rely on SATA or SAS-based NAND controllers to interface on the backend of the device to the NAND array. PCIe cards from OCZ, Intel, LSI and others use controllers from LSI SandForce or the like.  Fusion-io was the first company to introduce a true native PCI Express to NAND processor employed in their products, though Micron has also been cooking up their own native PCIe SSD technology for some time now. Today we're looking at the Micron P320h, a PCI Express SSD that was introduced to the market well over a year ago and has actually been shipping to OEM customers for some time, but is just... Read more...
We've often spoken about the future of SSD technology eventually evolving away from "bridged" interfaces like SATA and SAS, to direct-attached, native interfaces like PCI Express.  It just makes sense.  With the ultra-fast random access times and high IO bandwidth of solid state storage, it's not the storage media itself that's the limiting factor, rather, non-native interfaces get in the way and become the bottleneck. A SAS or SATA controller still has to have its protocol translated over to PCIe so the host can talk to it, which wastes precious bandwidth and adds latency. Most of the PCIe SSD cards on the market today, with the exception of products from Fusion-io,... Read more...
Haven't heard too much news from Fusion-io lately, but the company famous for making PCIe-based solid state storage "a thing" is back in a big way. The company has today announced that it is bringing the power of its ioMemory technology to visual effects professionals with the Fusion ioFX. According to the company, the new monster is "designed to eliminate data bottlenecks that slow the creative production process for digital artists, the Fusion ioFX enables creative professionals to meet deadlines while exploring more artistic possibilities by bridging the performance gap between workstations and today's powerful digital content creation applications." It's based on the ioMemory platform that... Read more...
Solid state storage is no doubt in many of our futures, but the pricing right now means that it's almost exclusively used in enterprise or high-end workstation applications. And that's exactly who LSI is targeting with its new Nytro application acceleration portfolio. It's a solution that combines PCIe flash technology with intelligent caching and management software, in order to increase application performance in datacenters / cloud environments. Nytro solutions allow datacenters to contend with massive data growth and speed the ability of databases and other applications to be accessed exponentially faster... “The integration of flash technology in enterprise system architectures is... Read more...
Super Talent this week unveiled a new extreme solid state drive (SSD) solution that skips SATA III in favor of PCI Express. It's the new RAIDDrive upStream, a new type of SSD designed to take advantage of the greater bandwidth PCIe affords with up to 1GB/s of read performance and up to 900MB/s of write performance, compared to 550MB/s for SATA III solutions. "The upStream is a perfect addition to any workstation running a variety of disk intensive applications," Super Talent says. "It’s perfect for Animation, Simulation, CAD and Sorting & Searching large databases. When time is money, upStream quickly pays for itself and in the hands of creative professionals, upStream facilitates the... Read more...
OCZ announced the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe flash storage solution. The new Z-Drive R4 CloudServ delivers up to 1.4 million IOPS. The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD uses OCZ’s integrated Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0 and OCZ’s SANRAD VXL virtual acceleration caching software. The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ can be used as a high-performing host-based flash cache to dynamically allocate flash resources to accelerate all virtual machines. The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD will be available in models ranging from 300GB-16TB capacities in the coming weeks. OCZ Launches Z-Drive R4 CloudServ™ 16TB Solid State Storage System Newest Product in the Z-Drive R4 Series Sets a New... Read more...
EMC announced its new VFCache (formerly known as “Project Lightning”), a PCIe-based enterprise flash storage solution that uses both hardware and intelligent caching software to deliver speedy access to data. EMC claims that it can reduce latency by 60% and increase performance threefold. VFCache works with EMC’s own FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) technology, which dynamically assigns more “active” data to faster, lower-latency storage and puts “inactive” data on less expensive, high-capacity storage. If that sounds like the large-scale enterprise version of smart caching, that’s because it essentially is, except with policy settings and... Read more...
The “Kilimanjaro” native PCIe to NAND flash controller platform, co-developed by OCZ Technology and Marvell, underpins a new PCIe-based storage solution called the Z-Drive R5, an upgrade to OCZ's Z-Drive R4. Kilimanjaro is designed to enable improved scalable performance and redundancy as well as lowered costs for data centers while obviating any other controllers, and the Z-Drive R5 is its foil. The Z-Drive R5 features high bandwidth capabilities, capacities of up to 12TB, OCZ Virtualized Controller Architecture 3.0 software, and broad compatibility with other systems and servers. Available in MLC, eMLC, and SLC NAND flash options, the Z-Drive 45 comes in full- and half-height sizes... Read more...
Over the last few months, we have taken a look at a couple of OCZ-built products that leverage the company’s SuperScale Storage Accelerator with VCA (Virtualized Controller Architecture) 2.0. The first product to arrive was the RevoDrive 3 X2, which is a high-end, PCI Express SSD targeted at ultra-enthusiasts and workstation customers. Then came the extreme OCZ Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD, which caters to the enterprise. The latest OCZ product to hit the lab, the RevoDrive Hybrid also shares these traits, but its flash memory is paired to a 1TB traditional hard drive. With the RevoDrive Hybrid, the device’s flash memory is meant to be used as cache for the most frequently accessed data on... Read more...
Over the last few months, we have taken a look at a couple of OCZ-built products that leverage the company’s SuperScale Storage Accelerator with VCA (Virtualized Controller Architecture) 2.0. The first product to arrive was the RevoDrive 3 X2, which is a high-end, PCI Express SSD targeted at ultra-enthusiasts and workstation customers. Then came the extreme OCZ Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD, which caters to the enterprise. If you’d like to learn more about the technology behind VCA 2.0 and OCZ’s Superscale Storage Accelerator, we strongly suggest perusing those two articles. While they’re designed for completely different target markets, the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 and Z-Drive... Read more...
PCIe-based solid state drives. Just the mere mention of that phrase is almost enough to make us drool, and while the options are still few and far between, more and more companies are finally coming around and realizing that there's a prosumer demand for these things. Angelbird is an Austrian-based company that is joining OCZ, Fusion-io and the smattering of other high-end flash storage solution companies, and the new "Wings" PCIe SSD card is a rather impressive beast on paper, not to mention the Crest SSDs. Wings is a PCIe x4 card equally at home in a Windows or Mac OS X environment. Although not officially supported, Wings also works out of the box with Linux and FreeBSD. It can boot and group... Read more...
We just got off a conference call hosted by OCZ Technology’s CEO Ryan Petersen on which he discussed the rapidly evolving market for PCIe-based solid state storage solutions and unveiled the company's next generation enterprise-class PCIe storage product, the Z-Drive R4. The Z-Drive R4 will feature OCZ’s second generation Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0, multiple SandForce SF-2000 series storage controllers, and either MLC or SLC NAND flash memory. OCZ’s VCA 2.0 is touted as a virtualization layer that interfaces with the company’s SuperScale Storage Controller, which combines storage processing and full DMA (direct memory access) cores with PCI Express,... Read more...
In this latest episode of HotHardware's Two and a Half Geeks Dave, Iyaz and Marco discuss Micron's blisteringly fast PCIe RealSSD P320h, Microsoft's revamped Windows 8 UI demo, the Pandigital Novel 7 eReader and tablet, HP's Elitebook 8560p and exciting details regarding our "Dads and Grads" Gaming Rig Give-Away! Show Notes: 01:12 - Micron Demos PCIe RealSSD P320h, Achieves Over 3GB/s Of Sustained Throughput 06:08 - Microsoft Demos Revamped Windows 8 UI, Reveals More OS Details 09:42 - Pandigital Novel 7" Android Tablet & eReader Review 14:51 - Hewlett Packard EliteBook 8560p Notebook Review 19:45 - HotHardware's "Dads and Grads" Gaming Rig Give-Away!... Read more...
Micron has just announced a new line-up of PCI Express-based, enterprise-class solid state drives that the company claims are the “world’s fastest”. The new RealSSD P320h is a Gen 2 PCIe x8, full height, half-length card built around Micron’s 34nm SLC (single level cell) NAND flash and uses a high-end controller with customized firmware to achieve up to 750,000 4K random read IOPs and about 320,000 4K random write IOPS, with over 3GB/s of sustained throughput. Part of Micron's special sauce with this PCI Express SSD, is the controller ASIC underneath the black heat sink you see below.  We're very familiar with the underlying technology in that ASIC but can't yet disclose that information... Read more...
Fusion-io just stepped up in a major way earlier in the year, and now it's looking like more and more PCIe SSDs are hitting the airwaves. Is it finally time for enterprise storage to make the move to the consumer realm? Virident isn't a company that most average consumers are familiar with, but as hard-hitting flash-based storage solutions become more and more prominent, we're likely to see these enterprise companies bleeding over to more and more homes. The TechIon PCIe SSD is the company's latest trick, capable of delivering up to 300,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS) with a 4 KB block size on mixed read-write workloads. It's said to be ideal for data-intensive workloads such as databases,... Read more...
Have you ever heard of a DSP? Chances are you have. Digital Signal Processors are found frequently in various audio products, and increasingly, in more and more mobile products. Texas Instruments is now looking to expand the reach of their DSPs in a big way. Just as solid state storage struck new ground by becoming compatible with PCI Express (Fusion-io!), DSPs may soon be functioning there as well. PLX Technology has just announced a collaboration with TI that will eventually result in a solution that brings DSPs and PCI Express 2.0 together. The goal here is to broaden the capabilities of new designs in applications such as wireless infrastructure communications, DSP farms, digital media, test... Read more...
Need to add some serious speed and flexibility to your desktop or workstation? If you have a spare PCIe slot, LSI has the tool for you. It's the second-generation MegaRAID SATA+SAS RAID controller card, based on 6Gbps SAS technology. The new line of controllers include the MegaRAID SAS 9265-8i, featuring eight internal ports, and the MegaRAID SAS 9285-8e, with eight external ports. The controllers deliver performance levels greater than 200,000 RAID 5 random I/Os per second (IOPS), a 3x improvement compared to the previous-generation products. Users can boost IOPS performance to 465,000 RAID 5 random IOPS utilizing a single controller, enabled with LSI MegaRAID FastPath software, connected to... Read more...
We may be dreaming here, and that's a very likely case, but we really believe that solid state is the future. The true future of storage. Many are still trying to figure out what will be the technology that eclipses HDDs, particularly since solid state storage solutions generally aren't nearly as large (in terms of capacity) without a huge, huge price premium. But that premium will dwindle in time, and Fusion-io is proof that there's a high-end market for big, fast, solid state storage. HighPoint believes in this kind of future as well, and they are announcing new Smart Hybrid HBA products this week in tandem with Marvell. Marvell's HyperDuo technology is being used, with these PCIe 2.0 / SATA... Read more...
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