A couple things that caught my eye this week. Well, at least in the data storage business…
The first had to do with a company, PMC-Sierra, that has come up with another doubling of connectivity to storage devices. They have come up with a RAID-on-Chip (RoC) controller that has a throughput of 12Gb/s using the SAS protocol. Their Tachyon family of products allows for up to 16 ports accessing a PCIe 3.0 spec (at a potential 16GB/s) and you have the making of some real performance. With the proliferation of SSDs in storage arrays, not including the point products plugged directly into a PCIe bus like from Micron, etc., these Tachyon controllers can diminish the bottleneck at this point. This would allow a quicker ROI for SSD investments.
But will they become mainstream or proliferate as OEM products from mainstream HBA and controller vendors? Time will tell.
The other interesting piece of technology I was reading about is in the optical storage market. Currently, optical techniques for storage are still mated on a spindle-based platform so that they can work in more conventional technologies, similar to the way magnetic disks work. The performance is thus limited to electro-mechanical functions (how long has 15K rpm been the fastest spin rate of a disk drive?) as well as for density as it is writing primarily in two dimensions.
Access Optical Networks (AON) has developed, essentially, 3D storage. They are putting over 1TB on a 1 cubic centimeter piece of re-writeable technology. And, getting performance number as fast a 1Gb/s. That is 1Gb/s per cubic centimeter! Kinda blows the mind on what you could do for density if you can achieve parallel access to, let’s say, 100 cm3.
Reportedly, they are seeking partners to commercialize the HDS products. That makes sense. It is said they will initially target cloud computing, high-performance computing, enterprise, and solid-state device applications. For the latter, would it be to replace SSD? Is that is what is meant by “SSD applications” — an application that is currently being addressed by SSD? I guess we’ll see.
I can’t wait — like I mentioned above, technology is fascinating. The rate of change is huge. And I remain blown away by the brain power and innovative ideas that are turning into product designs, especially in the data storage industry. TriAxis has always tried to stay ahead of the curve of technology and I’m excited by what the future holds for us and our customers!