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Micron SSD offers 1GB/sec throughput

Memory maker ups stakes in battle with Intel

Memory maker Micron plans to launch a high-end solid-state disk (SSD) drive supporting 1GB/sec throughput within the next year.

The company said the product, which will offer four times the transfer speeds achieved by Intel's newest SSD, the X25-E, is already being tested with a few select customers and is looking for more beta testers.

A video on Micron's blog site shows the technology using a two-processor, eight-core Intel Xeon PC and a card with two SSDs and 16 flash channels. A blurry readout showed the SSD reaching 800MB/sec throughput, and Joe Jeddeloh, director of the vendor's Advanced Storage Technology Center, claims it "will be hitting a bandwidth of 1GB/sec and at least 200,000 IOPS", or I/O operations per second.

The card was directly connected to a PCI Express (PCIe) slot, bypassing Serial ATA or Serial Attached SCSI interfaces that would normally be used to plug SSDs into a server or PC, thereby limiting it to 3Gbit/sec throughput per channel.

Using file transfers ranging from 2KB to 2MB, Jeddeloh demonstrated 150,000 to 160,000 random reads per second in the video. "That's what flash can do when it's managed correctly," Jeddeloh said.

While Micron's SSD technology is aimed at high-end applications that would run on Fibre Channel SANs, such as transactional databases or streaming video, Klein said consumer-grade computers using SSDs directly connected to a PCIe bus with four lanes (x4 slots) could soon achieve similar results.

Physical PCIe slots may contain from one to 32 lanes of data. Currently, PCIe Generation 1 offers 250MB/sec throughput per lane. The second generation of PCIe is expected out next year and will offer twice the throughput, or 500MB/sec.

"It really does require a change in computer architecture to go into consumer-type systems, but it can be done," Klein said.

www.computerworld.com


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