Next Generation Storage Paradigms -
Solutions for Solid State Drive Systems
We believe that storage solutions based on Solid State Drives is
going to be the order of the day and for some time to come. We are
investing in building solutions in the adjacency area that enables
our storage product customers in accelerating innovation and bring
SSD based products faster to the market.
Solid State Drive (SSD) started off as a storage device
that incorporates solid-state memory and emulates a hard disk
drive to store data. In that sense, early SSDs used hard disk
drive interfaces and protocols such as Parallel ATA, Serial ATA,
Serial Attached SCSI and Fibre Channel. However, today, we have
SSDs with non-HDD interfaces as well like USB and PCIe.
SSDs are already being applied by vendors where performance
and reduced latency are important. SSDs are replacing and
complementing HDDs in many application areas.
NAND flash memory has expanded its
reach into once-exclusive domain of hard disk drives and DRAM in
the form of Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSDs require a powerful
controller to be able to manage the limitations of Flash Memory as
well be able to provide a Host interface for SATA, AHCI, NVMe.
Validation of SSDs needs to be performed at multiple levels viz.
Host interface Protocol, Firmware level back-end tests as well as
at the integrated level where endurance and retention factors come
Agiliad has leveraged its expertize
working with conventions disk based storage and protocols and is
engaged on creating a test automation framework for validating
conformance of SSD drives to SATA, AHCI and NVMe standards. The
framework includes evaluating the SSD drives on parameters of
reliability, protocol conformance, data integrity, endurance and
retention. The framework has been jointly developed ground-up and
allows vendors to perform parallel and remote execution of tests
on multiple SSDs drives concurrently. The framework also provides
interfaces to plug-in the system into customer’s existing test
database framework. We are also working on creating a platform for
JEDEC 218A/219A evaluation of SSD drives that enable the endurance
and retention capabilities of SSD drives.
Scaling-up Flash technology does have
problems. At 45 nm level, the electric fields required for
programming and erase Flash memory are so high that materials
begin to fall apart. Flash will continue to scale, but it will be
a game of diminishing returns. Until that happens, Flash memory
and SSDs are here to stay and need solutions that check for their
performance, data retention, conformance parameters.