LONDON Solid-state drive startup Fusion-io is claiming a major advance with a new grade of NAND flash memory that combines single and multi-level cell (MLC) attributes.
Dubbed single mode level cell (SMLC) technology, Fusion-io says products using the enterprise class flash offer a cost-effective MLC-based solid-state solution with the endurance and performance of SLC at a much lower cost-per-gigabyte.
"A viable MLC solution for enterprise organizations has been limited by technical barriers associated with the medium’s write performance, endurance and reliability,” said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io. "Our SMLC solution overcomes these roadblocks and provides organizations with another avenue for migrating to solid-state performance and reliability, while helping mitigate concerns over cost to deploy."
SMLC-based products from Fusion-io will be available starting this month. The new type of memory will be available in both the ioDrive and the ioDrive Duo product lines supporting 160GB and 320GB, respectively. Other SMLC-based products will follow, says the company.
The SMLC products will have a PCI Express-based form factor and chip-level redundancy, as well as RAID protection, wear leveling and error-correction firmware.
"Whatever the underlying logic, the fact remains that the straightforward cost of solid-state storage is the number one impediment to its faster adoption," says Mark Peters of the Enterprise Strategy Group. "This new SMLC solution from Fusion-io is aimed at attacking that impediment while leaving the many other benefits of solid state untouched."
Fusion-io did not release specific pricing but said it would be about halfway between the price of SLC and MLC based drives. A typical Fusion-io MLC product costs about $15 per gigabyte while the company's SLC costs about $30 to $40 a gigabyte.
Earlier this year, Fusion-io landed $47 million in venture funding, and announced that Apple co-founder Wozniak had taken a full-time position as the company's chief scientist.
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