SAN JOSE, Calif. – Smart Storage Systems officially debuted as a standalone company focused on solid-state drives for business systems, rolling out its latest product, the Optimus Ultra a high-end serial-attached SCSI drive.
Smart Storage claims the Optimus Ultra can deliver 25 full drives writes per day for five years using multi-level cell (MLC) flash, an endurance level typically limited to single-level cell flash. The drive, available in capacities ranging from 150 GBytes to 1.2 TBytes, can execute up to 100,000 read operations per second and up to 60,000 writes.
Separately, Avnet Memec and Avnet Embedded agreed to distribute Smart’s existing Xceed solid-state drives (SSDs).
Smart Storage is part of the former Smart Modular Technologies holding company, taken private by Silver Lake Partners and Silver Lake Sumeru in August 2011. The parent company began investing in solid-state drive technology in 2008 with its acquisition of Adtron.
Smart Storage enters a hotly competitive SSD market with dozens of suppliers including industry giants such as Hitachi, Micron, Samsung and Toshiba. The company claims its Guardian software gives it an edge in creating MLC drives with long life times and says it has unique capabilities to help top tier OEMs qualify SSDs.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of test because OEM qualifications can take six to nine months and cost millions of dollars,” said John Scaramuzzo, president of Smart Storage.
The company expects in 2013 to expand its serial ATA and SAS offerings to include 12 Gbit/s and multi-link SAS drives as well as PCI Express drives. Multi-link SAS “has all the capabilities of PCI Express in speed and high availability, but PCI Express is sort of the prettiest girl at the dance right now,” said Scaramuzzo.
The SSD company hopes to grow at rates as high as 150 percent over the next two years to hit revenues in the range of $100 to $200 million.
25 full drives write per day for 5 years is equivalent to 45k cycles. It is an impressive improvement although it is still 50% less than SLC write cycles. MLC has cost advantage over SLC. What's the target cost per bytes?
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