Upstart Greenliant rolls embedded SSDs
11/8/2010 9:00 AM EST
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Upstart Greenliant Systems Inc. has rolled out its first product under its new identity-a tiny solid-state storage drive (SSD) based on emerging serial ATA (SATA) technology.
The NANDrive GLS85LS product family from Greenliant combines the company’s own integrated SATA NAND controller and various NAND flash capacities-2-, 4-, 8-, 16-, 32- and 64-GB-in a small, multi-chip package.
The move represents the company’s entry into the SATA-based SSD market. The company is not targeting the SATA-based SSD for PCs and other consumer markets, but rather for specialty embedded applications.
“Our major focus is the enterprise, industrial, automotive and networking,’’ said Arthur Kroyan, senior director of marketing and business development at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.
Greenliant is a startup with several years of experience in the arena. The company’s management and associated products were once part of Silicon Storage Technology Inc. (SST).
then, in 2009, SST became the subject of a bidding war between various investment firms. Earlier this year, Microchip Technology Inc. struck an agreement to pay approximately $273 million for SST, which also terminated a previous merger deal with a private equity investment group.
Following those events, Bing Yeh, chairman and CEO of SST, left the company to form Greenliant in April. In May, Greenliant acquired three product families-the NANDrive, NAND controller and specialty flash memory- from Microchip.
Those three lines had once been part of SST. The three product lines formed the core of Greenliant's solid-state storage product portfolio for embedded systems, data centers and mobile Internet markets.
In its first announcement under the Greenliant umbrella, the company is expanding its NANDrive line. Prior to the announcement, the company sold NANDrive-or embedded SSDs-based on the parallel ATA physical storage interface standard.
The NANDrive GLS85LS product family represents its entry into the SATA space. SATA is the eventual replacement for parallel ATA. SATA supports data rates up to 6-Gb/second, versus 100-MB/second for parallel ATA.
''SATA defines a roadmap starting at 1.5 gigabits per second (equivalent to a data rate of 150-MB/second) and migrating to 3.0 gigabits per second (300-MB/second), evolving to today’s 6.0 gigabits per second transfer rate, and then to even higher data rates,’’ according to the Serial ATA International Organization.
Greenliant, SanDisk and others provide embedded SSD solutions based on the technology. Unlike some competitors, Greenliant has developed its own NAND controller, giving it an advantage in the market, Kroyan said.
Greenliant’s new SATA NANDrive is ideal for data storage applications in portable computing, set-top boxes, industrial, automotive and networking systems. The products are SATA II compliant (Gen1: 1.5-Gbit/second, Gen2: 3.0-Gbit/second). The products have a sustained read performance of up to 120-MB/second and a sustained write performance up to up 60-MB/second.
The 3.3- and 1.2-V devices are said to have an active-mode power consumption as low as 500mW. It also features a deep power-down mode to further reduce power consumption to 10mW.
The advanced security features of SATA NANDrive include a device ID, password protection and four independent zones that the user can set to different protection levels. Greenliant’s NAND management technology is based on advanced static and dynamic wear-leveling algorithms that maximize the NANDrive lifespan.
Greenliant is currently sampling the GLS85LS NANDrive line with customers on select product engagements. The devices come in a tiny form factor, measuring 14- x 24- x 1.85-mm. The NANDrive is offered in a 145 ball grid array (BGA), 1-mm ball pitch package.