The Data Dozen: 12 Hot Flash Products From Flash Memory Summit 2023

Last week’s Flash Memory Summit was an opportunity to see a wide range of flash storage component, software and system developers and get a peek at the future of flash storage as shown by these 12 new products.

Highlighting The Latest Flash Tech At FMS23

The flash storage industry has evolved in the past couple of years even as the spinning hard disk industry continues to shrink.

Dublin, Ireland-based research firm Research and Markets this year estimates the enterprise flash storage market to show a cumulative annual growth rate of nearly 14 percent between 2023 and 2029 as businesses continue to ditch hard disk drives for SSDs and other flash storage medium.

In the meantime, hard-drive sales are plummeting. Top hard-drive manufacturer Seagate, for instance, in July reported fiscal fourth quarter 2023 hard-drive shipments fell 41 percent in terms of total capacity while average capacity per drive fell 18 percent. And rival Western Digital reported fiscal fourth quarter 2023 hard-drive shipments of 11.8 million units, down from last year’s 16.5 million units.

[Related: Storage Vendors Evolve With The Times: 2023 Storage 100]

It’s enough to make one wonder just how long the hard-drive industry can survive.

Indeed, Charles Giancarlo, CEO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Pure Storage, which manufactures hardware and software centered on all-flash storage, recently told CRN that he expects the last hard drive to be sold within the next five years given that price on a per-Gigabyte basis of flash storage is already lower than that of spinning disk and is falling much faster.

That spells opportunity for the flash storage and flash memory industry, which in mid-August held its annual Flash Memory Summit. Flash Memory Summit 2023, or FMS23, brought together developers large and small of chips, software, SSDs, storage systems and related products to show their latest wares and claim their stake in the fast-growing flash storage industry.

CRN has collected new product information from 12 of those vendors ranging from small chip-focused developers like XConn and Phison to the largest SSD makers like Samsung and Solidigm. Here is a look at what to expect from this dynamic industry.

SupremeRAID By Graid Technology

Graid Technology, Santa Clara, Calif., wants customers to not have to choose between data security and system speed. The SupremeRAID By Graid Technology, originally released in 2021 but updated in August, is a GPU-based NVMe RAID controller that employs out-of-path RAID technology to deliver maximum SSD performance without consuming CPU cycles or sacrificing system integrity or security. SupremeRAID’s latest software release aims to satisfy high-capacity demands, liberate CPU resources and scale high-performance applications easily by increasing read performance to 28 million IOPS with 260-GBps throughput. The SupremeRAID By Graid Technology received a “Best of Show” award at FMS23 for innovation in enterprise applications for media and entertainment.

Infinidat InfuzeOS Cloud Edition

Waltham, Mass.-based Infinidat used FMS23 to show the Infinidat InfuzeOS Cloud Edition hybrid cloud storage system that lets enterprises seamlessly move their data between on-premises storage and the public cloud. The system delivers the mobility, cyber storage resiliency and operational efficiency of Infinidat’s InfiniBox, but as a full software version running in Amazon Web Services. This lets enterprise end users experience Infinidat’s software-defined storage capabilities in the public cloud to enable and support hybrid cloud storage deployments. Infinidat’s intelligent autonomous automation lets the company’s on-premises InfiniBox and InfiniBox SSA II simply see AWS as another InfiniBox platform.

Kioxia America CD8P Series Data Center-class SSDs

Kioxia America, San Jose, Calif., used FMS23 to show off several new SSDs, including its new Kioxia CD8P drives aimed at general-purpose server and cloud environments that can take advantage of PCIe 5.0 performance. These data center applications can generate complex mixed workloads spread across large-scale virtualized systems. Optimized for the performance, latency, reduced power and thermal requirements of data center environments where power and cooling efficiency is critical, the Kioxia CD8P Series provides the predictability and consistency needed for a seamless user experience. The new drives are available in capacities up to 30.72 TB and in both EDSFF E3.S and 2.5-inch (U.2) form factors.

MemVerge (with Samsung, XConn Technologies and H3 Platform)

Milpitas, Calif.-based MemVerge, together with partners Samsung, H3 Platform and XConn Technologies, used FMS23 to unveil a 2-TB Pooled CXL Memory System that addresses performance challenges faced by highly distributed AI and machine learning applications. The co-engineered 2-TB Pooled CXL Memory System showcased at Flash Memory Summit features eight Samsung 256GB CXL memory modules and the XConn XC50256 CXL 2.0 switch with 256 lanes. H3 Platform integrated hardware and firmware into a system that can be connected to as many as eight computing hosts. MemVerge’s Project Endless Memory software runs seamlessly on the hardware system and helps users visualize, pool, tier and dynamically allocate memory to the connected hosts.

Phison E26 PCIe Gen5 SSD Controller

Miaoli, Taiwan-based NAND chip developer Phison Electronics and San Jose, Calif.-based thermal technology developer took to FMS23 to demonstrate Phison’s E26 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller at full performance with no throttling. Phison’s PS5026-E26 PCIe Gen5 SSD controller with I/O+ Technology is actively cooled with Frore Systems 2 AirJet Minis, delivering 14,175-MBps sustained sequential read performance and over 1000 MBps PCMark 10 Storage Tests performance, which the company said was a world first for a NAND-based M.2 SSD.

Samsung Electronics Flexible Data Placement (FDP)

At FMS23, Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor division showcased a variety of memory solutions addressing customer needs in server, consumer, PC and automotive markets and highlighted next-generation storage technologies. One of the emerging offerings demonstrated by Samsung together with Meta was Flexible Data Placement. FDP, which has been ratified in NVMe, optimizes data placement by allowing the host to specify data that is to be grouped together to reduce the write amplification factor (WAF). Samsung said this increases predictability and overall performance and minimizes TCO. The initial findings in Samsung and Meta’s proof of concept showed significant WAF reduction without major caching optimizations.

Solidigm D5-P5336 SSD

Solidigm, Rancho Cordova, Calif., used FMS23 to introduce what it called the world’s highest-capacity PCIe SSD for massive data storage from core to edge, with capacities from 7.68 TB to 61.44 TB. The Solidigm D5-P5336 is a quad-level cell (QLC) SSD targeting read-intensive data center applications including AI, machine learning, content delivery networks, scale-out network attached storage (NAS) and object storage. The D5-P5336 is shipping now in E1.L form factor with up to 30.72 TB in capacity, with subsequent availability extending to 61.44 TB in both U.2 and E1.L later this year. In the first half of 2024, Solidigm plans to ship E3.S form factor with up to 30.72 TB.

Supermicro E.3S Storage With New CXL Memory Expansion Offerings

Supermicro introduced its new high-performance E3.S storage solutions featuring PCIe Gen5 drives and CXL modules unique to the San Jose, Calif.-based company. Designed for AI training and HPC clusters, these systems offer low latency and high output to quickly deliver unstructured data to GPUs and CPUs. Supermicro said its petascale storage servers are the first in the industry to support up to four E3.S2T (15 mm) CMM devices on Intel- and AMD-based platforms. They support up to 256 TB of capacity in 1U or a half-petabyte in 2U, and are slated to support double those storage capacities when higher-capacity drives become available later this year.

Swissbit N5200 Data Center SSD

At FMS23, Westford, Mass.-based Swissbit previewed its upcoming N5200 data center SSD for cloud applications available in both EDSFF (Enterprise and Data Center Standard Form Factor) and U.2 form factors. The N5200 combines reliability, durability and scalability for use in mission-critical applications. Swissbit said the N5200 SSD consumes up to 30 percent less power than other PCIe Gen4 SSDs while at the same offering up to twice the performance. The SSDs also offer hardware-based security features, extended telemetry, OCP Cloud Specification 1.0 and Power Loss Protection.

Viking Enterprise Solutions Onyx Series Storage

The new Onyx series storage systems from San Jose, Calif.-based Viking Enterprise Solutions is a turnkey, ultra-dense unified storage system for enterprise storage-hungry environments. With a small footprint and up to 2 PB of capacity, the Onyx series was designed to ensure high-capacity stored assets are maintained long-term with complete data integrity. Use cases include backup and archive, online disaster recovery, video surveillance and media content storage.

Western Digital Enhanced OpenFlex Data24 3200 NVMe-oF JBOF/Storage Platform

The Western Digital OpenFlex Data24 3200 is a fully integrated NVMe-oF storage platform that extends the performance of NVMe flash to a shared storage architecture. By separating storage resources from compute and sharing them over Ethernet, data on the OpenFlex Data24 becomes widely available to multiple applications and servers, allowing for improved resource control and scalability that the San Jose, Calif.-based company said leads to improved storage utilization without overprovisioning. Western Digital also used FMS23 to launch its next-generation RapidFlex A2000 and C2000 NVMe-oF fabric bridge devices and its new Ultrastar DC SN655 PCIe Gen 4.0 dual-port NVMe SSD to help businesses simplify their NVMe/NVMe-oF storage deployments.

XConn Technologies XC50256 Hybrid CXL 2.0 and PCIe Gen 5 Switch

San Jose, Calif.-based XConn Technologies said its XC50256 switch, code-named “Apollo,” is the industry’s first and only hybrid CXL 2.0 and PCIe Gen 5 switch. Shown at FMS23, the switch combines Compute Express Link (CXL) technology for next-generation data centers with PCIe Gen 5 interconnect technology on a single 256-lane SoC. XConn said the switch offers the industry’s lowest port-to-port latency and lowest power consumption per port in a single chip at a low TCO. The Apollo switch is designed from the ground up and architected purposely for AI, machine learning and HPC applications.