Storage news ticker tape – January 4


Floyd Christofferson

Hammerspace has hired Floyd Christofferson from StrongBox to be its VPO Of Product Marketing. Christofferson’s availability occurred when Strongbox’ exec roster was reorganised by incoming CEO Andrew Hall in November last year, and his CEO role went away. We are told that Christofferson “will help further the company’s thought leadership in creating metadata-driven workflows and advance the Hammerspace vision that global access to data is the next frontier to propel innovation in all different data-driven markets such as aerospace, autonomous vehicles, media and entertainment, oil and gas research, medical research, and electronic design automation.”

Hammerspace co-founder and CEO David Flynn has some predictions for 2022 that are not self-serving, except maybe one. They are:

  • ARM will begin taking over x86 in the data center
  • Custom designed chips will be increasingly common 
  • Software engineering talent will be in short supply
  • Data will need to be a globally accessible resource
  • Edge will no longer be just for data capture, it will be for data use
  • Technology (bitcoin, cryptocurrency) will solve problems previously considered the domain of governments
  • Innovators will more rapidly embrace patent open source (eg, Tesla). 

IBM has published an updated Spectrum Scale FAQ. It details what is supported on Spectrum Scale for AIX, Linux, Power, and Windows, the pre-reqs and compatibility matrix for using Spectrum Scales as a backend for containers, and supported upgrade paths for Spectrum Scale CSI and Container native.

The Xi’an anti-Covid lockdown (closure) has reduced Micron’s team and contractor workforce at its Xi’an site, resulting in some impact to output levels of its DRAM assembly and test operations. It thinks its efforts will allow it to meet most customer demand, however there may be some near-term delays.  New or more stringent restrictions impacting its operations in Xi’an may be increasingly difficult to mitigate. 

Orico FEN300.

Orico has announced its FEN300 portable SSD with a fingerprint reader safeguarding access. Capacity options are 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB for this USB 3.1 Type-C device. It measures 90mm long, 55mm wide and 9.7mm high. Prices are $79.99 (256GB), $99.99 (512GB) and$159.99 (1TB).

Phison is demoing preview products at Virtual CES. One is the PCIe gen 5 E26 Series Controller and SSD supporting dual-port access, SR-IOV and ZNS, ONFI 5.x and Toggle 5.x. The E26 is a customisable SSD platform that will be available in M.2, U.3, E1.S, and E3.S form factors and ship in H2 2022. It’s looking for OEMs. Phison is also showing the DRAM-less PCIe gen 4 E21T drive for mobile gaming, also the E13T BGA SSD  for mobile gaming.

Pure Storage announced new momentum within the U.S. public sector. (1) A large agency within the Department of Treasury chose Pure to replace their legacy storage arrays. (2) A core agency within the Department of Homeland Security chose Pure FlashBlade to help power its advanced analytics and AI operations. (3) The Commonwealth of Massachusetts adopted Pure as-a-Service with FlashArray, FlashStack for Block Performance and Block Capacity, FlashBlade and the Portworx Suite to containerise applications. More than 175 of the United States’ 440 federal agencies are Pure customers. At the state, local, and education (SLED) level, 48 of the 50 U.S. states are Pure customers.

Samsung is experiencing difficulties in shift scheduling at its Xi’an plant because of a Chinese state anti-Covid lockdown in the area, but output is not yet affected. TrendForce researchers suggest it could run into output problems if the lockdown measures worsen and/or if it runs out of component inventory for smart phones and laptops.  

SK hynix has announced a Platinum P41 gumstick format (M.2 2280) PCIe gen 4 x 4 SSD in 500GB, 1 and 2 TB capacities using 176-layer 3D NAND. It delivers 1.4 million/1.3 million random read/write IOPS, 7GB/sec sequential read and  6.5GB/sec sequential writes. The drive is for gamers and content creators and supports up to to 1,200TBW (2TB), 750TBW (1TB), and 500TBW (500GB). It has a 1.5 million hour MTBF rating.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake occurred off the east coast of Taiwan at 5:46PM local time on January 3, 2022. Most local DRAM and foundry fabs are located in the northern and central parts of the island and TrendForce thinks there will be no notable damages to the equipment from these fabs. Production should continue as normal and the earthquake’s impact on the output of Taiwan’s DRAM and foundry industries will likely be limited.

In a series of  articles (part 1, part 2) for Forbes, industry consultant Tom Coughlin suggests general availability of dual actuator HDDs will occur sometime in 2022. He thinks CXL should start bringing memory networks into data centre server architectures in 2022 as well. (That implies PCIe gen 5 gets rolled out.) IBM, he says, is touting its Open Memory Interface (OMI) as a high-speed, low latency (very) local area network with OMI supporting more memory capacity than either DDR5 or HBM2E – see chart above. Coughlin’s articles also include a chart projecting MRAM, 3D XPoint, DRAM and NAND shipments out to 2031.