Solidigm SSD looks to outpace rivals on random writes

Solidigm has announced a storage-class memory (SCM) datacenter write caching SSD, taking direct aim at Micron’s XTR drive and Kioxia’s FL6 drive and putting out comparably faster random write speeds.

The D7-P5810 is a 144-layer 3D NAND drive in 1bit/cell (SLC) format with 800GB capacity in a U.2 (2.5-inch) form factor and a PCIe gen 4×4 NVMe interface. A 1.6TB version is slated to arrive in the first half of next year. Solidigm positions the drive as a fast write cache sitting in front of slower mass capacity QLC (4bits/cell) drives such as its own 61.4TB D5-P5336. The D7-P5810 can also be used in high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Greg Matson, Solidigm VP of Strategic Planning and Marketing,said: “Solidigm has now further expanded its industry-leading endurance swim lane coverage [with] a new ultra-fast datacenter SSD with compelling specifications to serve customers’ very high write-intensive needs.” 

Solidigm says the D7-P5810 can be used with QLC drives in a cloud storage acceleration layer (CSAL) deployment. CSAL is open source software that uses SCM as a write cache to shape large, small, random and sequential write workloads to large sequential writes which can then be written to QLC SSDs and improve their endurance.

Solidigm claims the D7-P5810 delivers caching, high-performance computing (HPC), metadata logging, and journaling for write-intensive workloads, with nearly 2x better 4K random write IOPS performance than Micron’s 960GB XTR NVMe SSD, also launched as an SLC caching drive.

We’ve tabulated the basic performance data for 3D NAND SLC SCM caching drives provided by Kioxia, Micron, and Solidigm to see how they stack up:

Solidigm vs Micron, Kioxia

Solidigm’s D7-P5810 certainly does have better random write IOPS than Micron’s XTR in its 960GB guise, also beating its 1.92TB variant’s 350,000 IOPS, and also exceeds Kioxia’s FL6 400,000 IOPS.

Solidigm’s new drive appears – from the numbers it provided – to have the worst sequential write performance of the three, though.

It says the D7-P5810’s endurance is 50 drive writes per day (DWPD) for random writes and 65 DWPD for sequential ones. Micron’s 960GB XTR does 35 DWPD with random writes and 60 with sequential ones – both less than Solidigm’s.

The D7-P5810 provides 53µs read latency and 15µs write latency, with Micron’s 960GB XTR delivering 60µs read latency and the same 15µs write latency. Kioxia’s FL6 has 29µs read latency and 8µs write latency, being the fastest of the three in latency terms.

The Solidigm and Micron drives have the same active and idle state power draws – 12W and 5W respectively. The 800GB version of Kioxia’s FL6 is rated at 14W in the active state and 5W in what Kioxia calls its ready state, meaning idle as we understand it, making it the poorest of the three in power consumption terms.

Check out more D7-P5810 info here. The D7-P5810 will be on display at the Solidigm/SK hynix booth (A8) at the Open Compute Summit (OCP) in San Jose, CA, October 17-19, 2023.