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Seagate unveils the fastest-ever solid state drive, aimed at hyperscale data centres

Tue 8 Mar 2016

Seagate Technology plc has revealed a new and record-breaking commercial solid state drive (SSD), with a throughput of 10 gigabytes per second.

The unit, which will be released to market this summer, runs 4GB/s faster than the current industry leader, while also meeting the energy stipulations of the Facebook-founded Open Compute Project (OCP). The release indicates that the blazing SSD is well-suited for hyperscale data centres with critical latency requirements.

Seagate’s general manager and vice president of SSD Products Brett Pemble says in the release that the new SSD “will help improve on demands for fast access to information, where split seconds drive incremental value gains.”

The product will work in any system supporting Seagate’s own Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol, permitting levels of parallelism via the PCIe bus which provides significant aggregate throughput performance. The protocol was developed by a consortium of industry manufacturers led by Seagate in order to find transport solutions superior to SATA.

Forward Insights analyst Gregory Wong opines “Seagate has effectively rewritten the rules for performance with this latest SSD unit. Based on our latest analysis, Seagate is already the leading provider to the emerging PCIe OCP market.”

The as yet unnamed 10GB/s unit accommodates 16-lane PCIe apertures, and will be followed by a slower unit for eight-lane slots – but even that will run at 6.7GB/s, putting the two units at the vanguard of SSD responsiveness.

Predictably, no pricing has been announced.

The new units will be on display at San Jose’s Open Commute Project Summit 2016. March 9-10.

Last summer both Intel and Samsung set new benchmarks with separate SSD units rated at 5GB/s, and Intel’s unit also boasted an impressive endurance rate – 21.9 petabytes of overwrite resistance, equivalent to three full drive writes per day. Equivalent details have not yet been released for the new Seagate units. These, together with costing and error rates, will ultimately show if there’s a price to pay for leaving the competition in your wing-mirror.

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