BitMicro’s 6TB PCIe provides high-capacity Server-side Flash option

BitMicro is announcing a new line of PCIe flash cards to address a need in the market for higher capacity server-side SSDs. Historically focused on military and industrial applications, the MaxIO SSD line should give BitMicro a solution that also appeals to enterprise use cases. It delivers higher capacity, up to 6TB native, than currently available PCIe solutions.

Traditional flash marketing seems to be all about IOPS. While this is important, BitMicro understands that many use cases need higher capacities than are typically available in a server-side configuration. To this end they’ve created the E-Series, a full-height, half-length PCIe form-factor SSD that uses A19nm MLC NAND flash technology, delivering 240K/100K read/write IOPS.

Split ASIC

The traditional ASIC design for flash devices puts the memory and flash controller functions on the same chip, effectively limiting capacity to 1TB per SSD. This was OK for more performance-centric use cases but didn’t really support higher capacity designs. Instead, BitMicro’s “Split ASIC” technology separates the controller chip that runs the Flash Translation Layer (FLT) from the memory capacity chips. This enables BitMicro to expand capacity by increasing the ratio of memory chips to each controller chip.

The company claims these higher capacity SSDs also enjoy better performance and better endurance, since a larger flash area means data can be distributed across more flash chips, reducing the write and erase cycles and providing more opportunities for parallelism.

With this high-capacity PCIe SSD, users can put 50-60TB of flash in a single rack-mounted chassis to create another option for supporting use cases like content delivery networks, on-line video streaming and in-memory analytics applications.

StorageSwiss Take

There’s a growing appetite for solid-state storage in the enterprise, driven by use cases like in-memory database applications, real-time analytics with large data sets, digital content, etc. All-flash arrays have been the primary solution due to the capacity limitations of PCIe cards but now users have a server-side alternative. BitMicro’s new line of high-capacity PCIe SSDs gives these companies a strong server-side alternative.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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