Solidigm has introduced a replacement for Optane an SSD
Hardware

Solidigm has introduced a replacement for Optane – an SSD on SLC memory, which no one has produced for a long time

SK hynix, as owner of the former Intel 3D NAND flash memory division, demonstrated An interesting new product is the Solidigm D7-P5810 solid-state drive with SLC memory for intensive recording loads. The nuance is that SLC memories have not been produced for about five years and the company had to resort to a trick to release an SSD with the characteristics of SSDs on flash memory with single-level recording.

    Image source: Solidigm

Image source: Solidigm

Flash memory with single-level recording enabled record-breaking rewriting of each memory cell and made it possible to do this as quickly as possible, since the controller was not burdened with calculations associated with evaluating multiple levels of charge in the cell, as is the case, for example, with TLC or QLC memories with three and four voltage (charging) levels. After Intel refused to release SLC memory, which could not compete in price and memory density with TLC and QLC memory, Intel tried to replace SLC memory with solutions in the form of buffers on 3D XPoint memory (Optane products) to replace. But Optane diedand some need for fast flash storage hasn’t gone away.

To solve the problem of increasing the write speed and increase resources in terms of the number of rewrite cycles, the manufacturer “optimized” the previously produced 144-layer QLC memory and converted it into SLC memory, which is technologically easy to do is. Memory and storage resources have been automatically increased and the operation of the controller and all operations has been accelerated. With this type of storage, the D7-P5810 SSD is capable of keeping logs and supporting speed-critical operations, particularly those related to writing data to flash media.

Solidigm isn’t alone in its desire to introduce a pseudo-memory SLC drive. Previously, the same “optimization” was carried out with 176-layer 3D NAND memory by Micron, which began shipping the XTR NVMe SLC drive (competitor A in the comparative characteristics table) and by Kioxia (competitor B in the table with comparative characteristics). , which released an SLC drive FL6. This or that optimization of the firmware microcode gives the drives a number of necessary properties. For example, the SSD

The Solidigm D7-P5810 is an 800 GB drive in the U.2 form factor with NVMe interface (PCI Express 4.0 x4). The 1.6 TB model will be released in the first half of 2024. Claimed linear read and write speeds reach 6400 and 4000 MB/s respectively. For random operations with maximum request depth, read performance reaches 865,000 IOPS and write performance reaches 495,000. In the latter case, the delays are in the range of 10-15 μs, with random reading they are no higher than 53 μs.

The Solidigm D7-P5810 drive allows 50 full capacity overwrites per day. According to the manufacturer’s calculations, this is the optimal proposal that can be an alternative to Optane products, the resources of which were usually not in full demand. The same applies to the stated performance of the D7-P5810 Solidigm. In other words: The new drive for caching, logging and other buffering tasks will not offer anything special with balanced characteristics and relatively low cost.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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