Seagate and Samsung have announced plans to jointly develop and cross-license controller technologies for enterprise-level solid state drives (SSDs).
The deal will see Seagate, the world's largest hard drive manufacturer, work with Samsung, the world's largest manufacturer of DRam and Nand memory chips, to harness the latest generation of Nand chips for SSDs.
The agreement centres on Samsung's 30nm multi-level cell (MLC) Nand memory which Seagate will use in its enterprise-class SSDs.
Single-level cell (SLC) Nand has traditionally been used in enterprise drives, but is far more expensive. MLC also promises greater memory density, allowing for larger capacity drives.
Seagate said that the partnership will allow its SSDs to "attain the high levels of performance, reliability and endurance" expected of enterprise drives.
SSDs provide a number of advantages over traditional mechanical hard drives. Significantly lower power consumption combined with low latency result in favourable performance characteristics in server workloads.
While Seagate is hoping to cash in on its enterprise credentials earned from years of making its Cheetah hard drives, Samsung is pushing the green angle.
"Our green memory solution is designed to enable more energy efficient server applications, which is expected to increase the use of Nand-based SSD storage in enterprise applications," said Changhyun Kim, a senior vice president and Samsung Fellow.
Toshiba has also developed double data rate (DDR) Nand for SLC and MLC configurations, claiming a threefold performance increase and up to 133 mega-transfers per second. The firm promised that future updates could result in chips that can reach 400 mega-transfers per second.
The DDR Nand chips do not require an asynchronous bus, which helps to lower power consumption, and Toshiba is aiming the 32nm chips at enterprise and consumer SSDs. The firm did not state when it will ship drives based on its DDR Nand.
The announcements suggest that even traditional hard drive manufacturers are finally thinking about ditching mechanical drives in favour of SSDs. Attention will now turn to lowering the price.
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