Seagate and Samsung to co-develop SSD for enterprise storage

SSDs use much less power and have a higher performance under some conditions than HD, but the uptake in enterprises has been slow and in data centers that want to be green.

CNET has an article on Seagate and Samsung co-developing SSD for enterprise storage.

Seagate and Samsung to co-develop SSD controller

by Dong Ngo

Seagate and Samsung, the two major makers of hard drives and system memory, announced Thursday that they have entered into a joint development and licensing agreement.

Under this agreement, the two companies will develop and cross-license related controller technologies for solid state drives.

Seagate is leveraging its enterprise storage expertise.

Seagate says that the joint development will build on the existing SSD capabilities of each company while combining Seagate's enterprise storage technology with Samsung's 30 nanometer-class MLC NAND flash memory technology. Seagate will then use the jointly developed controller for its enterprise-class SSDs.

Seagate's blog says the partnerships is to address SSD memory errors and lower cost.

Each company brings something unique to the table besides its market leadership. While companies in any technology field when marketing will tend to focus on the positive aspects of the technology they are producing or selling, we know that behind the scenes all technologies have challenges and hurdles that must be overcome. In the case of storage, it doesn’t matter whether we’re discussing SSDs or HDDs; engineers working with both technologies are most often tasked with limiting the number of data errors produced at the media. Think of it as the game of always looking to make perfect something that will always be imperfect to start with.  Seagate has great expertise in minimizing errors on its media and its current enterprise HDDs are best-in-class in the area of error recovery.

So that is at the heart of the collaboration from a technical perspective: error recovery and management. Samsung brings its flash technology expertise while Seagate brings its error recovery expertise to the table. Between them, the companies will look to produce a controller for SSDs that can attain the high levels of performance, reliability, and endurance demanded by enterprise storage applications.

Another interesting technical piece is the fact that today’s announcement references the use of  Samsung’s 30 nanometer-class MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND as the technology base for the collaborative project. MLC NAND enables higher capacities at a lower cost, but it has not typically been a target technology for enterprise use due to having lower endurance. However, the controller technology that Seagate and Samsung develop together with its advanced error recovery and flash management, will enable more cost-effective and long-life products for the enterprise space.

Seagate's press release is here.

"Seagate has long recognized that solid state technology has an important role to play in the comprehensive solutions the storage industry will deliver today and in the future, particularly in the enterprise market," said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. "Today's agreement with Samsung will help us bring a compelling set of SSD innovations to the enterprise storage market, with benefits that range from enhanced performance, endurance and reliability to cost and capacity improvements. Overall, this agreement with Samsung strengthens our SSD solutions strategy, and positions Seagate well as global demand for storage continues on its strong growth path."

"We are pleased to be jointly developing a high-performance SSD controller with Seagate for the enterprise storage market," said Dr. Changhyun Kim, senior vice president and Samsung Fellow, Memory product planning & application engineering, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. "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."