Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Avago Technologies recently acquired LSI and their SandForce division, and then scooped up PLX Technology as well. The merger with Avago isn't complete yet, so we couldn't discuss the details of the acquisition with Larry Chisvin, the VP of Strategic Initiatives at PLX Technology. PLX Technology is a right in the middle of the datacenter evolution with the advent of NVMe, and also the need for a new interface for converged server architectures. NVMe is currently a new interface that is still developing to offer multipath and fail-over features which will lean heavily on PCIe switches.
We visited PLX's office and took a tour through the ExpressFabric architecture, which can replace or augment networking infrastructure in the datacenter. The advent of hyperscale and cloud computing has spurred a re-imagination of datacenter architecture. Disruptive technologies and Open Compute initiatives are challenging the old way of thinking and delivering designs purpose-built for optimum efficiency. The emergence of software-defined datacenters (SDDC) and software-designed storage (SDS) requires new designs that allow total control of resource allocation. Using ExpressFabric's PCIe connections as a rack-level interconnect allows for new exciting datacenter designs that will pool server resources in separate chassis for optimum performance.
Motorola launched its slick smartphone called the Moto G a while back and a rumor claims that the successor to that smartphone is coming soon. According to a source who claims to have been given launch details straight from a Motorola rep, the next device will be the Moto G2 and it will launch on September 10.
The devices are tipped to hit dealers by August, but sales won't kick off until September 10. The smartphone is said to sell for around €250, not exactly an inexpensive handset. We have heard spec rumors for the device in the past.
The smartphone is tipped to have a 5-inch 720p screen, Snapdragon 400 chipset, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera. The front camera is a 2MP unit and the smartphone will run Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box. Internal storage is tipped at a paltry 8GB; presumably, the smartphone will have storage expansion.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Intelliprop develops ingenious designs to aggregate the performance of several SSDs into one unit. We took a look at the Hydra with four Intel DC S3700 SSDs back in February. Intelliprop has also released a new version of the Hydra that works with only two drives.
Intelliprop also announced the Apache, a new SATA SSD controller that can reach up to 8TB of capacity on a single SSD. Intelliprop uses FPGA's instead of ASICs for their SSD controller, which allows for fast reprogramming and re-purposing in the field. These new SSDs can be used for normal applications in the datacenter, and also are compliant with MIL-Spec for military applications. Larry Cleland from Intelliprop stopped by the booth to chat with us about the latest from Intelliprop.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Ray Pang, Director of Marketing at Skyera, stopped by our booth to discuss the skyHawk All-Flash Array (AFA). Skyera aims to bring the price of AFA down below $3 per GB, a similar price to disk-based storage subsystems. Skyera accomplishes much of the cost reduction by using their own design that doesn't rely upon traditional form factors. The end result is a remarkably slim 1U device that boasts up to 44TB of screaming flash storage.
skyHawk delivers 88 times more storage density at 1/10th of the power consumption of a like-priced HDD solution. Another key benefit of skyHawk is its converged storage architecture, which unifies block-based iSCSI and NAS file systems (NFS v3). The slim package provides up to 2.4 GB/s of bandwidth and 400,000 IOPS. skyHawk also employs compression and de-duplication technologies to boost the amount of use-able SSD space, but has base configurations before data reduction of 12, 22, and 44 TB.
Delivering all of this performance requires either 40 x 1GBe connections, or only 3 x 10GBe connections. The total package weighs under 20 lbs and pulls less than 350W, which is insanely efficient for a datacenter storage system.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - As we reach the end of planar (2D) NAND scaling we will begin to see more disruptive products emerge with futuristic technology such as PCM and magnetic and carbon nanotubes, the only question is which will rise to the top as the premier after-NAND technology. These new technologies will initially emerge as complimentary technologies to the existing NAND used in SSDs. Saul Zales, the Chief Executive Officer of Contour Semiconductor, brought along a wafer of their DTM (Diode Transistor Memory)that is valued at nearly $10 million, due to its early design and rarity. DTM is a phase-change based memory (PCM)that reduces the mask and process costs by up to 65% compared to NAND.
The 4F2 self-aligned structure uses a vertical epitaxial diode as the select device. In the future, Contour Semiconductor could include magnetic or carbon nanotube storage elements. The wafer is built on the CMOS process with a cross-point array architecture that supports word, sector, and page-level erase commands, which are very similar to NAND's design and fucntion. This will allow the use of the DTM packages with NAND controllers. We were lucky enough to see one of the only DTM wafers in existence, and had a quick chat with Saul Zales in the booth.
What does all this mean? Up to a billion P/E Cycles, which would be nearly immeasurable endurance compared to current SSDs. Using this type of memory as a cache for less-durable NAND could boost performance and endurance exponentially, and eventually new storage devices could use this type of memory.
Competition is fierce in the car hailing app realm with Uber and Lyft among the two most popular firms in the market. Lyft is claiming that Uber is resorting to underhanded tactics in the effort to come out on top. According to Lyft, Uber employees have ordered and canceled over 50000 rides using the Lyft app since last October.
Some may think that only a couple employees are doing this, but according to Lyft over 177 Uber employees have booked and cancelled rides during that time frame. By booking and cancelling rides using the app, it reduces the avialbitiy of Lyft drivers. Presumably, that could make real riders looking for a Lyft ride look to Uber instead.
Lyft drivers also report that when the Uber workers do actually get in the car and ride, the rides are short and unprofitable. Lyft workers go so far as to say that the main crux of the ride isn't to get somewhere for Uber workers, but to try to talk the drivers into coming to work for Uber. Lyft says that the data was gleaned by cross-referencing a list of known Uber recruiters with cancelled Lyft rides.
Hyundai has been in some legal trouble over inflated claims of fuel efficiency for its Santa Fe SUV. The automaker has offered a large settlement and an apology for inflating the fuel economy numbers in an attempt to settle a suit against it. The same suit targeted five other carmakers as well.
Hyundai has offered in the settlement a total of $54.3 million, which would give each customer who purchased a diesel-powered Santa Fe SUV $388.12 for extra fuel costs and inconvenience of dealing with the issue. The money will only be paid out to owners who purchased in South Korea since May 2012.
Hyundai says that it will revise the fuel efficiency of the diesel Santa Fe to 32.5 mpg, or 13.8 kilometers per liter from the original 14.4 kilometers per liter. Hyundai will have to adjust the fuel efficiency on about 140,000 units, over 1700 owners filed suit against Hyundai over fuel efficiency.
Apple rumors are a dime a dozen and another new one has surfaced this week that says Apple suppliers have begun production on two new iPad models. These same sources claim that both new iPad models are set to land in time for Christmas shopping this year.
The sources claim that Apple is manufacturing a 9.7-inch iPad, which is thought to be the next generation iPad Air. Launch for the device is expected to come this quarter or early in the next quarter.
The new iPad mode is also expected to have an anti-reflection coating on the screen that will improve readability in sunlight, but that special coating is expected to limit production capability for the new tablet. The other new model tipped to be in production is a 7.9-inch iPad mini expected to launch late this year.
Google is adding its support behind a project that aims to install a faster trans-Pacific cable on the ocean floor to increase internet speeds. The cable will link the west coast of the US with Japan and promises to improve global internet connectivity. The cable project is estimated to cost somewhere in the $300 million range.
Google is now one of six different companies that are working together to fund the project, the other companies include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI, and Singte. NEC is participating in the project as a system supplier.
The cable will run form two locations in Japan - Chikura and Shima - across the Pacific to the US where it will connect to hubs in LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The cable will offer up to 60Tbps over six fiber-pair cables.
Florida-based TotalBank is informing around 72,500 of its customers of a data breach that involves personal information ranging from names, banking information, account balances, PIN numbers, and possible Social Security numbers.
"An unauthorized third party" was able to compromise the TotalBank network, with bank officials notifying customers starting in early July. "The information did not include customer passwords or the type of information that would allow access to your bank account, which remains secure," said Luis de la Aguilera, TotalBank President and CEO.
There is a stronger call for the U.S. government to force banks - which already have stricter security protocols in place - to keep their customers safe. Cybercriminals find it extremely easy to sell and trade bulk information in organized underground forums.