Marvell have unveiled some things over at the Flash Memory Summit (where some of our guys are schmoozing with the crowd), with the first of these being the general availability of their PCIe-based DragonFly platform. If you haven't heard of DragonFly, it's a platform that combines Marvell's SoC technology with newly-designed circuit boards, and uses PCIe as its connectivity.
The results of this are storage solutions that can provide 10-100x lower latency and improved server I/O performance, all while using less power, space and storage capital costs in a datacenter. Marvell's DragonFly platform will be commercially available from September 15, 2012. Marvell's specs on DragonFly are pretty insane, as they've shown:
DragonFly is sold as a PCIe Gen2 x8 adapter with up to 8GB SODIMM ECC DRAM and up to 1.5 TB of external SSD storage; read, write-back and write-thru caching; synchronous low-latency peer-to-peer write-back mirroring; 3.2GB/s of throughput; less than 22us latency; 220K IOPS read; 220K IOPS write; integrated ultracapacitors to protect data in the event of power loss; and a wide variety of host operating system support, including RHEL, KVM, Xen, VMWare and Windows.
Second up from Marvell at FMS 2012, are the company's ARM-based SSD server designs. Marvell reiterated that they are committed to Flash, as well as helping OEMs focus their efforts on developing differentiated products that use Flash-based solutions. Marvell is pushing away from the competition as the only one-stop shop for creating an end-to-end ARM SSD server reference design by providing end-to-end silicon in various areas of the market, such as networking, application processors, storage connectivity, and NAND flash controllers.
Servers based on Marvell's quad-core ARM-based ARMADA XP SoC products sport higher CPU utilization and offer demand-based scaling. The results of this are lower power, higher efficiency server solution for data centers and enterprises that lead to significant savings.
Lastly, Marvell touched on SSD-enabling Storage SoCs, where the company will show off demonstrations of their storage SoCs used in PCIe SSDs, SAS SSDs, and Thunderbolt-based SSDs. Marvell will use high-definition video streaming from a Marvell-powered Thunderbolt-based SSD, PCIe SSD reference design to show the powerful I/O acceleration for both bare-metal and virtual server applications, as well as a few finished product examples of OEM customers that use Marvell's storage SoCs for HBAs and SSDs.
Marvell have quoted some examples of bridge-based SSDs:
The Marvell 88SE9485, aPCIe 2.0 x8 to 8x 6Gb/s SAS/SATA I/O controller, and the Marvell 88SE9230, a PCIe 2.0 x2 to 4x 6Gb/s SATA I/O controller. Native PCIe SSD reference designs leverage the Marvell reference board that combine a low-latency non-blocking PLX PCIe switch with multiple Marvell 88NV9145 PCIe-NAND modules. SAS SSDs utilize the Marvell 88SF9210 (6Gb/s dual-port SAS to dual SATA ports protocol converter) and 88SF9110 (6Gb/s dual-port SAS to single SATA port protocol converter). Finally, Thunderbolt-powered SSDs leverage a combination of an Intel Thunderbolt controller with a Marvell PCIe-SATA I/O controller, such as the 88SE9230 and 88SE9182.