Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Viking is offering the SF-1500 based SATADIMM in SLC, MLC and eMLC flash configurations. The claimed read and write speeds are 260MB/s, but we can tell that is a conservative rating. IOPS performance goes up to 30,000. You might expect the Viking SATADIMM to use a SAS interface, but Viking went with the more common SATA interface to save space and increase server compatibility.
The rest of the specifications match what we've come to known as Team SandForce products. The SF-1500 has a few trick programming bits like the Super Capacitor, but for the most part a SF-1500 is a SF-1500. The real difference with the SATADIMM comes from the DIMM portion in the name. Using a JEDEC MO-269F form factor, commonly known as standard DDR3 slot, the SATADIMM is far from standard.
Power is fed to the SATADIMM through the memory slots power circuits. The SATADIMM uses a tiny switching power circuit to bring clean, consistent power to the SSD. The first thing we were worried about is how the SATADIMM would react to some of the overclocked environments, but the onboard power circuits handle the conversion. Of course, there aren't any proper servers that do what you or I do with memory.
Viking has no less than 12 product SKUs for the SATADIMM. The capacity options are 25GB (SLC only), 50GB, 100GB, 200GB and 400GB (MLC and eMLC only). All of the drives use the SandForce SF-1500 28% over provisioning. This guarantees long lasting high performance and long life from your SATADIMM. It will also increase performance when using an array of SATADIMMs when TRIM support is not available.
Our sample is the VRFSD1200GBCSM, AKA the 200GB MLC. We would love to be able to say these are available somewhere, anywhere in the e-tail or retail market, but as of now you have to go directly to Viking. Viking didn't want to give us pricing information and we don't know if there is a lead time between placing the order and delivery. For us, such an amazing, innovative component that has the ability to change the server market should have higher availability and a higher profile so sales can flourish and the market can quickly adapt the new form factor.