This year’s Flash Memory Summit provided insights both into the genesis of the solid-state drive and into the future of SSDs and flash.
In an interview with Eli Harari, the father of flash and co-founder of SanDisk shared anecdotes on how the technology found its footing. Other sessions explored the outlook for 3-D NAND and what may come after it. The show floor gave a view of the near-term flash products making their way to the market now.
Ironically, organizers gave awards both to the engineer who wrote the software for the first SSD and to one who will sell software to replace it. Mike Jadon, chief executive of Radian Memory Systems, won a best-of-show award for his company’s Symphonic software that aims to replace the Flash Translation Layer (FTL) code originally written in 1988 by Robert Norman of SanDisk.
Jadon claims Radian’s software will lower latency and reduce the amount of memory over-provisioning needed for SSDs today. The code is also better suited for today’s big data centers, he said. But it will require some tweaking of host file systems, he added.
The software will hit the market in October embedded in the company’s own SSD, the RMS-250, a 2.5-inch NVMe 2TB drive. However, Jadon is already in negotiations with a select group of SSD and other hardware makers to license the software directly.
Jadon cut his teeth in SSDs at Micro Memory. Later he had conversations with the chief scientist at a former customer about the innovations and shortcomings of Fusion-IO, a pioneer in SSD’s for the PCI Express interface.
The talks led to the idea for Radian. Jadon was able to hire a computer scientist from Google, a handful of system experts from Dot Hill and elsewhere and much of his former team at Micro Memory to form company that made its debut at the event.