Radian Memory Systems decloaks, says it'll twin DRAM and flash

Small funding but big ideas - and a patent for co-operative flash memory control

Stealthy upstart Radian Memory Systems is coming out at the Flash Memory Summit in August, and is developing storage memory software to be used in enterprise, hyperconverged, and cloud computing environments.

Storage memory refers to the twinning of DRAM and non-volatile memory, meaning flash, in a single logical address space to provide a cheaper, large fast-access memory than all-DRAM.

The flash part has slower access than DRAM but very much faster access than disk. It's generally assumed that PCIe flash cards are used with, these days, an NVMe driver software layer.

Presenting this dual-media memory resource to applications without requiring them to be custom engineered is a challenge.

Radian was founded by CEO Mike Jadon, chief scientist Andrey Kuzmin, and VP Engineering Robert Lercari in 2010, and has had dripfeed-style funding with four quite small rounds:

  • 2012 — $1.1m seed
  • 2013 — $1.1m angel funding
  • 2013 — a further $640,000 angel infusion
  • 2014 — $1.7m angel funding

That gives it a total of $4.54m, peanuts in today's frantic storage startup scene.

Kuzmin has spent time with Veritas and Isilon. Lercari and Jadon both cane from Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, which acquired VMETRO for $72m in 2008.

Both were at VMETRO which supplied commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) board- and system-level embedded computer products for aerospace, defense, industrial, communication and medical market use.

Before that they worked at Micro Memory, which produced fault-tolerant PCIe NVRAM cards and distributed multi-processing blades. It was acquired by VMETRO.

Guess they got tired of being acquired.

Ex-CTO Richard Matthews' LinkedIn profile states that he was a CTO at Raidian from 2011 to 2014 and he:

  • Designed successful PCIe Non-Volatile RAM product that achieved 5GB/sec throughput in one PCIe slot. Demonstrated reliability through more than 100,000 power failure test cycles.
  • Designed a patent-pending system for an innovative $10M product to produce Solid State Disks with unprecedented high throughput and always-low latency.
  • Invented an algorithm for predicting remaining lifetime of supercapacitors, enabling consumers to trust that the product can protect data for years to come. This trust is crucial for millions of dollars of continuing annual sales.

These are intriguing items but not directly related to storage memory. The three founders have a filed patent application for co-operative flash memory control which could provide a hint of what they are up to, if you can wade through its 188 numbered sections.

Ex-Seagate consumer solutions president and, before that, chief marketing officer, Brian Dexheimner is on the Radian board. He has spent time advising SanDisk on its flash initiatives.

More will be revealed at the Flash Memory Summit, and I can't wait. ®

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