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Seagate preps Nytro with layers of flash and boom...

SAS and NVMe SSDs use more and faster flash fuel

Seagate has updated two single-layer SSD product lines with 3D NAND, raising capacity fourfold in one case, and demonstrating a single 64TB flash drive at the Flash Memory Summit.

The Nytro 5000 is the next version of Seagate’s XM1440 SSDs. These came in three versions spanning a high endurance to high capacity range with 400GB to 1.92TB capacity and using MLC (2bits/cell) flash. The interface was M.2 NVMe PCIe gen 3 x4 NVMe 1.2, as it is for the 5000.

The 5000, in an M.2 form factor and with the same interface, goes up to 2TB using 3D NAND (cMLC – 2bits/cell). Even though 3D NAND use gives Seagate a heck of a lot of capacity headroom, it’s chosen to keep the 5000 at virtually the same capacity level as the XM1440.

Nytro 5000 Capacity R' Read IOPS R' Write IOPS Seq Read Seq Write
Endurance 400GB, 800GB, 1.6TB 245,000 (240K 400GB) 55,000, 60,000, 67,000 as capacity rises 2GB/sec 1.2GB
Capacity 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB 245,000 (240K 400GB) 24,000, 25,000, 28,000 as capacity rises 2GB/sec 1.2GB

Nytro 5000

Seagate says this drive has configurable over-provisioning.

The 5000 does up to 67,000 random write IOPS – the maximum the XM1440 could reach was 33,000. Endurance is 1.5 drive writes per day (DWPD) for 5 years for the endurance-optimised product and 0.3 DWPD for the capacity-optimised one.

The MTBF rating is 2 million hours and there are self-encrypting models.

Nytro 3000

The Nytro 3000 is the next version of the 1200.2 SAS SSD technology. That product used Micron eMLC flash with a dual port 12Gbit/s interface. The interface is the same with the 3000 but it uses 3D NAND – eMLC (2 bits/cell) for the Mainstream and Light Endurance model types and eTLC (3bits/cell) for the Scaled and Tunable Endurance models.


Nytro 3000

The five-year warrantied drive writes per day endurance is nicely stratified across the model types:

  • Mainstream endurance – 10 DWPD
  • Light endurance – 3 DWPD
  • Scaled endurance – 1 DWPD
  • Tunable endurance – 0.5 DWPD (0.25 DWPD 15.36TB)

Checking the table above, we see the scaled and tunable endurance Nytro 3000 products show a random read/write IOPS performance rise from the low capacity points up to the higher ones, but drop off at the 15.36TB level.

The 1200.2 topped out at 3.84TB of capacity and 1.8GB/sec when sequentially reading, so the 3000 has almost four times more capacity and a slight sequential bandwidth speed jump.

The 2.5-inch form factor varies from 2.5-inch x 7mm at lower capacities to 2.5-inch x 15mm at the higher capacity levels.


Seagate is also showing a 64TB add-in-card (AIC) product, with eight controllers on a PCIe card, an NVMe interface, and up to 13GB/sec of sequential bandwidth. It will be sampling in the first half of 2018.

At last year’s FMS Seagate showed a 60TB SSD, so there is little capacity advance, however there is a massive throughput advance. Last year’s demo drive featured a dual port 12Gbit/s SAS interface with up to 1.5GB/sec of throughput; miserly compared to the AIC’s 13GB/sec.



Is it built from eight Nytro 5000s?

The company told us: “The 64TB AIC is built from 8 x M.2 modules, yes. It is not specifically the Nytro 5000 drives, but essentially the same idea. The Nytro 5000 M.2 only goes up to 2TB per card, while the 64TB AIC uses 8TB M.2 modules. The 8TB modules are using early 512Gbit/die 3D TLC samples from Micron.”

Jim Handy, general director of research firm Objective Analysis, provided a canned quote for Seagate: “Large-capacity SSDs are in high demand in hyperscale computing, a market that is growing faster than any other sector.”

Seagate will demonstrate the 64TB NVMe AIC, Nytro 5000 NVMe M.2 SSD and Nytro 3000 SAS SSD in booth #505 at the 2017 Flash Memory Summit. Booth visitors will also see a RealStor 5005 all-flash array using the Nytro 3000 SAS SSD. ®


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