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Anyone fancy testing the 'unlimited' drive writes claim on Nimbus Data's 100TB whopper SSD?

Samsung, Toshiba sulking in 30TB tiddler territory


Nimbus Data has introduced its 100TB ExaDrive DC series SSD, the highest-capacity flash drive available.

It has some unusual characteristics but, first, let's show its size advantage by checking out the competition:

Intel, Micron and SK Hynix are basically nowhere in the very high-capacity SSD area.

Samsung talked about a 2.5-inch form factor 128TB flash drive in August last year, which would use QLC (4bits/cell) and 3D NAND technology implemented as a package of parallel accessed 32 stacked 1Tb chips.

Nimbus introduced a 50TB ExaDrive SSD in August last year, and Viking and SMART Modular Technology OEM'd it.

The 100TB ExaDrive has a 3.5-inch enclosure, a SATA interface, and is built from MLC (2bits/cell) 3D NAND. It has, Nimbus claims, the lowest power/TB rating, down to 0.1W/TB, 85 per cent lower than Micron's 5100 drive.

The random read/write IOPS performance is up to 100,000/100,000 – symmetrical – which is unusual as the majority if SSDs are skewed towards faster random read IOPS. The 100,000 level isn't "fast" as such; Toshiba's PM5 and Samsung's PM1643 do up to 400,000. This indicates that online transaction processing-type applications are not for this drive, which appears to be optimised for capacity and efficiency.

IDC Research VP Eric Burgener said: "Devices of this class will allow flash to cost-effectively penetrate a broader set of use cases outside of tier 0 and tier 1 applications."

The sequential read/write bandwidth is symmetrical too, being 500MB/sec, which seems low. The PM1643 does 2100/700MB/sec, while the PM5 offers up to 3,350/2,720MB/sec.

Savings offered by the ExaDrive over these drives are physical space and power. A theoretical 100PB constructed from 3,264 Samsung PM1643 SSDs would need 6 x 45U racks, according to Nimbus, and around 50kW of power.

The same ExaDrive-sourced capacity would need one rack, 990 drives and draw about 16kW. Nimbus suggests the ExaDrive DC 100 will cost cost 42 per cent less per terabyte over a five-year period than existing enterprise SSDs because of its greater endurance, lower power draw and other factors.

Nimbus's 100TB drive offers unlimited write endurance for its five-year warranty period, which contrasts with the 1 to 10 full drive writes per day from the SSDs listed above. The "Unlimited" rating is almost an invitation to try and break it by writing to the drive constantly and seeing how long it would last.

The ExaDrive also has a 2.5 million hours MTBF (mean time before failure) rating, capacitor-based power loss protection, several ECC engines, encryption and secure erase.

The company suggests tier 0/1 data should be stored on NVMe SSDs, tier 3 nearline data (archive, DR copies, backup, cold data) on disk, with the ExaDrive being for the tier 1 and 2 areas.

Deep Storage chief scientist Howard Marks suggests that hyperscalers might be the main customers for the ExaDrive DC 100, possibly with fast access archives in mind. He thinks you would need distributed parity across 50-100 drives to get an acceptable rebuild time for a failed drive. A RAID scheme with 10 drives might take a long time to rebuild if one dies.

The ExaDrive DC series will be available with both a 100TB and 50TB capacity. Both are being sampled with customers and should ship in the summer. Nimbus says pricing will be similar to existing enterprise SSDs on a per terabyte basis. ®

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Toshiba shares up as buyers prepare to shell out $22b

Japanese tech conglomerate has reportedly received 10 offers, each with a different idea about how to do things

Toshiba has received 10 potential offers for the company, eight of which would take the company private, while two would allow it to remain publicly listed, according to reports.

Toshiba shares are said to have risen as much as 6.5 percent following the news, with some estimates valuing the deals at up to $22 billion.

The Japanese conglomerate announced in April that it was considering proposals to take the company private following numerous scandals and pressure from investor groups.

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Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market

Ideal for corporate fleet dash cameras, smart home security, police bodycams, VSaaS and more, says chip giant

Embedded World Chipmaker Micron is offering a microSD Card for embedded applications with an impressive 1.5TB capacity, enough to hold four months of continuously recorded security camera footage, according to the company.

Announced at the Embedded World 2022 conference in Nuremberg, Germany, Micron's new i400 [PDF] is claimed to be the highest-capacity microSD card yet and was designed with a focus on industrial-grade video security applications.

The device is sampling with potential customers now.

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Samsung accused of cheating on hardware benchmarks ... again

South Korean giant says it's in no way goosing TV HDR brightness

Samsung has once again been accused of cheating in benchmark tests to inflate the apparent abilities of its hardware.

The South Korean titan was said to have unfairly goosed Galaxy Note 3 phone benchmarks in 2013, and faced with similar allegations about the Galaxy S4 in 2018 settled that matter for $13.4 million.

This time Samsung has allegedly fudged the results for its televisions, specifically the S95B QD-OLED and QN95B Neo OLED LCD TVs. 

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Samsung fined $14 million for misleading smartphone water resistance claims

Promoted phones as ready for a dunking – forgot to mention known problems with subsequent recharges

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has fined Samsung Electronics AU$14 million ($9.6 million) for making for misleading water resistance claims about 3.1 million smartphones.

The Commission (ACCC) says that between 2016 and 2018 Samsung advertised its Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5, A7, S8, S8 Plus and Note 8 smartphones as capable of surviving short submersions in the sea or fresh water.

As it happens The Register attended the Australian launch of the Note 8 and watched on in wonder as it survived a brief dunking and bubbles appeared to emerge from within the device. Your correspondent recalls Samsung claiming that the waterproofing reflected the aim of designing a phone that could handle Australia's outdoors lifestyle.

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Samsung said to be sniffing around European chipmakers

Fresh out of jail on corruption charges, the company's leader goes shopping

Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong is said to be courting Dutch chipmaker NXP on a visit to Europe to bolster the company's position in the automotive semiconductor market.

According to the Asian Tech Press, Jae-yong, who has been released on probation after serving time on corruption charges, is expected to visit several chipmakers and semiconductor manufacturing vendors including the Netherland's NXP and ASML, as well as Germany's Infineon. Press became aware of Jae-yong's plans after a Seoul Central District Court approved the vice chairman's travel plans.

NXP offers a wide array of microprocessors, power management, and wireless chips for automotive, communications, and industrial applications. However, the Asian Tech Press said Samsung's interest in the company, which is valued at approximately $56 billion, is primarily rooted in the company's automotive silicon.

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Top chip foundries grow amid electronics spending slowdown. Except Samsung

Chaebol hit by lower demand for smartphones and TVs plus 4nm yield issues

The demand for consumer electronics has slowed down in the face of inflation – but that didn't stop nine of the world's 10 largest contract chip manufacturers from growing in the first three months of the year.

That's according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which said on Monday the collective revenues for the top 10 chip foundries grew 8.2 percent to $31.96 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter. That's a hair slower than the 8.3 percent quarterly growth reported for the top-ten foundries in the fourth quarter of last year.

On a broader level, TrendForce said this revenue growth came from a mix of "robust wafer production" and foundries continuing to raise the prices of wafers as a result of high demand.

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Warning: Colleagues are unusually likely to 'break' their monitors soon

Wave of replacements needed as Samsung and Microsoft team to stream Xbox games to smart displays and tellies

Microsoft and Samsung have teamed to stream Xbox games on the Korean giant's smart televisions and monitors.

Samsung has offered streaming games since early 2022, taking advantage of its smart displays running the Linux-based Tizen OS. The "gaming hub" installed on those devices can already deliver games from Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now.

Xbox is a rather larger brand, making this deal considerably more significant.

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Toshiba considering 11 possible futures

Management reveals 10 suitors, plus a digital transformation plan to become a software-defined business

Disgraced tech giant Toshiba has revealed it has received ten buyout proposals, and devised a plan to grow its digital businesses.

"As of today, the Company has received eight initial proposals for privatization, as well as two initial proposals for a strategic capital and business alliance with the Company remaining listed from Potential Partners," the Japanese conglomerate stated in a canned statement [PDF] dated June 2.

Toshiba didn't say who submitted the buyout proposals, but Bain Capital is known to have expressed an interest. Reports have indicated CVC Capital Partners and KKR might be in the running too. It's worth noting that CVC has sought this opportunity before.

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Semiconductor industry growth to slow in 2022, warns IDC

Chip price hikes keeping sector healthy but new fabs could lead to 'overcapacity'

The global economy may be in a tenuous situation right now, but the semiconductor industry is likely to walk away from 2022 with a "healthy" boost in revenues, according to analysts at IDC. But beware oversupply, the analyst firm warns.

Semiconductor companies across the world are expected to grow collective revenues by 13.7 percent year-on-year to $661 billion, IDC said in research published Wednesday. Global semiconductor revenue last year was $582 billion.

"Overall, the semiconductor industry remains on track to deliver another healthy year of growth as the super cycle that began in 2020 continues this year," said Mario Morales, IDC group vice president of semiconductors.

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Western Digital open to spinning out flash, hard disk businesses

Messrs Elliott strike again

Western Digital has confirmed the board is considering "strategic alternatives" for the storage supplier, including spinning out its flash and hard disk businesses.

This follows calls last month by activist investor Elliott Management, which has amassed a $1 billion investment in WD equating to a six percent share stake, for a "full separation" based on those product lines.

In a statement, CEO David Goeckeler said: "The board is aligned in the belief that maximizing value creation warrants a comprehensive assessment of strategic alternatives focused on structural options for the company's Flash and HDD businesses.

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