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Hybrid solution crams flash storage into DIMM slots

Aug 27, 2010 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Viking Modular announced an unusual way of adding SSD (solid state disk) storage to an embedded device or server. The company's SATADIMM is claimed to pack from 25GB to 400GB of flash storage into an unused, 240-pin DIMM socket.

Viking's SATADIMM sounds a little off-the-wall, but it's touted as providing a novel way of adding SSD storage to devices that lack room for 2.5-inch drives (or other standardized form factors). Measuring 5.25 x 1 inches(133.35 x 25.5mm), with a maximum thickness of .3 inches (7.75mm), it fits into any empty 240-pin DIMM socket that would otherwise have been used for DDR3 random access memory, according to the company.


Viking's SATADIMM
(Click to enlarge)

Once in place, the SATADIMM draws power from the 1.5V supply in the DIMM socket, eliminating the need for a power cable. The device's L-type SATA connector — seen in the middle, above — must, however, be cabled up to a computer's SATA II interface.

Viking adds that in new designs, SATA signals could be routed via the DIMM edge connector, obviating the need for any cable whatsoever. As a result, devices could present hybrid sockets that could be used for either random access memory or nonvolatile storage at will, the company says.

It's claimed the SATADIMM is compatible with standard operating systems, supports Trim commands, and has built-in ARS-128 encryption for data protection. The device withstands shocks of up to 50G (11ms duration) and operates over temperatures ranging from 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C), says Viking.

According to Viking, the SATADIMM provides sustained read/write speeds of 260MB/sec., plus sequential and random performance of 30,000 I/O operations per second. Built-in data recovery from sector, page, and block failures is also offered, the company adds.

It's said the SATADIMM will be offered in both SLC (single-level cell) and MLC (multi-level cell) versions. The former will range from 25GB to 200GB, while the latter will range from 50GB to a rather-incredible 400GB, according to Viking. (We'd imagine only the smaller capacities will be available initially.)

Adrian Proctor, Viking Modular's vice president of marketing, stated, "Viking Modular is the first to deliver a ground-breaking, flexible and efficient method of enabling SSD integration into standard server and storage appliances. It can breathe new life into maxed out systems with the high performance and low power consumption of SSD technology. Furthermore, it opens up the possibility for new design, no longer constrained by standard hard drive space requirements."

Further information

Viking did not release pricing, but said the SATADIMM is available "for immediate customer qualification." More information may be found on the company's website, here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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