Seagate today unveiled a pre-production unit of the fastest single solid-state drive (SSD) demonstrated to date, with throughput performance of 10 gigabytes per second (GB/s). The demo, which lays the foundation for a new SSD product to be released later in 2016, is more than 4 GB/s faster than the industry’s previous fastest SSD on the market, which hovered around 6 GB/s.

A drawing of the fastest SSD demo unit on display at the OCP Summit.Compatible with specifications from the Open Compute Project (OCP), this early unit is ideal for hyperscale data centers looking to adopt the fastest flash technology and reduce the power and cost burdens traditionally associated with operating at this level of performance. Supported by companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Goldman Sachs and many more, OCP is a rapidly growing community focused on designing, delivering and sharing the most efficient server, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing.

Seagate’s demo unit is on display at the OCP Summit this week in San Jose.

Seagate has effectively rewritten the rules for performance

“Technology advancements continue to stretch the limits of SSD speed and performance due to growing enterprise demands that require fast data processing at scale,” said Gregory Wong, founder and principal analyst, Forward Insights. “Seagate has effectively rewritten the rules for performance with this latest SSD unit. Based on our latest analysis, Seagate is already the leading provider to the emerging PCIe OCP market.”

“It’s important to keep our industry peers informed when leading-edge technology capabilities are achieved,” said Kent Smith, senior director of product marketing for flash products at Seagate. “This week’s OCP Summit is an ideal moment to demonstrate our thought leadership in flash technology and showcase our industry-leading PCIe performance—especially given the work and collaboration with customers and partners that has already gone into this product.”

Seagate’s technology demo would work with any system that supports the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol, which was developed by Seagate and other consortium vendors to replace the legacy Serial AT Attachment (SATA) standards and eliminate informational bottlenecks. NVMe helps reduce layers of commands to create a faster, simpler language between flash devices, which ultimately results in faster access to user data.

This OCP compliant 8-lane PCIe card reaches 6.7GB:s sequentially and 1M IOPS.Organizations that would most benefit from this solution include those processing data for object storage or in real-time, where speed matters most for results, such as large-scale cloud providers and web applications, weather modeling, or statistical trends analysis. The unit could be used in an all-flash array or as an accelerated flash tier with hard-disk drives (HDDs) for a more cost-effective hybrid storage alternative.

In addition to the 10 GB/s SSD technology, which accommodates 16-lane PCIe slots, Seagate is developing a second unit for eight-lane PCIe slots, which still performs at the industry-leading throughput of 6.7 GB/s, and is the fastest in the eight-lane category. The eight-lane solution will provide an alternative for organizations looking for the highest levels of throughput speed but in environments limited by power usage requirements or cost. Both the 16 and eight-lane SSD units have been made available to Seagate customers and are slated for a product launch this summer.

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