One of the most difficult challenges when specifying and designing a new product is balancing what you put in to it for today’s needs versus capabilities that will be utilized in the future. “Future” capabilities often allow the life of a product to be extended, either through new features, the ability to expand capacity, or improve performance. The problem is that these features, which by definition cannot be utilized immediately, also often add costs to the product without commensurate benefits. Not to mention that “features for the future” are nearly almost a guess at what the future needs.
When we designed the Newport computational storage controller ASIC, the platform that powers the Newport U.2 Computational Storage SSD (launched yesterday), we looked at it from two perspectives. We wanted a computational storage controller that could support multiple SSD form factors, from M.2 drives to U.2 drives to EDSFF drives. These drives differ not only in the number of flash chips on each one, but also in the width of the PCI Express® (PCIe) bus that connects the controller to the host system. These factors also drive the memory requirements for the drive, as well as its performance and power consumption. Finally, we also designed the Newport computational storage controller ASIC so that it could support coming generations of NAND flash. In addition, the need to fit it into a cost profile that allowed our Newport SSDs to be competitive with comparable SSDs, whether they had computational storage capabilities or not.
Producing a storage controller for a 16TB U.2 SSD is difficult (today we are the only 16TB U.2 NVMe SSD), let alone building one with computational storage capabilities. But the Newport Computational Storage Controller has all that and more – it is:
- The first storage controller in a 14 nanometer (nm) process technology,
- The first that supports a full sixteen flash channel use in M.2 and U.2
- And is Non-Volatile Memory Express® (NVMe®) Version 1.3 capable
- Not to mention the fact that the Newport storage controller provides full computational storage capabilities.
- And can drive a 16TB U.2 NVMe SSD that consumes less than 12 watts of power!
And the Newport U.2 Computational Storage SSD is only our first product launch in 2019 – others will include higher capacity points and new form factors. That’s what makes the Newport Platform cutting-edge. Can you tell I am excited about this groundbreaking and innovative technology?
If you would like to find out more, please contact me at Scott.Shadley@ngdsystems.com. Thanks!