11 April 2013

Charlie Chaplin

Channel surfing got me to "Chaplin", the biographical movie of Charlie, with Robert Downey, Jr. I didn't stay very long, but seeing some bits led me to WikiPedia. What was his life, from an historical perspective?
A Dog's Life, released April 1918, was the first film under the new contract. Chaplin paid yet more concern to story construction, and began treating the Tramp as "a sort of Pierrot [sad clown]."

Today, I am a pierrot. AnandTech has a review up of the Crucial/Micron M500. Nearly 1T for $599! But how they got there, which is detailed in the review, dashes any hope for SSD being a performance replacement for HDD. In the comments, a question was asked, and I had the temerity to answer. Here it is.
-- My point is, what's at stake here is who's the next Seagate? The next Western Digital? Of SSDs.

Getting harder to say. The three well known public companies doing SSD (mostly) as such, STEC, OCZ, Fusion-io, have been missing all targets for a least a couple of quarters. Violin may or may not IPO in the next few months.

The reasonable answer is that there won't be a Seagate or WDC for SSD. It's well understood how to take commodity HDD to Enterprise Drive, using tighter QA and some incrementally better parts at modest cost. With SSD, as this review shows, "progress" in feature shrink isn't improving any of the factors at lower cost. It is quite perverse. The NAND suppliers will come to dominate consumer SSD, with performance asymptotically approaching a bit better than current HDD, with a price premium. Look for TLC, with huge erase blocks, long latencies, slowing controllers (having to do all that much more work to get around the NAND).

Enterprise SSD will likely fade away, to be replaced by NAND arrays, along the line of the Sun/Oracle device, which has been around for a few years.

The SSD is dead, long live the flash array.

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