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PCIe SSD at 4TB From Foremay

Up to 1.6GB/s for reading and 1.5GB/s for writing
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2010.02.08

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Foremay, Inc., in solid state drives and one of the world’s Top 5 SSD OEMs, announced the EC188 D-series PCIe solid state hard drive with standard PCIe card host interfaces.

foremay_ec188_dseries_pcie_ssd

The EC188 D-series PCIe SSD is designed for servers, workstations and desktops with x4 PCIe, x8 PCIe or x16 PCIe slots, with speeds up to 1.6 GB/s for reading and 1.5 GB/s for writing, and read/write IOPS up to 200K/180K. The jumbo capacity of the EC188 D-series PCI Express SSD scales up to 4 TB. It helps solve the storage bottleneck problem in dense I/O, heavy traffic load, and high speed computing applications such as enterprise servers, studio workstations, database storage and high-end computers.

IOPS is one of the major pain points to be addressed in the deployment of today’s high-end and mission-critical servers and workstations,” said Dr. Jack Winters, Foremay’s CTO and co-founder. “We hope that our new EC188 D-series PCIe SSD card, with greater than 100K IOPS and more than 1 GB/s bandwidth, can help solve problems in the majority of those computing applications where IOPS or speed is the bottleneck.”  

Some application examples for EC188 PCIe card SSD are:

  • Enterprise servers / workstations
  • Real time processing servers such as in stock exchange systems
  • Database storage
  • Recording/editing/transmitting of film, HD video, and HDTV
  • 3D modeling
  • High-end gaming machines
  • EAD/IC design simulation, extraction and verification
  • Scientific research
  • Medical imaging
  • Web hosting servers and mail servers

The EC188 D-series PCIe cards support a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000/Server, Mac OS X 10.4/5/6, Solaris, Linux, UNIX, etc. It also comes with built-in PCIe RAID controller to give users flexibility for more scalability or redundancy protection.

EC188 D-series PCIe SSD Availability
EC188 D-series PCIe SSD cards are now shipping in small quantities. Volume production is expected starting in March 2010.

Our Comments

There are several ways to connect SSDs to computers: using standard storage interfaces like SATA, SAS, FC, FireWire, USB, or PCIe, probably the fastest solution.

Other companies in PCIe SSDs include Dolphin ICS (up to 4TB), Fusion-io (640GB), Hagiwara Sys-Com, Lexar, OCZ (1TB), Maxell, Pretec, Samsung, Smart Modular Technologies (400GB), Super Talent (2TB), Texas Memory (450GB), Transcend and Verbatim. Seagate is also coming with LSI controllers.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Fremont, CA with offices in China, Korea and Taiwan, Foremay is not the best-known company in this field but, according to StorageSearch.com, was the number two in its list of Top 10 SSD OEMs in 4Q09, behind Fusion-io, and in front of STEC, WD, SandForce, Texas Memory, Samsung, SanDisk, RunCore and Intel. It’s surprising to see STEC being only at the third place and Intel 10th. SandForce offers mainly SSD controllers only.

Last December, Foremay already announced volume shipping of PCIe SSD cards, but at 'only' 2GB, R/W speed up to 1,300/1,100 MB/s. It also offers SSDs in 1.8-, 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors with PATA and SATA interfaces.

The firm was founded by a team of semiconductor and network industry veterans from Cisco, IBM, NEC, Nokia, Alcatel and AT&T. CTO is Jack Winters, adjunct professor at Stevens Institute of Technology and co-founder at Eigent Technologies, and formerly division manager at AT&T Labs.

Its technology is based on:
  • wear leveling, arranging data so that erasures and re-writes are distributed evenly across the entire device
  • BCH ECC algorithm to correct up to 12 random bit errors in each 512 byte area
  • Bad block management to detect factory produced bad blocks as well as those that develop over the lifetime of the device
  • SMART and NCQ
Foremay manufactures four lines of products :
  • OC177: compact flash disk modules for onboard computing
  • SC199: for mission critical computing
  • EC188: for high IO/s for the enterprise market
  • PC166: for PCs
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