SANTA CLARA, USA: STEC Inc. announced at the Flash Memory Summit (FMS) that it has shipped samples to OEM customers of multi-level cell (MLC)-based ZeusIOPS Solid State Drives optimized to meet the stringent demands of Enterprise storage and server applications.
These versions of STEC's core SSD product families achieve previously unattained reliability levels using MLC NAND Flash. MLC NAND Flash components are generally considered to be more widely available at competitive pricing, leading to significant cost reductions for SSDs built using these parts.
STEC's MLC-based drives will be offered with enterprise SAS 6Gb and 4Gb FC connectivity and in 2.5" and 3.5" form factors with capacities up to 800GB. These products are expected to be shipping in volume by the first quarter of 2010.
Until now, MLC NAND has not been considered a practical storage media for SSDs used in the Enterprise applications due to the rigorous endurance and reliability demands of those markets.
However, STEC designs and implements high performance flash controller technology and proprietary advanced Flash management algorithms to render Enterprise-grade performance and endurance that is superior to hard disk drives (HDD) and consumer-grade MLC SSDs.
In addition, utilizing sophisticated Flash management algorithms, STEC's MLC-based SSDs ensure constant Enterprise-level performance across demanding workloads and data sizes. By achieving these critical thresholds, these drives are well-suited for the requirements of demanding enterprise environments where SSDs will be deployed.
As the rest of the industry continues to work towards solutions to enable MLC in the enterprise, STEC is relying on its core developed technologies, adaptable to both SLC and MLC Flash, to deliver early-to-market MLC-based solutions to its customers.
While not quite as fast as their SLC-counterparts, these lower cost MLC versions of our SSDs have the potential to significantly expand the size of our markets by creating cost-performance advantages in certain sectors of the market that have until now been reticent to adopt SSDs for cost reasons alone.
"While we believe our core customers will continue to rely on and demand our industry-leading SLC-based SSDs, it is apparent that several of our price-sensitive OEM customers are now looking for SSD alternatives which only a true MLC-based SSD can deliver," said Manouch Moshayedi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STEC.
"STEC continues to lead the way in developing innovative SSD solutions for today's Enterprise markets. Our introduction of MLC-based SSDs is an important next step in the enablement of even wider spread adoption of SSDs and will open doors to new and exciting markets for us."