Virident joins the PCIe SSD fray

Joins Fusion-io, Texas Memory, LSI and OCZ

Virident announced a new entry in the PCIe SSD market last week with its tachIOn enterprise-class product. The company, with facilities in Milpitas, Calif. and Bangalore, India has been developing flash-based devices for about three years, but tachIOn is its first broadly launched product. 

Virident joins Fusion-io and Texas Memory Systems who have PCIe products that use device drivers that run on the host system to perform the management functions associated with wear-leveling and other housekeeping functions. Other entries, including LSI and OCZ, use on-board controllers and interface to the host via Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial ATA (SATA), which do not require proprietary drivers.

The tachIOn is built from 50GB SLC Flash modules and comes in either 200G or 400GB capacities. Unique to tachIOn, the flash modules can be added in the field and replaced for repair or upgrade purposes. The company has qualified flash modules from Samsung, Toshiba and Micron. While currently available only in SLC, the architecture will support MLC and even has the capability for hybrid SLC and MLC modules.

Performance is very good, as is expected from PCIe and SLC, with 320,000 Input-Outputs Per Second (IOPs) for 4KB random reads, and sustained random read/write (75%/25%) of 200,000 IOPs. The wear-leveling algorithm supports a 24-year life assuming 5TB in writes per day, the company claims. At product release, drivers are available for Linux, with Windows drivers coming soon. Initially aimed at an OEM market, tachIOn is targeted at a $6,200 price for the 200MB version.

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