Samsung invests in flash storage startup Fusion-io

By on October 21, 2009, 1:06 PM
Looking to secure a stronger foothold in the fast-growing flash storage business, Samsung has announced today it is investing "millions" in startup company Fusion-io. The undisclosed cash injection will reportedly see Fusion-io working closely with Samsung, which is already a big player in the NAND flash market, on evaluating technology for new applications of solid-state storage.


Fusion-io specializes in fast storage devices that plug directly into PCI Express slots, rather than SSDs using traditional HDD form factors and SATA interfaces. Their enterprise-class ioDrive Duo, for instance, offers up to 640GB of storage and read rates of up to 1,500MB/s. A gamer-oriented ioXtreme version is also available for around $895, boasting 80GB of MLC storage and an average bandwidth of 520MB/s -- enough to put even Intelís SLC-based X25-E Extreme drive to shame.




User Comments: 13

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"...available for around $895, boasting 80GB of MLC storage and an average bandwidth of 520MB/s."

Well the transfer rate is impressive, but $900 skins for 80GB of storage??? You can build a complete decent gaming PC complete with a 1TB drive @ 300MBps transfer for less than $900.

I don't know who are buying these off-the-charts expensive but small flash drives, but I'd sure like to know - have a bunch of swamp land I'd like to offer them.

poundsmack said:

with samsung getting involved the price for these things is going to start getting cheaper. Looking forward to seeing these things get cheaper with the 34nm and below fab processe's.

BlindObject said:

One day...you'll be buying these for a mere $50 dollars. =)

Guest said:

Not one 1TB mechanical drive will transfer at 300MB/s.

The bottleneck is the drive itself; not the SATA channel. I don't belief 7200RPM mechanical drives could even exceed 1/3 of the theoretical bandwidth spec.

520MB/s is a big deal; and over the PCIe channel no less.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well, that's kind of a half-truth, Guest. Typical disk-to-buffer transfer speeds are 70MB/s. But the buffer-to-computer transfer is a true 300 MB/s.

But your point is well taken - 520MB/s is very impressive. Now you just have to decide whether you want to shell out $11.25 per GB of storage. And very minimal storage at that.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

You have to factor the actual intent of someone's purchase though, and I can guarantee you they aren't buying a ~$900 80GB drive to use it for storage. They'll buy it for speed, and speed is what they'll get.

There's no arguing that disk-based drives are (at least for now) a more viable solution for mass storage -- and if that's what you're after, then more power to you. But, these flash-based devices offer a major boost in performance.

Point is, you're comparing two entirely different devices, even though they might sit next to each other on a store shelve. People seem to quickly pull out the cost-per-gigabyte argument, but why is there never a performance-to-dollar analysis? I'm sure there's still a premium, but I'm guessing SSDs would look less overpriced in that light.

adamk1101 said:

520MB/Sec is pretty impressive, but I built a raid array with an Adaptec 3405 Card and 4x 640GB WD Black Edition drives for well under $900. 420mb/sec and just under 2 terabytes. Not quite 520 megs per second, and not quite the seek times... but almost 20 times as much storage.

Flash Storage needs to get a little bit cheaper I think to really hit the mainstream market.

Guest said:

I used to deliver water to these guys when they were a smaller company with about 6-8 employees.

Good to see them starting to thrive. with samsung onboard you might see prices drop on their devices

Guest said:

I don't understand why people insist on using internal flash for long-term/mass storage. It's just a stupid, inefficient medium for that kind of storage especially considering it's longevity issues. Now storing applications that have intense performance needs (sorry, but booting an OS isn't a performance need, it's a performance "want") makes far more sense. But, it usually takes awhile for people to understand how to use technology properly; I still remember the days when I used to get grandmas buying top-of-the-line PCs for playing solitaire and answering email.

Guest said:

520MB/Sec is pretty impressive, but I built a raid array with an Adaptec 3405 Card and 4x 640GB WD Black Edition drives for well under $900. 420mb/sec and just under 2 terabytes. Not quite 520 megs per second, and not quite the seek times... but almost 20 times as much storage.

Flash Storage needs to get a little bit cheaper I think to really hit the mainstream market.

If you want mass storage, go buy an HDD! If you want speed, then spend your money on SPEED. It's not like HDDs and PCIe SSDs are mutually exclusive.

Zeromus said:

Give me some skin if you think it's worth it XD

Guest said:

It IS an ADD-ON device- NOTstorage-NOT a system drive-you CAN'T boot from it!!

They have some application papers on their website to download (Photoshop for one.)

They idea is to install apps on the SSD (ie Photoshop AND its important "scratch disk.")

Also, put the Windows page file there.

Its is a specific device for specific a specific function.

Take the $1500 4GB DDRdrive- that $1500 for 4GB. However, it has up to 300,000K Random IOPS-used for database log files, caches, etc. NOT for the main data- its for those small files the database server requires fast access of this type for overall speed.

Obviously, it would be ill informed to chastise this device for its 4GB and price without knowing what it is used for.

SUSHRUKH said:

But your point is well taken - 520MB/s is very impressive. Now you just have to decide whether you want to shell out $11.25 per GB of storage. And very minimal storage at that.

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