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Toshiba Announces Updated 4TB, 6TB and 8TB Enterprise Capacity HDD Models

Toshiba announces the Toshiba MG08-D Series HDDs, designed for a wide variety of business-critical applications, such as email and CRM (Customer Resource Management), data analysis for business intelligence, small-medium business servers, and data-retention and compliance archiving.

Toshiba's 7th generation air mechanical design provides better power efficiency and a lower component count to deliver better total cost of ownership than its earlier generation models. The new series features 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB models, in both SATA and SAS interfaces. The new 4 TB1 models are available in 512e, 4Kn and 512n sector models, and the 6 TB and 8 TB models are available in 512e and 4Kn sector models, assuring plug-and-play interoperability for applications using prior 4 TB models.

Plextor Unveils M8V Plus Series SATA SSDs

Plextor late last week unveiled the M8V Plus line of mainstream SATA SSDs in the 2.5-inch and M.2-2280 form-factors. The M8V Plus is an incremental update of the original M8V series from 2018. What's new is the implementation of KIOXIA-sourced 96-layer TLC NAND flash replacing 64-layer chips from Toshiba. The M8V Plus series comes in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB variants, while the original M8V came in 128-thru-512 GB variants.

The Silicon Motion SM2258 controller under the hood of the M8V Plus, has been updated to its latest revision, and supports Plextor-innovated Plex Compress technology. This feature uses the controller's idle time to compress files that haven't been accessed for over 30 days. The Plex Turbo feature, which is essentially variable-size SLC cache, has also been improved to be larger in size. On-paper performance hasn't changed, with the company claiming up to 560 MB/s sequential reads, up to 520 MB/s sequential writes, up to 90,000 IOPS 4K random access for the 256 GB and 512 GB variants; and up to 88,000 IOPS random access for the 1 TB variant. The company rates write endurance for the 256 GB variant at 140 TBW, 512 GB variant at 280 TBW, and 560 TBW for the 1 TB variant. All three variants are backed by 3-year warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.

China Forecast to Represent 22% of the Foundry Market in 2020, says IC Insights

IC Insights recently released its September Update to the 2020 McClean Report that presented the second of a two-part analysis on the global IC foundry industry and included a look at the pure-play foundry market by region.

China was responsible for essentially all of the total pure-play foundry market increase in 2018. In 2019, the U.S./China trade war slowed China's economic growth but its foundry marketshare still increased by two percentage points to 21%. Moreover, despite the Covid-19 shutdown of China's economy earlier this year, China's share of the pure-play foundry market is forecast to be 22% in 2020, 17 percentage points greater than it registered in 2010 (Figure 1).

Toshiba Leaves LSI Business, to Focus on Analog ICs and Microcontrollers

Today, Toshiba has announced that it will officially be leaving the systems LSI (large scale integration) business. With this business unit, Toshiba used to provide design proposals and specifications for systems used for things like image processing, sensors, etc. However, it turns out that the unit is not profitable and Toshiba will be dissolving it. With this move, about 770 employees of the unit will be moved to another work place or be provided with an early retirement plan. Despite ending the business in making SoCs, Toshiba is still going to support existing customers. What is going to be next for Toshiba is the area of analog ICs and microcontrollers for motors, which is supposedly more profitable than the past business unit. All of the resources used in the LSI group will be redirected to the new plan.

KIOXIA Bolsters NVMe-oF Ecosystem with Ethernet SSD Storage

Direct-attached performance from network-attached devices is no longer a thing of storage architects' dreams. KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), is now sampling Ethernet SSDs to select partners and customers interested in validating the benefits of Ethernet attached storage to their existing Ethernet (RoCEv2) networks. KIOXIA has been working in collaboration with key industry players Marvell, Foxconn-Ingrasys and Accton to bring groundbreaking Ethernet Bunch of Flash (EBOF) technology solutions to market - and this announcement is pivotal to that endeavor.

In an ongoing quest to contain explosive amounts of data, storage capacity and bandwidth must continue to grow while processing time must decrease. An EBOF system addresses these challenges through an Ethernet fabric that can scale flash and optimally disaggregate storage from compute. The EBOF storage solution bypasses the cost, complexity, and system limitations inherent with standard JBOF storage systems, which typically include a CPU, DRAM, HBA, and switch. This accelerates applications and workloads where disaggregated low-latency, high bandwidth, highly available storage is needed - bringing greatly improved performance and lower total cost of ownership to edge, enterprise and cloud data centers.

Backblaze Releases Q2 2020 Hard Drive Stats for 142,630 Spinning HDDs

As of June 30, 2020, Backblaze had 142,630 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across four data centers. Of that number, there were 2,271 boot drives and 140,059 data drives. This review looks at the Q2 2020 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way. As always, we look forward to your comments.

Quarterly Hard Drive Failure Stats for Q2 2020
At the end of Q2 2020, Backblaze was using 140,059 hard drives to store customer data. For our evaluation we remove from consideration those drive models for which we did not have at least 60 drives (see why below). This leaves us with 139,867 hard drives in our review. The table below covers what happened in Q2 2020.

Toshiba Officially Exits the Laptop Business

Toshiba, a Japanese technology company, has announced last week that is exiting the laptop business in full. In 2018, Toshiba has sold 80.1% of its shares in Dynabook Inc. to Sharp Corp., Japanese company as well, just focused on electronics manufacturing. In the press release issued on August 4th, last week, Toshiba has transferred the remaining 19.9% of shares in Dynabook to Sharp and thereby has officially left the laptop business. "As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp.", says the Toshiba press release. This is one end of an era, as Toshiba has been manufacturing laptops from 1985, until this day in a way. This is one last goodbye to Toshiba, your laptop legacy will be remembered. If you were/are an owner of a Toshiba laptop, tell us about your experiences in the comments down below.
Toshiba Laptop

KIOXIA Launches Industry's First 24G SAS SSDs for Servers, Storage

The next generation of SAS has arrived, bringing improved performance, reliability and data protection along with it. Today, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.) became the first 1 company to bring 24G SAS to server and storage applications with the introduction of its 6 th generation enterprise SAS SSD family. First demonstrated at Flash Memory Summit 2019, KIOXIA's new PM6 Series of enterprise SAS SSDs is built on 24G SAS technology.

Designed for modern IT infrastructures, 24G SAS doubles the data throughput of its predecessor, while implementing new features and enhancements to reach new application performance levels. An established leader in developing SAS SSDs, KIOXIA delivers never before seen SAS SSD performance and is the only SSD supplier to offer protection and recovery from two simultaneous die failure s in an SSD. The PM6 Series builds upon this history of best in cl ass performance and reliability over six generations of SAS drives.

Backblaze Releases Hard Drive Stats for Q1 2020 - Seagate Worst Performer

As of March 31, 2020, Backblaze had 132,339 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across four data centers. Of that number, there were 2,380 boot drives and 129,959 data drives. This review looks at the Q1 2020 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way. In addition, near the end of the post, we review a few 2019 predictions we posed a year ago. As always, we look forward to your comments.
Hard Drive Failure Stats for Q1 2020

At the end of Q1 2020, Backblaze was using 129,959 hard drives to store customer data. For our evaluation we remove from consideration those drives that were used for testing purposes and those drive models for which we did not have at least 60 drives (see why below). This leaves us with 129,764 hard drives. The table below covers what happened in Q1 2020.

KIOXIA Showcases PCIe 4.0 SSDs, New Software-enabled Flash Tech at OCP Virtual Summit

From introducing game-changing new technologies to being the first to deliver PCIe 4.0 U.3 SSDs, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), continues to demonstrate its commitment to delivering cutting-edge flash solutions. This dedication will be on full display at this week's Open Compute Project (OCP) Virtual Summit and Future Technologies Symposium, where KIOXIA will showcase its data center and enterprise solid state drive (SSD) portfolio.

At the Summit, KIOXIA will highlight its CM6 and CD6 Series PCIe 4.0 NVMe enterprise and data center SSDs, KumoScale storage software based on NVM Express over Fabrics (NVMe-oF ) and a new Software-Enabled Flash (SEF) technology that redefines digital storage. KIOXIA has the broadest portfolio of SSDs in the market, including SSDs for client PCs, data center, hyperscale, high-end servers and storage systems.

Toshiba Releases List of HDD Models Using SMR Technology

The introduction of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology has enabled HDD manufacturers, such as Toshiba, to increase the capacity of their spinning platter drives beyond that of existing approaches. SMR technology is recognized as having an impact on write-speeds in drives where this technology is used, especially in the case of continuous random writing. For this reason, Toshiba products are carefully tailored to specific workloads and use cases.

For example, in use cases such as network-attached storage (NAS), where continuous random writing regularly occurs, Toshiba's current product line for consumers features the N300, which does not use SMR.

KIOXIA Redefines Hyperscale Digital Storage with Software-Enabled Flash Technology

KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.) today announced the introduction of Software-Enabled FlashTM (SEF), a new technology that combines software flexibility, host control and flash native semantics into a flash native API and purpose-built controller. Targeted to data center directors, architects and developers, SEF technology makes flash easier to manage, more timely to deploy and more predictable in nature - putting the power in programmers' hands.

With hyperscale computing redefining storage and virtualization, the race is on to orchestrate digital storage for cloud applications in a way that drives greater efficiency at scale. Effectively and efficiently utilizing flash for stable, predictable latency in ever-changing cloud workloads through direct host management of flash will quickly be critical to realizing these much-needed efficiencies.

KIOXIA Corporation Announces Launch of New Brand Consumer Product Portfolio

KIOXIA Europe (formerly Toshiba Memory) is pleased to announce the launch of KIOXIA branded consumer products including the company's microSDs, SDs, USB Memory and SSDs. KIOXIA and its group companies started to operate under its new company name on October 1st, 2019. After the brand name change of its business-to-business products, KIOXIA has launched the completely new look and feel of its consumer products in April 2020.

With its comprehensive portfolio of microSD, SD, USB memory and SSD, KIOXIA offers consumer products that are specifically designed for enabling end-users to store their digital way of life wherever and whenever they want. KIOXIA's consumer products are mainly focused and ideally suited for use with smartphones, tablets and PCs, in gaming, digital cameras and more.

KIOXIA America Debuts UFS Ver. 3.1 Embedded Flash Memory Devices

Further cementing its position as a leading provider of storage for next-gen mobile devices, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that it has started sampling Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Ver. 3.1 embedded flash memory devices. Well suited for mobile applications requiring high-performance with low power consumption, the new lineup utilizes KIOXIA's cutting-edge BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and is supported in four capacities: 128 gigabytes (GB), 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 terabyte (TB).

The new devices integrate BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and a controller in a JEDEC-standard 11.5 x 13 mm package. The controller performs error correction, wear leveling, logical-to-physical address translation, and bad-block management for simplified system development. "KIOXIA was the first company to introduce UFS in 2013[4] and the first to offer UFS Ver. 3.0 last year and we continue to be at the forefront of UFS memory with this Ver. 3.1 announcement today," noted Scott Beekman, director of managed flash memory products for KIOXIA America, Inc. "Our newest offerings enable next-gen mobile devices to take full advantage of the connectivity benefits of 5G, leading to faster downloads and reduced lag time - and an improved user experience."

KIOXIA First to Deliver Enterprise and Data Center PCIe 4.0 U.3 SSDs

The PCI Express 4.0 specification was designed to double the performance of server and storage systems, pushing speeds up to 16.0 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) or 2 gigabits per second (Gb/s) throughput per lane, and driving new performance levels for cloud and enterprise applications. Today, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.) announced that its lineup of CM6 and CD6 Series PCIe 4.0 NVM Express (NVMe ) enterprise and data center solid state drives (SSDs) are now shipping to customers.

An established leader in developing PCIe and NVMe SSDs, KIOXIA delivers never-before-seen performance. KIOXIA was the first company to publicly demonstrate PCIe 4.0 SSDs and is now the first to ship these next-generation drives. The CM6 and CD6 Series SSDs are compliant to the latest NVMe specification, and include key features such as in-band NVMe-MI, persistent event log, namespace granularity, and shared stream writes. Additionally, both drives are SFF-TA-1001 conformant (also known as U.3), which allows them to be used in tri-mode enabled backplanes, which can accept SAS, SATA or NVMe SSDs.

Kioxia, Formerly Toshiba Memory, Makes its CES Debut

One of the big hardware industry changes of 2019 was the formal spin-off of Toshiba Memory as an entirely independent firm called Kioxia. This is big, because Toshiba is regarded as the inventor of NAND flash as we know it; and a pioneering firm with DRAM, NAND flash, and other forms of solid-state storage. Toshiba retains the hard disk business. Having formally begun operations only in Q4-2019, much of Kioxia's upcoming products are in development, but we still caught some of their latest SSDs that implement PCIe gen 4.0 and NVMe 1.4 protocol, besides some former-Toshiba products under new Kioxia branding. Kioxia is planning to make a big splash in the near future as its pioneering Twin BiCS Flash tech hits the market, besides scoring design wins with the automotive and data-center industries.

The CD6 and CM6 SSDs are star-attractions. The CD6 is designed for data-centers, and comes in capacities ranging all the way from 800 GB to 15 TB, with 1 to 3 DWPD endurance. It uses the next-generation U.3 (SFF-TA-1001) connector with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 physical-layer and NVMe 1.4 protocol. Among its security features are SIE, FIPS140-2, and SED Opal/Ruby. The drive is built in the 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor. The CM6 is its cousin, targeted at enterprise environments with higher mission-criticality. With capacities ranging from 800 GB to a staggering 30 TB, the drive offers sequential transfer-rates of up to 6,400 MB/s by leveraging PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and NVMe 1.4. Much like the CD6, the CM6 uses the new U.3 connector, and is built in the 15 mm form-factor. Endurance and security feature-set are identical to the CD6. We also spotted the 2+ year old rebranded XD5-series and PM5-series in fresh Kioxia colors. Lastly, there are the XG6 and XG6-P SSDs from 2019 transitioned to the Kioxia brand.

Toshiba Releases Surveillance 6TB HDDs for DVR and NVR Platforms

Toshiba announces the DT02-V Series of Surveillance HDDs, its new series created for digital video recorder (DVR) and network video recorder (NVR) platforms. The new series utilizes the latest magnetic recording technologies to achieve high areal density, helping to improve reliability compared to the prior MD04ABA-V Series. With up to 6 TB capacity, the new DT02-V Series supports a maximum of 32 high-resolution camera streams and is suitable for use in leading surveillance DVR and NVR platforms with as many as eight drive bays.

"Our latest surveillance HDD family, the DT02-V Series, delivers up to 6 TB of storage capacity, and is designed for use with leading surveillance DVR and NVR platforms," says Shuji Takaoka, General Manager of Storage Products Sales & Marketing Division at Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation. "It also provides a variety of capacity options while improving reliability for high resolution surveillance video streams."

Kioxia, Formerly Toshiba Memory, Officially Begins Operations

Kioxia Holdings Corporation, formerly Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation, today announced that it is officially operating under its new corporate identity, effective immediately. "Kioxia's official brand launch is an important step in both our evolution as an independent company and our commitment to lead the industry into the new era of memory," said Stacy J. Smith, executive chairman of Kioxia Holdings Corporation. "The company will build on its history as a world leader in memory solutions to not only meet the memory demands of the future, but to also fulfill our mission to uplift the world with memory."

With its official launch, Kioxia has unveiled its new corporate logo and brand identity. The silver of Kioxia's new logo will be the company's official corporate color, meant to represent the superior quality of its memory technology. In addition to silver, the company will have communication colors including, light blue, magenta, light green, orange, yellow and light gray.

Toshiba Memory to Acquire Lite-On's SSD Business

Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation, which will rebrand as Kioxia Holdings Corporation on October 1, 2019, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with LITE-ON Technology Corporation to acquire its Solid State Drive (SSD) business. The purchase price is 165 million US dollars; the transaction is expected to close by the first half of 2020 and is subject to customary closing adjustments and regulatory approval.

LITE-ON is a Taiwan-based supplier of optoelectronics, storage, semiconductors and other devices. Toshiba Memory and LITE-ON share a commitment to quality, innovation and manufacturing excellence. With cultural synergies and LITE-ON's proven experience in the SSD field for personal computers and data centers, Toshiba Memory sees this acquisition as a way to significantly strengthen its SSD business.

Toshiba Talks About 5-Bit-per-Cell (PLC) Flash Memory

Toshiba at the Flash Memory Summit announced they've managed to develop a 5-Bit-per-Cell memory solution Based on its BiCS 4 flash memory technologies, the feat was achieved using a modified module of Quad-Level Cell (QLC) memory. This shows the technology is not only feasible, but has room for improvement, since an adapted QLC technology will always be inferior to a natively-developed, Penta-Level Cell (PLC) solution.

To achieve this ability to store one extra bit of information per cell (compared to QLC), a new level of voltage refinement is required: the cell has to be able to change its state according to one of 32 voltage states, which, in turn, have to be read out correctly by the flash memory controller. This reduces the cell's performance and endurance (as does any increase in the number of bits per cell), and will require a number of solutions to mitigate and compensate for this reduced performance. However, density has become an increasing concern from manufacturers, hence the continued development of deeper, more variable voltage states that allow for even more information to be stored in the same silicon area. Higher density means cheaper solutions, but density increased in such a way has known trade-offs that have been much talked about ever since the transition from Single-Level Cell (SLC) up to the (nowadays ubiquitous) QLC.

Kingston Announces Shipment of A2000 Series PCIe 3.0 4x NVMe PCIe SSD - $100 for 1 TB

Back at CES 2019 we shared a story on Kingston's then upcoming A2000 series NVMe drives. The company's development strategy for these was to undercut SATA SSDs in pricing while delivering non SATA-bound speeds. The company planned to leverage component cost falls for NVMe controllers, pairing that with the reduced materials cost of NVMe drives (smaller than their SATA counterparts) so as to be able to achieve below-SATA price points. The choice of Toshiba's BiCS4 3D TLC NAND also aimed to keep costs down, whilst delivering performance that's "at least three times as high as SATA-bound drives".

The company is offering a limited 5-year warranty on their A2000 series, which in itself is a sign of the company's confidence in these products - despite their entry-level classification and overall development strategy. The A2000 series will be available in 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB capacities, with speeds claimed of up to 2,200/2,000MB/s sequential read/writes; up to 250,000/220,000 IOPS in random 4K read/writes; and 600 TBW rating (all of these values are for the 1 TB solution, with TBW falling to 350 TBW for the 500 GB part and 150 TBW for the 250 GB drive. These drives make use of a PCIe 3.0 4x controller, which means savings weren't at the expense of 2x PCIe channels, as some solutions have done in the past in order to cut costs. Pricing is being quoted at $40 for the 250 GB part, $60 for the 500 GB one, and a mere $100 for the 1 TB part. The true democratization of NVMe SSDs has just caught some heavy favorable winds on its sails.

Toshiba Memory Introduces XL-FLASH Storage Class Memory Solution

Toshiba Memory America, Inc. (TMA), the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, today announced the launch of a new Storage Class Memory (SCM) solution: XL-FLASH. Based on the company's innovative BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory technology with 1-bit-per-cell SLC, XL-FLASH brings low latency and high performance to data center and enterprise storage. Sample shipments will start in September, with mass production expected to begin in 2020.

Classified as SCM (or persistent memory), with the ability to retain its contents like NAND flash memory, XL-FLASH bridges the performance gap that exists between DRAM and NAND. While volatile memory solutions such as DRAM provide the access speed needed by demanding applications, that performance comes at a high cost. As the cost-per-bit and scalability of DRAM levels off, this new SCM (or persistent memory) layer in the memory hierarchy addresses that issue with a high density, cost effective, non-volatile NAND flash memory solution. Poised for growth, industry analyst firm IDC estimates the SCM market is expected to reach in excess of $3B in 2022.

Marvell Announces 88SS1320-series PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell today released the industry's lowest power PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era.

"Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, vice president of marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."

Japan-Korea Trade Spat and Toshiba Blackout Hike DRAM Prices by 20 Percent

Prices of DRAM shot up by 20 percent as Japan put in place export curbs that restrict high-technology exports to South Korea, and as Toshiba recovers from a power blackout that temporarily halted production. This could impact prices of end-user products such as PC memory modules, or consumer electronics, such as smartphones, in the coming weeks, as inventories either dry up, or are marked-up at various stages of the supply-chain. The memory industry is inter-dependent between fabrication and packaging units spread across South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Memory and flash industry observer DRAMeXchange reported that spot-pricing of 8-gigabit DDR4 DRAM chips, which is used as a benchmark for DRAM pricing as a whole, closed at USD $3.74 at the end of trading on Friday (19/07). It's up 14.6 percent week-over-week, and 23 percent up pricing as on 5th July. An industry observer who spoke with KBS World notes that the recent hikes are not directly infuenced by the trade-spat between Japan and Korea, but rather a power blackout experienced at a Toshiba DRAM manufacturing facility last month. The observer noted that if the trade-spat affects production at Samsung Electronics or SK Hynix, DRAM prices could "skyrocket."

Toshiba Memory to Rebrand as "Kioxia" in October

Toshiba Memory Holdings Corporation announced today that it will officially change its name to Kioxia Holdings Corporation on October 1, 2019. The name Kioxia (kee-ox-ee-uh) will be adopted for the names of all Toshiba Memory companies, largely effective on the same date.

Kioxia is a combination of the Japanese word kioku meaning "memory" and the Greek word axia meaning "value." Merging "memory" with "value," Kioxia represents the company's mission to uplift the world with "memory," which forms the foundation of the company's vision. Kioxia will cultivate the new era of memory, defined by rapidly increasing demands for large-capacity, high-performance storage and data processing, which positions the company to grow sustainably as a leading flash memory producer for many years to come.
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