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Startup announces embedded-specific SSDs

Nov 10, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Startup Greenliant Systems has announced a range of SSDs (solid state disks) for the embedded market. Based on the company's own SATA controllers, the NANDrive GLS85LS comes in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64GB of storage, according to the company.

With the new NANDrive (right), Greenliant Systems is not targeting the already crowded market for SATA-based SSDs for PCs — which includes the likes of Intel and Toshiba. Instead, it's joining companies such as SanDisk in aiming at the more specialized market for embedded devices in enterprise, industrial, automotive and networking applications.

Greenliant is currently developing an industrial-grade SATA NANDrive for data-critical applications that need SSDs to withstand extreme temperature conditions, said Bing Yeh, Greenliant's CEO. The current NANDrive is commercial-grade, he added.

With a sustained read performance of up to 120MB per second and a sustained write performance of up to 60MB per second, the drives are hardly the industry's fastest, but focus on energy efficiency, according to Greenliant. It's said active-mode power consumption is as low as 500mW, while a power-down mode drops consumption down to 10mW.

The tiny NANDrives measure 24 x 14mm and are under 2mm thick. Offered in a 145-ball grid array package with a pitch of 1mm, the devices are ideal for data storage applications in portable computing and set-top box products, said Greenliant.

Greenliant says security features include a unique device ID, password protection, and four independent trust zones with different levels of protection. The SATA NANDrive also offers the capability to "instant erase" sensitive content on selected areas of the drive instead of scrubbing the entire drive, said Greenliant.

The firmware also addresses data retention and data integrity during power interruptions, the company said. A GUI-based monitoring and analysis tool sends customized alerts to indicate the remaining useful life of the SSD, according to Greenliant.

Greenliant has its roots in Silicon Storage Technology. Yeh, SST's one-time chairman and CEO, left to form Greenliant after SST was acquired earlier this year by Microchip Technology for $273 million, following a bidding war with a private equity firm.

Greenliant acquired from Microchip the NANDrive product line, the integrated NAND controllers it uses, and specialty flash memory, including smart card ICs, combo memory, concurrent SuperFlash, small-sector-flash, and many-time-programmable flash memories. The sale is also said to have included inventory, equipment and associated intellectual property. About 100 SST employees and assets in Sunnyvale, California, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Beijing were transferred from Microchip to Greenliant as part of the deal.

The three product lines form the core of Greenliant's solid-state storage product portfolio for embedded systems, data centers, and mobile Internet markets, according to Greenliant.

The NANDrive has been tested to meet the reliability demands of industrial and automotive applications and is compatible with new chip sets from AMD and Intel, says Greenliant. OEM partners in networking, industrial, automotive, defense, aerospace, and digital consumer markets can use the device for secure storage of data, whether it's operating systems, applications, or user information, the company adds.

Further information

The NANDrive SSDs are said to be currently available only to "select customers," which Greenliant declined to name. More information on Greenliant's NANDrive GLS85 range may be found on the company's website, here.

Fahmida Y. Rashid is a writer for our sister site

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