Storage Switzerland Supports Vertical Integration for SSD/HDD Price Parity
by Hu Yoshida on Sep 14, 2012
George Crump of Storage Switzerland makes the case for vertical integration in order to reduce the cost of SSDs and achieve price parity with HDDs.
George points out that the use of flash in drive form factors provides a fast time-to-market but it adds cost to the flash drive because the vendors that sell the flash drives need to include their margins and do not take advantage of the native memory-based storage capabilities for density and power savings. These flash drives are also limited by the ability of the vendor’s flash controller to handle functions like wear management and reliability. The sellers of the flash drive may also be using another vendor’s controller and a separate vendor’s flash modules. This leads to margin stacking.
In the article, Crump explains, “When a flash system vendor develops their own controller technology it also gives them freedom to advance their controller functionality so it can provide enterprise class reliability to low cost consumer grade MLC flash. But the innovation required for flash to HDD price parity has to come from innovation up and down the technology stack, including ECC algorithm optimization, new and innovative RAID strategies.”
This is the same conclusion Hitachi came to in developing its own flash controller. Building innovative, purpose built controllers is what Hitachi does best. See my previous blog on why build your own SSD Controller.