News Analysis: Greenliant Systems is the latest company offering SATA-based solid-state drives for embedded applications used in portable computing and automotive systems.
Startup Greenliant Systems rolled out its first SATA-based embedded flash solid-state storage drives for the embedded applications market on Nov.
The NANDrive GLS85LS product family is based on the
company's own SATA NAND controllers and comes in six different sizes, including
2-, 4-, 8-, 16-, 32-, and 64-GB of storage, the company said.
With the new NANDrive, Greenliant
is not targeting the already crowded market for SATA-based SSD
for PCs, which includes the likes of Intel
Instead, Greenliant is joining companies such as SanDisk in aiming at the more
specialized market for embedded devices in enterprise, industrial, automotive
and networking applications, said the company.
Based on serial ATA (SATA), the tiny SSDs are currently
available to select customers only. Greenliant declined to name those customers
at this time.
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 said.
With a sustained read performance of up to 120-MB/second
and a sustained write performance of up to 60-MB/second, the drives are well
within industry parameters.
The tiny NANDrives measure a little over half-an-inch by
an inch and are merely .08 inches-or 2-mm-thick. The SSDs will be available to
embedded systems designers in a small multichip package, Greenliant said.
Offered in a 145-ball grid array and 1-mm ball pitch package, the NANDrive is
ideal for data storage applications in portable computing and set-top box
products, said Greenliant.
The SATA NANDrive also focuses on energy efficiency and is
ideal for battery-powered applications, said the company. With active-mode
power consumption as low as 500mW, the SATA SSD
also has a power-down mode that drops consumption further, to 10mW, the company
Greenliant has included some security features, including
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. An integrated graphical
monitoring and analysis tool sends customized alerts to indicate the "remaining
useful life" of the SSD, according to
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, according to Microchip. The
sale also included inventory, equipment and associated intellectual property.
About 100 SST employees and assets in Sunnyvale, California; Hsinchu, Taiwan; and
Shanghai and Beijing were transferred from Microchip to Greenliant as part of
The three product lines form the core of Greenliant's
solid-state storage product portfolio for embedded systems, data centers, and mobile
, according to Greenliant.
The NANDrive has been tested to meet "reliability
demands" of industrial and automotive applications and are compatible with new
chip sets from AMD and Intel, according to
OEM partners in networking, industrial, automotive,
defense, aerospace, and digital consumer markets can use NANDrive for secure
storage of data, whether it's operating systems, applications, or user
information, Greenliant said.