Fire, New NVMe Devices Top News at Flash Memory Summit

UPDATED: Innodisk's corporate booth caught fire Aug. 8, spreading smoke all through the Santa Clara Convention Center. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the conference show floor was closed for the duration of the event.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- There's a lot of hot new storage tech being introduced and demoed at this year's Flash Memory Summit. And some of it is literally too hot to handle.

Innodisk's corporate booth, located adjacent to Seagate's, caught fire early in the morning Aug. 8, spreading smoke all through the Santa Clara Convention Center. Fortunately, no one was injured; mistaken early reports Aug. 8 had the fire starting in the Seagate booth.

The fire broke out around 5 a.m.; no conference attendees were in the hall when the sprinkler system came on and the Santa Clara Fire Department knocked down the blaze shortly thereafter, event spokesman Dan Chmielewski of Madison Alexander Public Relations told eWEEK.

The conference was closed until about 9:30; no registration took place until the fire department cleared the rest of the convention center conference for access, Chmielewski said.

The damage was enough for Santa Clara County fire marshal to close down all activity in the main hall for the remainder of the show, which continues through Aug. 10.

Cause of the fire hadn't yet been confirmed Aug. 9, but nobody is allowed to smoke indoors at public events like this, so that couldn't have been the problem. An unconfirmed report given to eWEEK said that a wall plug at the booth had been overburdened and that a pile of flyers atop it caught fire, setting off the building sprinklers and dousing a lot of electrical items.

NVMe Hottest Product at the Show

Most of the big news at the summit involved new enterprise NVMe (non-volative memory express) solid-state drives, including those from Toshiba, Micron and, yes, Seagate. NVMe cuts through nagging bottlenecks created by deploying solid-state drives (SSDs) on storage subsystems designed for much slower hard disk drives (HDDs).

All the major--and quite a few smaller--storage providers are investing in NVMe to help address the insatiable appetite enterprises have for storage systems that provide no-wait-time application experiences, near-real time analytics and fast performance overall.

Toshiba unveiled its TMC PM5 12Gbit/s SAS series and the CM5 NVM Express 1 series. Development is expected to be completed in Q4 of this year. Both product lines are built with TMC's latest 64-layer, 3-bit-per-cell enterprise-class TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH 2, making it possible for demanding storage environments to expand the use of flash with cost-optimized 3D flash memory.

The CM5 and PM5 offer up to 30.72TB3 of capacity in a 2.5-inch form factor; the TMC PM5 series introduces high endurance and capacity SAS SSDs, enabling data centers to effectively address big data demands.
Toshiba's five drive-writes-per-day version offers random read and write performance of 800,000 IOPS and 240,000, respectively. The three DWPD version can reach an estimated 220,000 write IOPS.

High-Performance in IOPS for Everyone

Seagate introduced its smaller Nytro 5000 M.2 NVMe SSD with up 2TB of capacity. This low-power unit has a write performance rating of 67,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS)--twice that of its predecessor--and offers configurable overprovisioning.

Seagate also showed its new 64TB PCIe NVMe add-in card, which it claimed is capable of data transfers of up to a whopping 13GB per second. Seagate said it expects to ship early versions of the AIC sometime early next year.
Micron demoed its new 9200 Series NVMe SSDs with capacities going up to 10TB. Random read/write performance is rated at 900,000 IOPS and 275,000 IOPS, respectively. Sequential read and write speeds were said to be 5.5GB per second and 3.5GB per second.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...