Monday, August 7, 2017

WFR's SSD Market Analysis – NVMe here, NVDIMM coming

How are high performance SSDs impacting the Enterprise, Client and Commercial applications? 
Who is pushing the edge of SSD and Controllers: intelligent processing of NVMe storage, compression and Object storage?

MONTEREY, CA., August 7, 2017 – As the SSD market advances in 2017, the long-anticipated rollout of All Flash Arrays featuring NVMe is finally finding traction at the high end of the enterprise market. Making the transition from SATA and SAS to PCIe and NVMe has been fraught with delays in standardizing the NVMe protocols and the development of an Ethernet- type fabric based on the NVMe protocol (NVMf).  Overall, the SSD market has grown significantly in all three markets: enterprise, client and commercial reaching a market volume of $41 billion by 2021. With the adoption of new interfaces like NVMe and the Memory Channel, and embracing emerging media like 3D NAND and Persistent Memory (ReRAM / XPoint) the industry is undergoing a transformation. The old computing storage model is unable to keep up with the amount of data needed to be stored. It needs to merge storage into memory in order to process in real time more complex data, diverse data types and much higher volume of data anticipated through 2021.
WebFeet Research, Inc., an industry leading Non Volatile Memory and Storage market research firm, released the twelfth annual report Solid State Drives (SSD) Markets and Applications 2017 report, SS300SSD-2017. This report concentrates on the enterprise market and quantifies the emergence of PCIe, NVMe (U.2 and M.2) and NVDIMM SSDs as well as forecasting the client and commercial markets.  It addresses the difficulty of migrating from HDD to SSD and to Hybrid and All Flash storage systems while advancing the ‘intelligent processing’ of memory and storage.
For the executive, marketing, or finance professional this report is vital. When combined with the SSD and Controller SWOT report, SS350SWOT-2017, the reader will have a comprehensive view of the SSD market from the forecast to knowing which companies are providing the latest in SSD and controller offerings.
Testimonials
"The 2017 Webfeet report on the Solid State Drive market is the most comprehensive and insightful report I have seen to-date on this subject. It covers NVMe in all form factors: PCIe, U.2, M.2 as well as defining the NVDIMM memory channel. This timely report will be of significant value to SSD sellers and users alike."  Daniel Mahoney, Director, Smart HRS

About WebFeet Research   
Headquartered in Monterey, California, WebFeet Research provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with a focus on nonvolatile memory and solid state storage technologies. For further information, please contact:

Alan Niebel
WebFeet Research, Inc
w3.webfeetresearch.com
alan.niebel@web-feetresearch.com

Tel: 831.869.8274

The Future of Non Volatile Memory in Cognitive Computing

The confluence of Big Data, IoT, Real-Time Analytics and Cognitive Computing are forcing a complete rethinking of the hardware computing baseline from the ground up. Pressure to stay current with ever larger investments in cloud and enterprise hardware has vendors second guessing whether they will be overcome, or more appropriately engulfed by tomorrow’s architectural developments.

At the base of this stack is the storage crossover from hard disk drives to solid state drives. This change alone decreased latency of data available for processor execution by 100 times. Standardizing protocols such as NVMe have expedited the removal of a good deal of the latency delaying software stack. XPoint memory from Intel/Micron decreases latency again by 10 to 100 times. The idea of loading entire databases into the Memory Channel DRAM DIMMs to support In-Memory and Real-Time Analytics requires the Dynamic RAM memory to be backed up with nonvolatile memory to insure against loss of data during a power outage incident (NVDIMMs).

New NVDIMM memory designs are in progress that not only increase the backup density but also expand the nonvolatile memory to 4 to 16 times beyond the DRAM capacity for low latency system use. The resulting “expanded memory space” NVDIMM contain an on-board controller that shadows the DRAM memory access, bursting data from a prefetch buffer when a DRAM main memory miss is registered thus bringing ever more low latency memory capacity to the server’s multi-core processors at reduced cost. In short, the conquest of latency and depth of the memory channel are seen as major accelerators for tomorrows Enterprise and Cloud servers for In-Memory Database and Real-Time Analytics.

The introduction of the NVMe-oF standard protocol for All-Flash-Arrays is accelerating their development and market acceptance - this fulfills the need for low latency storage closely coupled to the In-Memory NVDIMM memory arrays. The commercial availability of XPoint devices from Micron Technology (QuantX) are currently under consideration for future All-XPoint-Arrays – a new category offering a level of near DRAM performance for system access to multi-terabyte memory arrays. WebFeet’s demand forecast expects these arrays to remain in short supply for an extended period through the year 2020. A wave of new product announcements is expected in this category through 2018.

The list becomes less clear when it comes to implementing Cognitive Computing. The greatly reduced average latency achieved through enlarging the size of both DRAM and nonvolatile memory on NVDIMMs appears sufficient for the time being. A standing issue with the expanded Memory Channel is how it will impact the capability of running AI applications. System partitions already surround server based applications of which Nvidia’s DGX-1 and Googles TPU TensorFlow Pods are representative. The implication is that these lead AI application engines are being run as Application Servers and have yet to be woven into the hyperscale space. Intel’s Xeon Phi based servers are intended to be the first to integrate closely coupled MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) with enlarged persistent memory channels (NVDIMMs). The potential of Intel’s solution remains undelivered at this writing – it does, however, bring a greater range of AI applications to a wider installed base (upgrade market). What is still unsettling to many is the fact that there is currently no real candidate methodology for the inclusion of AI technology into hyperscale systems. Building AI servers is one solution but WebFeet’s analysis indicates that it is still a “bag on the side” instead of being an integral part of a massively parallel compute model.  

From a computing architectural perspective, WebFeet recognizes that the entire eco-system (sensors, gateways, edge, and cloud/data center) are required to run at, or very near to Real-Time to remain competitive. Software layers, large memory, virtual loading of processors, solid state storage and fast interconnect enable today's von Neumann computing databases. Unfortunately, the architecture is rapidly becoming unable to process the ever-increasing data volumes. Lead research now recognizes that change must also begin with the agents of source data. The use of pattern processing at the endpoints not only improves the quality of the data but also reduces the quantity of information exchange necessary to maintain autonomy and integration into the Internet of Things.

Current AI edge solutions run the gamut from In-Memory to a USB stick covering a wide range of capabilities and power requirements. WebFeet views this market as being segmented into multiple categories, which range from being power limited (mobile) to rack mounted hyperscale Cloud and Enterprise application servers. The need to reduce power by orders of magnitude while increasing the device level cognitive span represents a major industry challenge to the implementation of neuromorphic equipped devices and systems. A forward solution path involving persistent resistive memory and persistent gate level technologies is viewed by WebFeet Research as having a high probability of providing the technology base necessary to achieve low cost, low power and the high availability required for low end and the mid-range segments. 

Cognitive Computing systems that mimic the way the human brain works are thought by many to still be in the early stages of development. An interesting scenario has developed which may completely shatter this attitude. Several low-profile, long term research efforts underway for well over a decade are now nearing their market entry milestones. These systems are based on principles of the human neocortex and represent the first semiconductor devices able to perform near real-time learning and pattern identification on heterogeneous data streams. Webfeet forecasts that these market entries will radically change the complexion of what now is considered to be the High Performance Cognitive Computing market within the next several years. These entries will not only spawn the ability to process vast amounts of heterogeneous data but will, in addition, be able to attain predictive, temporal time sequenced data event extraction (something only dreamed of at present) again, all within the next several years. WebFeet projects this same technology will produce a major revision in how the semiconductor market responds to Artificial Intelligence, especially where the von Neumann architecture intersects the memory-like architecture of pattern computing.

WebFeet’s research in this area provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis of this major architectural change.  WebFeet has developed application models that tracks and forecasts
Flash and NVM at each stage of the eco-system:

Sensors - emNVM and standalone NVM components
Gateways - emNVM, NVM components, EFD (Embedded Flash Drives - eMMC, UFS)
Edge devices - NVM components, EFD and emSoC (Memory in Module), SSDs
Cloud/Data Center - NVM components, EFD, SSD, NVDIMM, AFA (All Flash Arrays), AXA (All XPoint Arrays)


WebFeet provides focused discussions and studies on the trends, technical requirements, and market sizing for automotive, IoT, Edge: Mobile, Cloud/Enterprise and other emerging applications. We also include analyses and forecasts on the viability and when the emerging NVM technologies will reach commercial production and for which application. Finally, WebFeet has an In-Memory Database Computing Research Service that explores the transition from von Neumann computing (symbol) to Cognitive Computing (pattern) and Artificial Intelligence with its impact on semiconductors, especially memory and logic. Since, these are on-going topics we would like to engage in bi-monthly forum to provide you with discussions on our written reports, debriefings from trade shows, company releases and targeted research.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Memory Shortages bode well for DRAM, NAND and NOR Vendors in 2017

Flash Memory Components 2016 Market Revenues Improved to $37B, 3D NAND awakes, XPoint Delayed
Monterey, CA - March 29, 2017 – Not since 2000, have the memory suppliers been in an undersupply situation since 2H 2016 is increasing memory prices for a number of reasons.  NAND vendors are producing 2D (planar) NAND at full capacity, while concurrently making the costly shift in production to 3D NAND. DRAM has been so hot that the Big Three (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) are shrinking their lithography below 1x and 1y, while maintaining their production at capacity. Other foundries, like the memory manufacturers, are also running at capacity, trying to maintain balance with IoT, M-2-M, mobile and computing demands. Even the NOR Flash market saw a reversal of 15+ years of market declines has been caught in the allocation/shortage scenario. Yet, with all this current production building additional capacity takes time and has been fraught with technology hurdles that slowdown bit increases.  

Although the NOR market is around 5% of NAND, NOR’s challenges represent a microcosm of the larger Flash and memory markets.  With the stronger demand for SoC (System on Chip) to satisfy the IoT and edge terminal requirements, foundries and ODMs are shifting their wafer mix away from standalone memories. These SoCs are also being built at lithography nodes below 40nm, where most embedded NOR Flash cannot be built. Consequently, these SoCs will need KGD and standalone serial NOR components at 512Kbit-256Mbit densities and larger to fulfill the IoT system memory requirements. In China, GigaDevice who supplies serial NOR is caught in a wafer allocation squeeze in not getting enough serial Flash wafers from their foundry who is making more SoCs (that need serial NOR). Winbond who makes both DRAM and NOR/NAND has been riding the higher price DRAM wave and has limited any additional wafer allocations to NOR. Micron has been rumored to have shut down NOR production at their Singapore fab in favor of NAND, which removes some NOR wafer capacity. Cypress the NOR market leader is gradually moving their emphasis from commodity standalone NOR to a IoT systems memory module especially for the automotive market.  Finally, Macronix has regained more NOR market presence in allocating more NOR wafer production is still facing long lead times since demand is ever increasing on the constrained industry supply. The net effect is NOR and other memory prices are increasing with supply constraints and vendors are on allocation for the foreseeable future.

In consolidating its annual results of each Flash memory vendor’s shipments, WebFeet Research found the 2016 Flash memory market to be $36.8 billion, an increase of 10% from 2015.  A substantial increase in 2016 revenues came from the NAND Flash market with a 10.7% growth rate, while the NOR market contracted flatly from 2015 by only -1.8 %. Samsung was the perennial 2016 revenue market leader for all NV Memories and NAND, Cypress (Spansion) established itself as the NOR Flash and the NVRAM market leader, while Macronix regained the serial NOR leadership position.

The 2016 Non  Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report discusses the impact of the mergers and acquisitions on the memory market, qualifies the migration of planar to 3D NAND, quantifies how fast the emerging NVM are growing including STT-MRAM and XPoint as well as the reemergence of RRAM and NRAM, and presents two forecasts for serial EEPROM showing the impact (slow initial adoption) of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its aggressive scenario.  

This 2016 Non Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report, CS700MS-2017, includes market shares by vendor for total Non Volatile Memory, NAND Flash, NOR Flash, serial NOR Flash, total EEPROM, serial EEPROM, parallel EEPROM, OTP ROM (EPROM and Mask ROM), and NVRAM (NVSRAM, RTC, MRAM, FeRAM, PCM, XPoint, RRAM, NRAM and Others).  Annual revenue forecasts are provided from 2015-2022 for the EEPROM, OTP ROM, and NVRAM markets. In addition, the NVSRAM market shares are broken out by vendor for Real Time Clocks (RTC) and NVSRAM from 2011-2016.  This report, CS700MS-2017, is available for $2.5K and for providers of the market share data they can obtain the report with a $500 discount.  WebFeet Research also has forecast the serial EEPROM (conservative and aggressive) and the NVSRAM (nvSRAM, RTC) from 2014-2022 by density for revenue, units, and ASPs, and for the serial EEPROM by interface type.  Each of these additional forecasts are priced at $500 and come in excel format. 

WebFeet Research, located in Monterey, California, provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with emphasis on flash memory components, EFDs, SSDs, Persistent Memory and In-Memory Computing/Cognitive Computing.

Contact:  WebFeet Research at 831-869-8274 or alan.niebel@web-feetresearch.com or www.WebFeetresearch.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

WFR's New SSD Market Analysis – NVMe now, NVDIMM coming

How are high performance SSDs impacting the Enterprise, Client and Commercial applications? 
Who is pushing the edge of SSD and Controllers: intelligent processing of NVMe storage, compression and Object storage?

MONTEREY, CA., January 16, 2017 – As the SSD market enters 2017, the long-anticipated rollout of All Flash Arrays featuring NVMe is finally finding traction at the high end of the enterprise market. Making the transition from SATA and SAS to PCIe and NVMe has been fraught with delays in standardizing the NVMe protocols and the development of an Ethernet- type fabric based on the NVMe protocol (NVMf).  Overall, the SSD market has grown significantly in all three markets: enterprise, client and commercial reaching a market volume of $41 billion by 2021. With the adoption of new interfaces like NVMe and the Memory Channel, and embracing emerging media like 3D NAND and Persistent Memory (ReRAM / XPoint) the industry is undergoing a transformation. The old computing storage model is unable to keep up with the amount of data needed to be stored. It needs to merge storage into memory in order to process in real time more complex data, diverse data types and much higher volume of data anticipated through 2021.
Even though NAND-Flash based solid-state-disk drives perform at several orders of magnitude higher than hard-disk-drives they suffer from the same non-deterministic inadequacies as compared to solutions based on XPoint memory. Flash memory based SSDs suffer the indeterminate delay inserted by the Flash Translation Layer in its production of the of physical block addresses. This is one reason that All-Flash-Array architects like Pure Storage desire additional physical control at the Flash Translation Layer. Additional storage system functions such as deduplication, compression, error coding, power-on fill, data recovery ops, checkpointing, and scrubbing are further accelerated by this approach.
WebFeet Research, Inc., an industry leading Non Volatile Memory and Storage market research firm, released the twelfth annual report Solid State Drives (SSD) Markets and Applications 2017 report, SS300SSD-2017. This report concentrates on the enterprise market with the emergence of PCIe, NVMe (U.2 and M.2) and NVDIMM SSDs as well as quantifying the client and commercial markets.  It addresses the difficulty of migrating from HDD to SSD and to Hybrid and All Flash storage systems while advancing the ‘intelligent processing’ of memory and storage.
For the executive, marketing, or finance professional this report is vital. When combined with the SSD and Controller SWOT report, SS350SWOT-2016, the reader will have a comprehensive view of the SSD market from the forecast to knowing which companies are providing the latest in SSD and controller offerings. 
About WebFeet Research   
Headquartered in Monterey, California, WebFeet Research provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with a focus on nonvolatile memory and solid state storage technologies. For further information, please contact:

Alan Niebel
WebFeet Research, Inc
w3.webfeetresearch.com

alan.niebel@web-feetresearch.com

Monday, October 31, 2016

WFR's New SSD and Controller SWOT Analysis – Is Speed Enough?

Who is making high performance SSDs for the Client, Enterprise and Commercial applications?  Who is pushing the edge of third party Controllers: intelligent processing of NVMe storage, compression and Object storage?

MONTEREY, CA., October 31, 2016 – WebFeet Research, Inc., an industry leading Non Volatile Memory and Storage market research firm, introduces the sixth annual report SSD SWOT Analysis and Company Profile, which provides the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of 60+ standard form factor SSD vendors and 30+ third party Controller manufacturers. This report recognizes the difficulty of knowing which SSD and controller storage companies are active in the market, what products and services do they offer and who is advancing the ‘intelligent processing’ of memory and storage.   This timely update also lists the major vendors in hardware: Enterprise Solutions and All Flash Arrays, and through software/firmware: Business Intelligence and Analytics, Data Analytics, In-Memory Compute, Object Storage and Distributed File Systems, and NVMf Fabrics.

Besides being a veritable who’s who covering the players in each market, this analysis provides more clarity in highlighting how the SSD and controllers are evolving towards the merging of memory and hot storage. The hardware side of the SSDs shows the host interface moving from SATA and SAS to PCIe/NVMe and into the Memory channel. On the controller side are advances in handling or processing large data sets, reducing latency, improving LDPC and ECC, applying real time compression, enabling object storage, and enhancing security. Storage Class Memory (SCM) along with the advent of Data Centric Computing has motivated lead vendors like CNEX, NGD Systems and Symbolic IO to optimize the features of SCM or counter with their unique approach.
For marketing, finance or strategic planning professionals this report is essential. The SSD and Controller SWOT report, SS350SWOT-2016, is available for purchase from WebFeet Research in electronic excel format at $3,995.
About WebFeet Research   
Headquartered in Monterey, California, WebFeet Research provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with a focus on nonvolatile memory and solid state storage technologies.

Monday, June 20, 2016

WebFeet Research Heralds 2015 as Awakening of Life beyond NAND and DRAM

Flash Memory Components Market Revenues Improved to $33B, 3D XPoint Announced

Monterey, CA - June 20, 2016 – After reaching a midyear turning point WebFeet Research reflects on the salient 2015 announcements impacting the Non Volatile Memory market and the computing industry.  Intel and Micron revealed 3D XPoint memory heralding a sea change in computing memory architecture that will complement then replace DRAM and ‘high performance’ NAND. In consolidating its annual results of each Flash memory vendor’s shipments, WebFeet Research found the 2015 Flash memory market to be $33.4 billion, an increase of 8.2% from 2014.  A substantial increase in 2015 revenues came from the NAND Flash market at 10.6%, while the NOR market contracted dramatically from 2014 by -13.7 %. Samsung was again the 2015 revenue market leader for all NV Memories and NAND, Cypress (Spansion) established itself as the NOR Flash and the NVRAM market leader, and Winbond maintained the serial NOR leadership position. This report discusses the impact of the mergers and acquisitions (SanDisk and ISSI) on the memory market, qualifies the migration of planar to 3D NAND, quantifies how fast the emerging NVM are growing including XPoint as well as the reemergence of NRAM, and presents two forecasts for serial EEPROM showing the impact (slow initial adoption) of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its aggressive scenario.  

The 2015 Non Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report, CS700MS-2016, includes market shares by vendor for total Non Volatile Memory, NAND Flash, NOR Flash, serial NOR Flash, total EEPROM, serial EEPROM, parallel EEPROM, OTP ROM (EPROM and Mask ROM), and NVRAM (NVSRAM, RTC, MRAM, FeRAM, PCM, XPoint, RRAM, NRAM and Others).  Annual revenue forecasts are provided from 2014-2021 for the EEPROM, OTP ROM, and NVRAM markets. In addition, the NVSRAM market shares are broken out by vendor for Real Time Clocks (RTC) and NVSRAM from 2010-2015.  This report, CS700MS-2016, is available for $2.5K and for providers of the market share data they can obtain the report with a $500 discount.  WebFeet Research also has forecast the serial EEPROM (conservative and aggressive) and the NVSRAM (nvSRAM, RTC) from 2013-2021 by density for revenue, units, and ASPs, and for the serial EEPROM by interface type.  Each of these additional forecasts are priced at $500 and come in excel format. 

WebFeet Research, located in Monterey, California, provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with emphasis on flash memory components, flash cards, EFDs, SSDs, and In-Memory Computing.