MRAM SSDs

Everspin’s new SSDs, The nvNitro, will ship in 1GB and 2GB capacities. These small drives are intended to be used for accelerating storage workloads, not as bootable OS drives. They offer 1.5 million IOPS with what Everspin terms “six microsecond end-to-end latency.” They can be mapped as either NVMe SSDs or as memory-mapped I/O. The longevity of MRAM means that controller schemes to implement wear leveling or write combining aren’t needed. Anandtech notes that the very high rated performance on these drives compares well against the fastest NAND you can buy today.

Claiming it will introduce 4GB – 16GB capacities this year in one part of its press release, Everspin elsewhere refers to “capacity options ranging from 512MB to 8GB throughout the year.” Either way, it’s clear the company wants to make a name for itself in the storage market and is pushing towards the higher capacities that will make it possible.

It will be Interesting  to see how these drives stack up against both NAND flash and Intel’s 3D XPoint / Optane technology. Optane may well end up being the better comparison point — Intel is expected to bring 16GB and 32GB drives to market this year (which better matches the modest capacities of MRAM drives) and the two non-volatile storage technologies have similar claims of high reliability and superior-to-NAND performance. It may also prove to be the better price comparison, since the sheer volume of NAND produced each year makes it extremely difficult for challengers to match that memory’s price scaling.

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