Scott Shadley, SSD dude extraordinaire, from VMworld 2016 on the memory storage tech that will rock our world


Scott Shadley (@SMShadley) from Micron tells us what is going on in his world, where the not-so-distant future has storage capabilities that are almost unfathomable today.


MF: Hi, this is a technology ridecast. I’m Marc Farley and our special guest this morning is Scott Shadley from Micron Technologies.

SS: Good morning Marc, How’s it going?

MF: It’s going great. We’re here, of course, at VMworld 2016. A lot of great stuff going on and really a lot of excitement going on at Micron.

SS: Absolutely we’re having great things going on storage is taken off like gangbusters and we’re glad to be along for the ride.

MF: Yeah, so sort of the buzz here is this 24 terabyte super high-speed, super-dense new NVMe SSD that you have.

SS: Yeah, so the big thing now has turned into how big can we get a drive and how big does a person really need a drive. 24 terabytes is a great fit right now for where customers are at and we’re going to be putting that thing in sockets and selling it here in the next six months. Being NVMe-based, of course, it’s got some great speed, very easy to work with and enables a lot of new opportunity for the growth of non-volatile storage memories, whether it be NAND or crosspoint architecture.

MF: What kind of I/O density are you getting with this 24 terabyte drive?

SS: We’re still talking mixed reads/rights over five gigabytes per second…

MF: Whoa.

SS: …and 700,000 IOPs.  So it’s big and fast which is a great combination. You tend to hear neither of those two words combined together in a sentence in a traditional spinning media type architecture.

MF: So what form factor or form factors is your 24 terabyte drive?

SS: So we’re putting it in the traditional two-and-a-half-inch small form factor drive. In the NVMe architecture space we call this a U.2 – for those that aren’t familiar with that one – and we
also have the half-height, half-length card.

MF: Yeah, so of course the other big thing that you guys are involved in is the development of 3D X point,

SS: Yep

MF: Which you and Intel are branding separately, right?

SS:  Correct. So part of the fun of our joint venture that we have with those guys as we develop the technology together, but then we can go to market either together or separately. We’re branding our technology “QuantX” (pronounced quantex), so there’s going to be some interesting ways we work together and interesting ways we compete with each other just like we do on the NAND SSDs today.

MF: So what’s the stated time frame for 3D xPoint to come ….or QuantX

SS: QuantX enabled

MF: Yes exactly! What’s the stated time frame for QuantX products in the market?

SS: So we’re starting to see stuff rolling out towards the end of this year. Intel is going to be first. They made that announcement at their their IDF event. We’re going to be making some announcements publicly here in a couple weeks, so if you’re watching this in a while you’re already seen them. But, we’re doing some partner enablement work and realistically seeing this in the field in a customer’s platform at least next year – end of next year.

MF: End of next year, right.

SS: We’ve got qual cycles we’ve got enablement, we ‘ve got to figure out how to make it all tier into each other and stuff like that.

MF: Well this has really been a lot of fun and you are sitting, you are working with some of the hottest technology in our industry.

SS: It’s very exciting to be here, I’ve loved flash for many, many years and it’s going to continue to be a great thing with xPoint and what we come up with next.

MF: Thanks for coming on the ride.

SS: Absolutely, I appreciate the lift.

Click here to listen to the podcast version (audio only) of this ridecast.



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