Toshiba’s Most Innovative Technology Award: We Didn’t Start the Fire, But We...

Flash Memory Summit brought new meaning to ‘showstoppers’ when an overnight booth fire prevented the exhibit hall from opening. Sadly, dozens of company booths and technology demos would never been seen by attendees. But when it came to innovation, the show certainly went on. FMS quickly found a new venue for the highly anticipated Best of Show awards ceremony. This year, its panel of judges evaluated hundreds of entries and presented 13 awards to companies driving innovation in flash and SSD technology. 

Working with Facebook, Toshiba submitted a show-stopping IO Determinism (IOD) demonstration, a new technology created by the NVM Express® (NVMe™)  technical working group that is designed to improve the performance of SSDs in data center workloads. In a nutshell, by reading and writing to specific “sets” of NAND die on an SSD—where a set was always available for reads—IOD thereby minimizes the possibility of a long latency window. Toshiba was able to demonstrate the promise of IOD on Lightning systems and deliver a targeted latency with 99.999% consistency, resulting in a 40 to 100X improvement in read latency consistency. With improvements like this, you won’t find a state-of-the-art data center not implementing IO Determinism in the future.

Both Toshiba and Facebook walked away with a Best of Show award for Most Innovative Flash Memory Technology in the Data Center category from Jay Kramer and the FMS judging team. We have Steven Wells, engineering fellow for data center architecture at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. and Chris Petersen, a data center architect at Facebook, to thank for this and received the awards on behalf of each company.  It will be some time before IOD is native to NVMe SSDs, but the proof is in the data center workload “pudding.”  Data center companies that need guaranteed read latencies will be lining up for IOD-capable drives when they become available in the next 12-18 months.

Because you missed the live demo at our booth, Toshiba is taking steps to make sure the industry gets to witness this game-changing technology. Stay tuned!


1 NVM Express and the NVM Express logo are registered trademarks, and NVMe is a trademark of NVM Express, Inc

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of KIOXIA America, Inc.

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