Seagate prepares a monster PCIe SSD for the data center

— 1:47 PM on March 8, 2016

Seagate has an intriguing new toy to show off at this weekend's Open Compute Project Summit. It claims to have the world's fastest solid-state drive on its hands. To back up that bit of chest-pounding, the company claims the drive has "throughput performance" of 10 GB/s. Furthermore, Seagate says the drive is ready for production and should launch sometime this summer.

Any "world's fastest" claim is a tough one to verify, especially when Seagate isn't specifying whether that 10GB/s figure describes reads or writes, nor whether it describes a random or sequential access pattern. Given that sequential figures are usually described in bytes per second, and that reads tend to be faster than writes with many drives, we suspect Seagate is reporting sequential read numbers.

There is an intriguing detail in Seagate's announcement that suggests how it's gaining that performance edge. The company says the drive can take advantage of 16 lanes of PCIe connectivity (albeit from an unspecified generation). Provided that the drive can take advantage of all those lanes, it could outpace many drives on the market. Seagate also has plans for an eight-lane drive, which Seagate claims runs at the slower, but still impressive speed of 6.7 GB/s.

Seagate has datacenters and other business applications in mind for the new drive, and it touts the monster SSD's compliance with the Open Compute Project specifications. Depending on its price and real-world peformance, though, the drive may also attract the interest of the enthusiast community. Maybe it's time to put those extra PCIe lanes on Intel's Skylake platform to work.

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