Samsung is one of a select group of SSD vendors that makes not only its own controller silicon, but also its own NAND. Now, the electronics giant has added another asset to its storage divison. Samsung has acquired Nvelo, a Santa Clara-based software company specializing in SSD caching.
Nvelo's Dataplex software is similar to Intel's Smart Response Technology but isn't restricted to specific Intel chipsets. Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin, and OCZ have been bundling Dataplex with their caching-oriented solid-state drives for some time. While it's unclear whether those relationships will be renewed, it seems likely Samsung will want to keep any new innovations to itself. The Nvelo press release notes only that the acquisition encompasses all of the firm's technology and personnel.
SSD caching is becoming more popular as flash prices continue to fall, and Samsung is uniquely positioned to take advantage with both its standalone storage products and with complete systems like notebooks. If Samsung hadn't sold its hard drive business to Seagate, it would have that side of the equation covered, too.
Although SSD caching seems likely to be rolled into a new version of Windows eventually, I suspect a lot of folks will be sticking with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future. Indeed, adding a caching-friendly SSD should be a good way to extend the useful life of those systems. That should be an easy upgrade; unlike adding a solid-state system drive, dropping in a caching SSD doesn't require cloning the OS or choosing how to distribute applications, games, and files between the SSD and mechanical storage.