This piece talks about more of the storage and memory products and applications on display in exhibits and suites at the 2020 CES. In particular we will discuss SK hynix, Kingston, Gigabyte, OWC, Macronix and Quantum products and storage applications on display at the show.
SK Hynix’s exhibit at the CES depicted a futuristic city which effectively utilizes enormous amounts of data. The Company also showcases its semiconductor solutions across six crucial business fields – artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR), automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and 5G. SK hynix’s memory solutions shown at the CES including HBM2E, DDR5 for servers, and SSDs. Hynix was also showing its LPDDR4X and eMMC 5.2, targeted at automobiles. It was also showing LPDDR5 and UFS for 5G smartphones and its CIS (CMOS Image Sensor).
SK hynix introduced its PCIe NVMe SSD for general consumers for the first time at CES 2020 with capacities up to 2 TB (see below).
SK hynix NVMe SSDs
SK hynix Product Announcement
This SSD is based on the 128-layer NAND which was first mass-produced by SK hynix in June 2019. Compared to the previous SATA consumer SSD released in August 2019, the new product’s read and write speed improved by over six times.
Kingston Digital (the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company) was demoing its upcoming UHS-II cards (see below) as well as NVMe PCIe Gen 4.0 SSDs.
Kingston Canvas Plus Flash Cards
Kingston Product Introduction Image
The company’s Canvas Plus Flash cards offer higher speeds including UHS-II and high capacities as well as the new MobileLite Plus readers engineered to support the maximum speeds of the Canvas Plus line. It also gave a sneak peek at Kingston’s first Gen 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD for consumers shipping later this year.
Kingston was also showing its Data Center NVMe SSDs in both U.2 and M.2 form factors: Designed to deliver predictable low-latency and I/O consistency as the key performance criteria. For internal drive bay upgrades, hyperscale data center servers and Cloud service providers requiring high-performance storage. The company also showed its Data Center SATA SSD (DC450R, DC500R) capacity addition: A 7.68TB SSD for Cloud-hosting companies and other data centers in need of more storage.
Gigabyte introduced a new Aorus RAID SSD 2TB expansion card. The card features an embedded Phison E12 NVMe RAID controller with four PCIe 3.0 512GB NVMe SSDs. The card has read/write performance of 6,300/5,900 MB/s and can be configured for performance or data redundancy. The company also showed Designare 3,200 MHz memory modules with 64GB capacity (see below) as well as Designare portable drives in 500 GB and 1 TB capacities with read/write speeds up to 2,000 MB/s. These are equipped with USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2X2 interface.
Gigabyte DDR Memory Modules
Gigabyte Product Images
OWC released its new OWC SoftRAID software for macOS and Windows machines along with SoftRAID Pro for macOS. The company also introduced its Mercury Helios 3S PCIe Card Expansion Chassis and companion U.2 NVM3 Interchange system for fast SSD swaps (see below).
OWC Mercury Helios 3S PCIe Card Expansion Chassis
OWC Product Image
The company also announced additions to its ThunderBay Pro-Grade Storage Lineup at CES 2020, the ThunderBay 8 and ThunderBay FLEX 8. The FLEX is a 3-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 storage, docking, and PCIe expansion solution.
I also met with Macronix at their Suite at the CES. They make NAND and NOR chips that are used in many consumer products, although their biggest customers are industrial and enterprise. They told me that the Alexa Echo dot uses their 4 Gb SLC NAND chip as a buffer. They also supply 19nm eMMC NAND with capacities up to 8 GB. They said that they will produce 48-layer 3D NAND by the second half of 2020, 96 layer by 2021 and 192 layer probably in 2022.
The company said that they are focusing on memory centric solutions that combine memory with a RISC-V accelerator processor. Speaking of RISC-V, they are making a big push into the consumer space, providing an open source processor. They are present at two of the pre-CES press events discussing the merits of their technology. Western Digital plans to use RISC-V in all their storage product processors.
Quantum’s R-Series removable, in-vehicle storage and workflow system was on display in the trunk of an autonomous car at the Elektrobit exhibit in the North Hall of the LVCC, see below.
Electrobit Autonomous Car with Quantum R-Series Storage in Trunk
Quantum Product Image
Quantum teamed with Elektrobit to conduct an in-vehicle autonomous research data capture and management demonstration at CES. The team drove a test vehicle cross-country from San Jose to Las Vegas, collecting real-world video and raw sensor data along the way using Elektrobit’s EB Assist Test Lab combined with Quantum’s R-Series removable storage to capture data in the vehicle, and Xcellis Workflow Director appliances powered by StorNext to ingest and direct files to the Elektrobit EB Assist Test Lab cloud-based validation tool, all on site. This let the engineers gain the ability to capture, ingest, and manage large amounts of data in a manner that is powerful, flexible, and cost-effective for a hybrid cloud-based solution.
SK hynix, Kingston and Gigabyte introduced new SSDs, including NVMe SSDs as well as memory products at the 2020 CES. OWC was showcasing NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 expansion cases, Macronix talked about making RISC-V memory centric products and Quantum’s R-Series removable storage enabled Electrobit’s autonomous car.