HGST Research chases rivals down with the world's fastest SSD

Faster is almost always better. While computer enthusiasts are continually trying to get an edge and squeeze out more performance, they are often stopped by one thing - a lack of money. Yes, in the computer world, you must pay to play and hardware is not always cheap. Often manufacturers will trot out something so remarkable (and expensive), that nerds start drooling and dreaming about owning it, but never actually achieve it.

Today, HGST shows off what it is calling the world's fastest SSD. Unfortunately, it is so fast that most people will not be able to afford it any time soon. With that said, it is only a tech-demo for now, but today's demos are tomorrow's consumer products. Are you ready for a cheetah-like SSD in your system?

"The SSD demonstration utilises a PCIe interface and delivers three million random read IOs per second of 512 Bytes each when operating in a queued environment and a random read access latency of 1.5 microseconds (us) in non-queued settings, delivering results that cannot be achieved with existing SSD architectures and NAND Flash memories. This performance is orders of magnitude faster than existing Flash based SSDs, resulting in a new class of block storage devices", says HGST Research.

The company further says, "in order to fully expose the capabilities of these new memory technologies to the server system and its software applications, HGST has also developed a low-latency interface architecture that is fully optimised for performance and is agnostic to the specific underlying memory technology. HGST used its controller expertise to integrate the 45 nm 1Gb PCM chips to build a prototype full height, full length PCIe Gen 2x4 SSD card".

Dr. Zvonimir Bandic, manager of Storage Architecture at HGST Research says "three million IOPs is exceptional, but that is not the most exciting part of the demonstration.

What is really exciting is to be able to deliver latencies close to 1us for small block random reads. This is something that just cannot be done with NAND Flash and current controller and interface technologies".

Solid state drives are pretty darn fast now and I never find myself wishing they were faster. However, it is important to continue pushing the envelope and improving technologies. Will many consumers be owning this technology any time soon? Absolutely not. Still though, it is exciting to dream. HGST Research and Western Digital (the parent company) should be applauded for this innovation.

Are you excited for faster SSDs? Tell me in the comments.