New player in the SSD market: Pliant Technology

After receiving their third round of funding earlier this year, Pliant Technology today announced their Flash drive product: the Lightning LB and Lightning LS drives. The drives are available in 2.5 inch (LB) and 3.5 inch (LS) models. Both use a SAS host interface, and are available with a capacity of 150 GB. The LS model also has a 300GB version.

Pliant Technology Lightling LS and LB drives

Pliant Technology lightning LS and LB drives

The surprise is in the specifications of these drives; according to Pliant, the 2.5 inch model achieves 120.000 IOPS, and the 3.5 inch version reaches 180.000 IOPS. They don’t specify whether these are for reads or writes; but the drives use SLC flash so they don’t suffer the extreme performance penalty for writes that MLC-based drives suffer from.

Another interesting feature is the lack of a cache. All data is written directly to disk, which should prevent data loss in the event of a power failure. Popular tech website Slashdot says that “The company also claims an unlimited number of daily writes to its new flash drives, guaranteeing 5 years of service”, but I couldn’t find anything on Pliant’s website that supports this; they do, however, say that these drives can be operated 24×7, with a MTBF of 2 million hours.

Their press release provides some more info; the first drives should be available later this month.

Pliant’s Lightning© EFDs integrate an advanced software architecture and a proprietary ASIC controller design to dramatically improve performance and reliability of storage and IT systems, while significantly reducing cost, space requirements and energy consumption.

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