Solidigm was very bullish on QLC SSDs in the data center. Compared to other flash vendors, their continued use of a floating gate cell architecture (while others have moved on to ship trap configurations) has served them well in bringing QLC SSDs to the enterprise market. The company realized early on that the market was hungry for a low-cost, high-capacity drive-by-shelf SSD. In order to address this with their generation 144L 3D NAND, Solidigm created the D5-P5316. While the kit included a 30 TB SKU for less than $100/TB, QLC’s overall characteristics and use of a 16-kilobyte indirect unit (IU) limited use cases for heavy reads and large sequential/random write workloads.
Solidigm markets its data center solid state drives (SSDs) in two families – the D7 line is for demanding workloads with 3D TLC flash. The D5 series, on the other hand, uses QLC flash and is targeted at mainstream workloads and specialized off-demand use cases where density and cost matter most. The company also divides this family into the “Basic Endurance” line and the “Endurance” line. The popular D5-P5316 falls into the “endurance value” line.
The D5-P5430 being offered today is a TLC direct replacement driver in the Primary Endurance line. This means that unlike the D5-P5316’s 16K IU, the D5-P5430 uses 4KB IU. The company pitched an idea for this campaign at its Tech Field Day presentation last year.
Despite being a QLC SSD, Solidigm promises very competitive read performance and higher endurance ratings over previous generation TLC drives from its competitors. In fact, Solidigm believes the D5-P5430 could be quite competitive with TLC drivers like the Micron 7450 Pro and Kioxia CD6-R.
|Solidigm D5-P5430 NVMe SSD Specifications|
|form factor||2.5″ 15mm U.2 / E3.S / E1.S|
|interface, protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4c slot|
|Capacity||3.84 TB, 7.68 TB, 15.36 TB
E1.S / U.2 / E3.S
U.2 / E3.S
|3D NAND flash||Solidegem 192L 3D QLC|
|Sequential Performance (GB/s)||128 KB reads @ QD 256||7.0|
|128KB writes @ QD 256||3.0|
|random access (IOPS)||4KB reads @ QD 256||971 k|
|4KB writes @ QD 256||120 thousand|
|Cummins (typical) (US)||4KB reads @ QD 1||108|
|4KB writes @ QD 1||13|
|pull power (watts)||128 KB sequential read||??|
|128 KB sequential write||25.0|
|4KB random read||??|
|4KB random write||??|
|Stamina (DWPD)||Sequential writes 100% 128 KB||1.83|
|100% 4KB random write||0.58|
|a guarantee||5 years|
Based on market positioning, the Micron 6500 ION launched earlier today is the main competition for the D5-P5430. Sequential writes and power consumption figures aren’t particularly attractive for a Solidigm drive on a comparative basis, but the D5-P5430 wins on the endurance side – 0.3 RDWPD for the 6500 ION vs. 0.58 RDWPD for the D5-P5430 (surprise for a QLC drive). Solidigm prefers the NAND write limit as a better endurance rating and quotes 32 PBW as the endurance rating for the D5-P5430 maximum capacity SKU. Another major downside here is that the D5-P5430 is only available in capacities up to 15.36TB today. A 30TB SKU is due to debut later this year. In contrast, a 30TB storage block is now available for the 6500 ION. On the other hand, the D5-P5430 is available in a range of capacities and form factors, unlike the ION 6500. The choice may just end up depending on how each SSD performs for its intended use cases.
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