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Optimizing SSDs for Industrial and Edge Applications

By Pichai Balaji, Director, Product Marketing, Flash BU, Marvell

Industrial SSDs are specifically designed for high-performance systems where data integrity and reliability are of the utmost importance. Industrial SSDs cover a wide range of applications including industrial data storage, heavy robotics, retail kiosks, medical systems, security surveillance, video monitoring, and gaming, to name a few.

When most people hear the term “industrial SSD,” they immediately think of a ruggedized, high-temperature SSD in a metal casing. While such drives are part of the industrial class of SSDs, most industrial and edge applications have a wider range of requirements in terms of SSD controller hardware, firmware, SSD form factor, drive capacity, endurance, reliability, and use case/workload.

For these applications, it is critical that the SSD meets industrial quality standards, and long-term reliability and performance requirements. These SSD devices must be able to withstand industrial grade temperatures, as well as a higher level of shock and vibration. Some applications need these SSDs to operate in ambient temperatures ranging from -40°C to 85°C. In such extreme conditions, data loss is a serious concern.

Marvell’s 88SS1321/22 SSD controllers are designed to meet the industrial requirements on temperature endurance, longevity, and performance. Marvell’s 88SS1321 device also provides flexibility for the industrial SSD maker to choose the SSD form factor (supports 2.5” / U.2; m.2 2230 to 22110), and  choose to use the SSD with or without DRAM (optional).

Exascend recently launched an industrial grade PCIe Gen 4 SSD – the PI4 Series. Powered by Marvell’s 88SS1321 PCIe Gen 4 SSD controller, the SSD offers 3500MB/s performance and can operate in an extreme temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. It offers full disk encryption / TCG OPAL 2.0 in M.2 (2280 & 2242), U.2, E1.S and CFexpress form factors for industrial and ADAS storage applications.

Marvell’s 88SS1321 PCIe Gen 4 SSD controller
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Ethernet Camera Bridge for Software-Defined Vehicles

By Amir Bar-Niv, VP of Marketing, Automotive Business Unit, Marvell

Automotive Transformation

Smart Car and Data Center-on-wheels are just some of the terms being used to define the exciting new waves of technology transforming the automotive industry and promising safer, greener self-driving cars and enhanced user experiences. Underpinning it all is a megatrend towards Software-defined Vehicles (SDV). SDV is not just a new automotive technology platform. It also enables a new business model for automotive OEMs. With a software-centric architecture, car makers will have an innovation platform to generate unprecedented streams of revenue from aftermarket services and new applications. For owners, the capability to receive over-the-air software updates for vehicles already on the road – as easily as smartphones are updated – means an automobile whose utility will no longer decline over time and driving experiences that can be continuously improved over time.

This blog is the first in a series of blogs that will discuss the basic components of a system that will enable the future of SDV.

Road to SDV is Paved with Ethernet

A key technology to enable SDVs is a computing platform that is supported by an Ethernet-based In-Vehicle network (IVN). An Ethernet-based IVN provides the ability to reshape the traffic between every system in the car to help meet the requirements of new downloaded applications. To gain the full potential of Ethernet-based IVNs, the nodes within the car will need to “talk” Ethernet. This includes devices such as car sensors and cameras. In this blog, we discuss the characteristics and main components that will drive the creation of this advanced Ethernet-based IVN, which will enable this new era of SDV. 

But first let’s talk about the promises of this new business model. For example, people might ask, “how many new applications can possibly be created for cars and who will use them?” This is probably the same question that was asked when Apple created the original AppStore, which started with dozens of new apps, and now of course, the rest is history. We can definitely learn from this model. Plus, this is not going to be just an OEM play. Once SDV cars are on the road, we should expect the emergence of new companies that will develop for the OEMs a whole new world of car applications that will be aligned with other megatrends like Smart City, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Ride-hailing and many others. 

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Marvell Bravera SC5 SSD Controller Family Named “Semiconductor Product of the Year” in the 2022 Data Breakthrough Awards

By Kristin Hehir, Senior Manager, PR and Marketing, Marvell

Data Breakthrough, an independent market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and solutions in the global data technology market, today announced the 2022 winners of its Data Breakthrough Awards. Marvell is thrilled to share that its Bravera™ SC5 SSD controller family  was named “Semiconductor Product of the Year” in the Hardware/Components & Infrastructure category.

Marvell’s Bravera SC5 controller

Marvell’s Bravera SC5 controllers are the industry’s first PCIe 5.0 SSD controllers, enabling the highest performing data center flash storage solutions. By bringing unprecedented performance, best-in-class efficiency, and leading security features, Bravera SC5 addresses the critical requirements for scalable, containerized storage for optimal cloud infrastructure. Marvell’s Bravera SC5 doubles the performance compared to PCIe 4.0 SSDs, contributing to accelerated workloads and reduced latency, dramatically improving the user experience.

“Our Bravera SC5 controllers were developed alongside cloud providers, NAND vendors and the larger ecosystem to meet the critical requirements for faster and higher bandwidth cloud storage,” said Thad Omura, vice president of marketing, Flash Business Unit at Marvell. “This award further validates the innovative feature set our solution brings to address the ever-expanding workloads in the cloud. We thank Data Breakthrough for recognizing the vital role that semiconductors play across the digital data industry.” 

The Data Breakthrough award nominations were evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the larger fields of data science and technology, with the winning products and companies selected based on a variety of criteria, including most innovative and technologically advanced solutions and services.

More information about the awards can be found here.

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Marvell showcases its new no-compromise Open RAN solution with ecosystem partners using best of cloud, wireless compute architectures

By Peter Carson, Senior Director Solutions Marketing, Marvell

Marvell’s 5G Open RAN architecture leverages its OCTEON Fusion processor and underscores collaborations with Arm and Meta to drive adoption of no-compromise 5G Open RAN solutions

The wireless industry’s no-compromise 5G Open RAN platform will be on display at Mobile World Congress 2022. The Marvell-designed solution builds on its extensive compute collaboration with Arm and raises expectations about Open RAN capabilities for ecosystem initiatives like the Meta Connectivity Evenstar program, which is aimed at expanding the global adoption of Open RAN. Last year at MWC, Marvell announced it had joined the Evenstar program [read more]. This year, Marvell’s new 5G Open RAN Accelerator will be on display at the Arm booth at MWC 2022. The OCTEON Fusion processor, which integrates 5G in-line acceleration and Arm Neoverse CPUs, is the foundation for Marvell’s Open RAN DU reference design.

5G is going mainstream with the rapid rollout of next generation networks by every major operator worldwide. The ability of 5G to reliably provide high bandwidth and extremely low latency connectivity is powering applications like metaverse, autonomous driving, industrial IoT, private networks, and many more. 5G is a massive undertaking that is set to transform entire industries and serve the world’s diverse connectivity needs for years to come. But the wireless networks at the center of this revolution are, themselves, undergoing a major transformation – not just in feeds and speeds, but in architecture. More specifically, significant portions of the 5G radio access network (RAN) are moving into the cloud.

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No-Compromise 5G Open RAN: Compute Architecture

By Peter Carson, Senior Director Solutions Marketing, Marvell

Introduction 

5G networks are evolving to a cloud-native architecture with Open RAN at the center. This explainer series is aimed at de-mystifying the challenges and complexity in scaling these emerging open and virtualized radio access networks. Let’s start with the compute architecture.

The Problem 

Open RAN systems based on legacy compute architectures utilize an excessively high number of CPU cores and energy to support 5G Layer 1 (L1) and other data-centric processing, like security, networking and storage virtualization. As illustrated in the diagram below, this leaves very few host compute resources available for the tasks the server was originally designed to support. These systems typically offload a small subset of 5G L1 functions, such as forward error correction (FEC), from the host to an external FPGA-based accelerator but execute the processing offline. This kind of look-aside (offline) processing of time-critical L1 functions outside the data path adds latency that degrades system performance.

Image:  Limitations of Open RAN systems based on general purpose processors

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