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Diablo flash DIMM partnership woos server makers

Diablo Technologies and American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) partnered on memory channel flash storage servers for more than a year. The first fruits of the collaboration bloomed this week when AMI started shipping server systems that integrate Diablo’s flash-based Memory1 storage modules.

AMI integrated Memory1 in its proprietary Aptio V unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI) specification. AMI sells the UEFI BIOS to original equipment makers to build next-generation Intel Xeon servers capable of using idle memory capacity as server-side flash storage.

Memory1 is a server-side Diablo flash storage product that slides in a standard server slot.  Aptio V UEFI modular architecture is configurable for x86-based and non-x86 servers, as well as Linux and Windows environment. The UEFI spec was developed to be an eventual replacement for Basic Input Output System (BIOS).

Diablo’s dual inline memory module (DIMM) Memory1 technology allows flash storage to be placed closer to the server motherboard.  Memory1 incorporates NAND flash and the DDR4 memory specification in a DIMM card.

Each Diablo flash DIMM provides 128 GB of flash in a standard server, without requiring changes to applications, hardware or the operating system.  A dual-socket server can accept up to 16 Memory1 devices for 2 TB of persistent memory.  Diablo flash DIMMs are expected to be available in 256 GB capacities in 2017.

Diablo executives expressed confidence that the AMI partnership will lead OEMs to build and market server hardware based on Memory1 flash.  If so, it would provide a big boost to Diablo. Flash Memory1 DIMM modules have replaced ULLtraDIMM memory-channel storage as its flagship product.

“Collaborating with AMI allows for fast and seamless integration of Memory1 into OEM servers. It saves us months of development work with each OEM,” said Kevin Wagner, Diablo Technologies’ vice president of marketing.

Inspur Systems is the lone server vendor to announce a branded line of Memory1-based servers.  Wagner said additional server OEM deals will be announced “shortly.”