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Focus Enhancements FireStore
Specifically for the FireStore DV Direct-To-Edit Disk Recording Solutions.


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Old October 2nd, 2007, 04:08 PM   #1
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Time to say goodbye to Firestore?

In a recent discussion with members of the local amateur video club the question was raised whether it was time to say goodbye to Firestore and Hello to Solid State Drives (SSD). With Sandisk releasing 32Gb and Samsung releasing 64Gb SSD in March, and Fusion IO announcing 640Gb SSD in September we were wondering how long it would take for some manufacturer to introduce SSD for tapeless video capture. Our guess was that with prices for SDD following the trends for other storage media we might be looking at affordable SSD by April next year. At this time we might see the first camcorder manufacturers introducing them in their cameras, and offering separate SSD units. Won't be long at all before new laptops are shipped solely with SSD, at which time the prices should really drop fast. Firestore prices its drives deliberately high. Even at today's SSD prices a manufacturer could compete with Firestore. Once the prices for SSD start to drop it could put Firestore with their current business model out of business quite fast. SSD does not have moving parts, so no need for the shock protection and all the other good HDD related technology. What do you guys think? Is SSD the way to go? Is Firestore going to bring to market their own SSD products? Are prices for tapeless capture going to drop significantly within a year from now?
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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but if firestore started price high, it is probably to make sure they can cope with new technology later.
When expensive SSD drive will hit the market, firestore drive can go cheaper.
It is too bad for early adopters, but it is the same for all techno gadgets.
And what is the cost today of a 120 gig hard drive ? (60-80$ ?), i doubt SSD can beat this before a long time.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 05:48 PM   #3
 
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you guys are forgetting that the thruput on a ss memory device is incredibly low. Even DV bitrates are too much for a SS memory device. So, while capacity is important it's of no consequence if you can't push the data down the pipe fast enough.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:47 AM   #4
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Bill,

Isn't Sony using two of the new form factor flash memory cards on one of their new cameras?

I've been thinking the same as you about data rate, and I believe the Panny P2 cards are basically raiding across several ss cards to get the required data rate.

But if Sony is using the new mwmory cards as is, that muct mean that they've somehow addressed the data rate issue.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 03:32 AM   #5
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Giroud,

you are right. Firestore can surf down the price wave for a while with the HDD products. However, this is going to squeeze their margins and profits, and is eating into cash flow. Cash is needed for R&D, so they should not wait too long before they bring an SSD product to market to continue creaming off profits from early adopters. Innovation is the name of the game. Do it before someone does it to you.

Bill,

I found this press release from STEC (Santa Ana) from August, 7th:

"The MACH8 family of products (1.8", 2.5" and 3.5" form factors) will ship to OEM customers during Q407 in capacities of 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256GB. It is designed to deliver over 100MB/sec sustained sequential read and write speed. The drives can deliver up to 10,000 random read IOPS in the MACH8-IOPS version, and 5,000 random read IOPS in the base version. While most SSDs have historically struggled to deliver meaningful random write speeds, the MACH8 SSD delivers 800 random write IOPS - a significant improvement over the highest performance Enterprise-class HDD. The MACH8-IOPS SSD achieves 10X the performance of the existing enterprise HDDs when used in server applications.

"The product differentiation within the market for SSDs is beginning to resemble that of the hard drive market" said Patrick Wilkison, VP of marketing and business development at STEC.

An industry first, data stored on the MACH8 SSD is secured by proprietary full data path protection. MACH8 also boasts a projected MTBF of 2.8 million hours - twice as reliable as current best-in-class hard drives."

Here is the link to the full news release:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....426&highlight=
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 06:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
you guys are forgetting that the thruput on a ss memory device is incredibly low. Even DV bitrates are too much for a SS memory device.
Not true. I can only refer to this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=102312 . (I enquire about their plans for "a solid state Firestore" in post 15 - the response is encouraging. At the moment the product promises more, but at a higher price.)

Both Red and the device discussed there can record extremely high quality to Compact Flash (at 160Mbs in this case, and higher in the case of Red) - albeit only to the highest spec, fastest versions of CF.

But even cheaper versions of CF are capable of recording not simply DV bitrates, but even up to 100Mbs, so DVCProHD datarates. Sandisk Extreme III is quoted as having minimum write/read speeds of 20MBs (160Mbs) for example - http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Cata...pactFlash.aspx .

The cheapest versions of solid state memory may not be suitable for high quality video, but it is a fallacy that you need the complexity and price of P2 or SxS to do it at all. That may have been the case not many years ago, but memory technology has moved on.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 08:32 AM   #7
 
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thanx...it's all news to me.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
you guys are forgetting that the thruput on a ss memory device is incredibly low. Even DV bitrates are too much for a SS memory device. So, while capacity is important it's of no consequence if you can't push the data down the pipe fast enough.
DV25 is 25 megabits / second which is about 3 Megabytes/second . So, as Mr. Heath pointed out (though didn't mention the regular DV data rate).
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Old October 5th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #9
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I think it's inevitable that eventually almost everything will be solid state. I can easily see 16gb (or more) built directly into camcorders, with relatively small card slots for putting 64gb, 128gb, 640gb etc. cards that are plenty fast enough to ingest HD footage.

Eventually cards like this will handle IMAX quality 3D imagery going to solid state. It will be here sooner than you think. Take a look at the Vision Research Phantom 65; Then look back at where we were a decade ago.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #10
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If you really need the speed today but want the convenience of cheap, solid-state removable media, you could try something like an IDE-to-FireWire800 bridge board, set up for RAID 0 mode, and plug in four CF cards. That should get you to about 640 Mbps (4 x 160 Mbps) over FW800.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 10:22 PM   #11
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There's are no shortage of 2.5" IDE SSD devices out there. Just swap your Firestore's drive with the SSD drive and your done.

Convergent's XDR will be the way to go though.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:16 AM   #12
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Solid state devices are general faster in throughput than hard drives by a factor of 10. Moreover they are much faster for random access. This is why people are using them to hold operating systems, for the fast boot potential.

The limiting factor in Panasonic's case was the old buss structure (the older version of PCMCIA). In contrast Sony's SxS cards use the new Express Card interface and even @ 35Mb/s can support data transfer rates of 20x realtime (800Mb/s or 100MB/s).

This slows down substantially if you use a USB transfer device (a Express bus-USB connection) as with overhead you only get roughly 240Mb/s.
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