Enterprise Storage Firmware Development

Enterprise-grade SSD firmware development

Encore Semi’s Enterprise SSD team can be leveraged to perform a variety of projects, from architecture consulting to complete drive firmware implementation, customization and production support. Examples of project the team has developed or contributed to:

  • Drive level (HDD, SSD, Optical, Tape) architecture and core FW implementations
  • I/F command handlers – ATA, SCSI, NVMe/PCIe
  • Data path optimization, performance tuning, caching systems for customized workloads
  • Flash/ Media Management – FTLs, Indirection Systems, Garbage Collection, SMR
  • Open Channel SSD/LightNVM implementations
  • Client -> Enterprise Drive Implementations
  • Power Loss optimization
  • PCIe Switch firmware implementation & customization
  • Embedded Linux OpenStack™ integrations

Development of advanced Enterprise-grade Firmware  features

The Encore Semi Enterprise SSD Team has extensive experience implementing the most advanced features in the growing NVMe market segment. Work has included implementations to develop and integrate the new features into existing code platforms, including the following:

  • Open Channel SSD/LightNVM implementations – host drivers, build switches
  • Streams
  • Reservations
  • Dual Port
  • SR-IOV
  • Multiple Namespaces

Development of advanced security features

The expertise of Encore Semi includes mastering the development, implementation and testing of advanced security features that are more and more used in the data storage market. Projects that can be assigned to the Encore Semi team include:

  • TCG implementations – Opal, Pyrite, Jade, Enterprise, IEEE1667
  • 3rd Party FIPS Certifications
  • Encryption/DRM modules for cable head systems and removable/ portable storage media
  • Secure Boot ROM, Secure firmware Downloads
  • Key management and secure server implementations
  • Low level authentication modules

Optimization of connectivity for data storage applications

In complement to the drive-centric capabilities, Encore Semi has developed a strong expertise in the optimization of various connectivity drivers and stacks required to interface the drives or the storage equipment to the external world, and adapt to the specific application the drive is inserted in. Examples of projects include:

  • Development of secure client/server access control & transport services
  • Server Management Suite (monitor, configure, provision)
  • Optimization & validation of Bluetooth, USB, I2C, Ethernet drivers and stack managers
  • Implementation Bluetooth noise cancelling features for multiple streaming AV implementations
  • Set Top box and Head Unit firmware implementation & validation

Testing and validation – Faster time to production

The Encore Semi team has a broad test and validation experience of the various elements and features required to productize Enterprise-grade data storage products or applications, from SSD controllers, to full firmware stack and mid layer software for tiered storage/caching environments. The hands-on and extensive real-life experience of the team is invaluable when it comes to dodging the pitfalls of a product launch, or providing in-depth characterization or benchmarking data. Examples of projects include:

  • Full ATA and NVMe performance test suite with scripting for custom test implementations
  • Firmware module and drive level expertise – close-loop with debug of firmware.
  • Implementation and test of custom/ vendor specific modules
  • Pre and Post silicon testing of SSD controllers – fast emulation, slow silicon
  • FPGA based PCBA test developments
  • Customized test environments with multiple hosts, hypervisors, and drive side hardware to stress any use case the Customer desires