The single biggest performance bottleneck in any computer is the storage solution. Mechanical hard drives are the oldest and most common method of storage, and have been the bottleneck in computing for a number of years now. Even the fastest amongst them is slower then the fastest data bus and processor.
With this in mind, researchers and manufacturers started looking towards solid state technologies. The theory behind this was sound, as the fact the a mechanical hard drive has moving parts is the basis of most slow downs. So we now have Solid State Drives, which are definitely much faster then mechanical hard drives. For companies like Fusion-io, this still isn't enough. Pictured above, Their latest product is like an SSD on steroids. I interviewed Rick White, Chief Marketing Officer of Fusion-io, to get more info on the ioXtreme.
The fact that the ioXtreme has enough data bandwidth to serve all those videos and keep them playing is impressive in itself. However one thing mentioned in the interview really stuck out and that was the fact that those video files were all DVD quality VOB files. To play them back normally requires a lot of processing but several hundred of them at the same time?
At the Fatal1ty booth where this display was setup, there were two racks of servers setup. These servers had no storage installed, instead being connected to the single ioXtreme card in the video. Each of those servers contained dual Quad Core Intel server CPUs and a large ammount of RAM. This extra information only added to the wow factor behind the potential power of this card.
Stay tuned to Futurelooks as we will be keeping an eye on Fusion-io and the ioXtreme. We will be receiving one of these to review soon. For more video coverage from E3 2009 please check out the Futurelooks YouTube Channel.