Reading, United Kingdom –Solid State Disks Ltd (SSDL), the advanced storage systems design, development and integration specialist, has won a contract from EDF Energy to design and supply solid-state swap-in replacements for a number of obsolete CDC 182MB Wren hard disk drives. These will replace drives currently used in a Bull DPS6 computer at the company’s Heysham 2 nuclear power station on the northwest coast of England, and spare EDF energy from the considerable expense of replacing the host system.
The original Wren drives interface with the host system using the legacy American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Enhanced Small Disk Interface (ESDI) standard X3.170, which was popular in the late 1980s. SSDL will design a solid-state, flash-based drive that will be configured to emulate the behaviour of the original drive and communicate with the Bull DPS6 through ESDI. No changes will need to be made to the computer.
“ESDI had a relatively short life as an interface, as it had no sooner been standardised than it was superseded by ANSI’s Small Computer Systems Interface, SCSI,” explains James Hilken, Sales Director of SSDL. “In the past, we have supplied many solid-state replacements for SCSI-based drives, and still do, but in this instance we’re going to design an ESDI-based drive to meet EDF Energy’s immediate requirements.”
SSDL plans to base its new design on elements from its popular SCSI Flash (SF-2) and Floppy Flash (FF-1) products and will be designing new hardware (printed circuit board, PCB), firmware (in a field programmable gate array, FPGA) and software.
Hilken concludes: “There are essentially two halves to our emulator solutions, the solid-state Compact Flash part and a communication bridge. SCSIFlash is the bridge in our SCSI-based products, and the work ahead will effectively result in a new ESDIFlash bridge, which will then enable us to make available emulators for anyone else in need of replacing their obsolete ESDI-based drives.”
In addition to extending the life of its Bull DPS6, EDF Energy will also benefit from the high reliability of solid-state memory technology. Unlike a hard disk drive, there are no moving parts. Also, power consumption and heat generated are lower.
Established in 1989, Solid State Disks Ltd (SSDL) is the industrial division of the Reactive Group of companies and specialises in the design, development and integration of advanced storage systems for mil/aero, commercial and industrial applications as well as the distribution of solid-state Flash memory and DRAM technologies.
For further information, please visit: www.solidstatedisks.com
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James Hilken, Sales Director, Solid State Disks
Tel: +44 (0) 1189 323499. Email: JamesHilken@solidstatedisks.com
Amanda Warrilow, Communications Officer
Tel: +44 (0)1522 789000