Cnex Labs Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of a transformative architecture for solid state drive (SSD) controllers, raised over $23m in Series D venture capital funding round.
The round was led by early investor Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, major semiconductor foundries, large storage and networking semiconductor companies, other new and existing strategic investors, and Sierra Ventures, Walden Venture Investments, and Brightstone Venture Capital.
Led by CEO and co-founder Alan Armstrong, Cnex has developed a technology platform that enables a new business model for the SSD market supplying enterprise storage and servers, hyperscale data centers and cloud computing platforms. Its patented redesign of traditional SSD controller architecture plus its SSD design capability allow customers to procure SSDs customized for their own needs, while reducing their exposure to the cyclical swings in SSD supply that have constrained business growth.
Cnex’ SSD controller technology includes:
– a programmable interface to NAND flash memory, allowing the same controller to work with multiple types of NAND;
– flexible Flash Translation Layer (FTL) control (either drive- or host-based), allowing optimization for different types of workloads; and
– proprietary hardware acceleration supporting key functions typically run on slower firmware.
These technologies enable high-volume SSD users to customize their drives to deliver higher throughput, lower power consumption and significantly better QoS (quality of service, measured as low and predictable latency), while achieving improved cost control.