#236 – A FlashCore Module Primer with IBM Fellow & Storage CTO Andy Walls

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In this episode recorded at Flash Memory Summit 2022, Chris talks to IBM Fellow, Flash Storage CTO and FlashSystem Chief Architect, Andy Walls. In episode #235, we started the discussion on FlashCore Modules (FCM), whereas this podcast conversation talks about the technology origins and benefits. The impact of FCM has been to deliver the highest capacity drive on the market, while enabling the adoption of QLC technology. In the future, IBM will add hint technology to aid in improving performance and benefits like ransomware detection.

You can learn more about FlashCore modules in our deep dive into FlashSystem 5200 and in this podcast recorded in September 2020.

Elapsed Time: 00:15:55


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:15 – Where did FlashCore Modules come from?
  • 00:02:15 – Original FlashCore modules weren’t standard form factor
  • 00:03:30 – 90% of FlashSystem media are FlashCore modules
  • 00:04:40 – IBM doesn’t compete by selling FlashCore directly
  • 00:06:00 – Andy has the benefit of IBM Research…..
  • 00:07:15 – FlashCore uses QLC with the capability of TLC
  • 00:08:00 – 38TB drives were introduced in 2020
  • 00:09:15 – How does IBM manage the size of media failure domains
  • 00:11:13 – Hinting technology (via NVMe) will deliver better performance
  • 00:13:15 – IBM wants the industry to deliver more computational benefits from storage
  • 00:14:37 – FCM devices are closer to data and can do more useful work there
  • 00:15:15 – Wrap Up

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