EMC buys secret chip maker DSSD

EMC kicked off its annual EMC World shindig by announcing that it is buying DSSD, the hush-hush chip startup funded by Sun co-founder and Silicon Valley superstar Andy Bechtolsheim.

EMC CMO Jeremy Burton announced the news Monday morning in Las Vegas.

Here’s the EMC statement: 

“DSSD has been quietly developing an entirely new tier of flash storage designed to help companies store and analyze the unprecedented amounts of data stemming from mega trends like social, mobile, cloud and Big Data. The DSSD architecture promises ‘game-changing’ performance for I/O-intensive in-memory databases and Big Data workloads such as SAP HANA and Hadoop.”

DSSD was founded four years ago  by Jeff Bonwick and Bill Moore, both of whom have experience building storage operating systems. EMC ledDSSD’s Series A investment round.

Here’s how Gigaom’s Stacey HIgginbotham described the company’s work a year ago:

” … the startup is building a new type of chip — they said it’s really a module, not a chip — that combines a small amount of processing power with a lot of densely-packed memory. The module runs a pared-down version of Linux designed for storing information on flash memory, and is aimed at big data and other workloads where reading and writing information to disk bogs down the application.”


EMC said Moore, who had been Sun’s chief storage engineer, will lead the DSSD business within EMC’s Emerging Technology Products Division under Chirantan “C.J.” Desai.  Bechtolsheim will remain an advisor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

We’ll ask Bechtolsheim all about this deal and much more when he speaks at Structure next month.

This story was updated as more details became available.