But, really, storage technology? That's apparently another big area for the company, as 14 patent filings made public this week suggest. No matter what Google plans to do with the technology, it will likely have a significant impact on the computer industry, and probably not for the better. HP (HPQ), Dell (DELL), IBM (IBM), EMC (EMC), and others -- you have permission to sweat.
Look at the applications (and, remember, these aren't as yet granted patents) and it's a pretty amazing collection of claims that includes systems that use multiple memory devices divided into channels with separate command and status buses; data storage devices with multiple solid state memory boards; and ways of striping data to solid state devices, effectively turning them into corporate-style RAID arrays. Here are the patents I found:
- 20100262979, CIRCULAR COMMAND QUEUES FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN A HOST AND A DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262894, ERROR CORRECTION FOR A DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262773, DATA STRIPING IN A FLASH MEMORY DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262767, DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262766, GARBAGE COLLECTION FOR FAILURE PREDICTION AND REPARTITIONING
- 20100262762, RAID CONFIGURATION IN A FLASH MEMORY DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262761, PARTITIONING A FLASH MEMORY DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262760, COMMAND PROCESSOR FOR A DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262759, DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262758, DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262757, DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100262740, MULTIPLE COMMAND QUEUES HAVING SEPARATE INTERRUPTS
- 20100262738, COMMAND AND INTERRUPT GROUPING FOR A DATA STORAGE DEVICE
- 20100257304, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR POWER MANAGEMENT OF MEMORY CIRCUITS BY A SYSTEM OR COMPONENT THEREOF
Even if intended for internal use, remember that Google powers a lot of companies through its current cloud offerings and is one of the largest consumers of major computing technology in the world. If it builds its own high-performance storage and -- why leave it there? -- servers and networks, there are three big implications for the computer industry:
- It loses one of its biggest customers, because Google can buy parts in volume and roll its own -- possibly with better performance than it can get from outside vendors.
- As its cloud services continue to race ahead, Google effectively builds systems for its customers as well, becoming one of the world's largest system integrators. And so, Google cuts the number of sales to other companies as well.
- Google can license its technology to others, enabling other large-scale companies to build their own systems.
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