Micron to ‘Revolutionize’ Smart Vehicles With First Quad-Port SSD

April 16, 2024 by Aaron Carman

Micron simplifies data access in new vehicle architectures with its first multi-port automotive SSD.

Last week at Embedded World, Micron announced its latest automotive storage solution, a quad-port SSD called the 4150AT. As automobiles grow in complexity, their size, weight, and power can be a limiting factor when designers consider adding new features. As a result, many automotive designers have turned to new architectures to reduce the number of processors and wiring they need.


4150AT SSD

Supporting four different SoCs at the same time, the 4150AT SSD enables better performance in new vehicle architectures. 

These new architectures, normally called zonal or centralized architectures, leverage high-power processors and virtual machines to tackle distributed processing challenges. A drawback of them, however, is their complex storage. Micron designed its new quad-port SSD to increase access to data, enable more automotive innovation, and even "revolutionize" the smart vehicle.


Dealing With Centralized Data

While the move to centralized or zonal architectures can help vehicles accomplish more with fewer processors, data handling can quickly complicate these architectures. If, for example, multiple zone controllers need access to the same data, they must resort to storing or copying multiples of the data in question, reducing the system's data efficiency.

Using a multi-port SSD like Micron's can greatly simplify this process. Instead of relying on distributed storage, the quad-port 4150AT SSD can connect up to four SoCs to the same central storage. This allows multiple controllers to share data, removing the need to copy or store multiple versions of the same data and preventing the need for expensive PCIe switches.


The SSD can directly access storage areas from virtual machines

The SSD can directly access storage areas from virtual machines, further improving its performance in complex automotive environments.

The 4150AT connects multiple SoCs and supports single-root input/output virtualization (SR-IOV), allowing designers to leverage virtual machines more effectively. Up to 64 virtual machines can be routed directly to the SSD hardware. In zonal architectures, where different vehicle subsystems run on unique virtual machines, designers can leverage the 4150AT's security and performance benefits.


Concurrent Storage Speeds

In addition to the SR-IOV and quad-port nature of the SSD, the 4150AT also sports sufficient write and read speeds to support continued innovation in the automotive space. For random reads and writes, the 4150AT can reach speeds up to 600 K and 100 K IOPS, respectively. The drives are available in capacities ranging from 220 GB to 1.8 TB, with a total endurance of up to 1,280 TB written. 



With easier shared access to data, designers can leverage the 4150AT's benefits to simplify central and zonal vehicle architectures. 

The drives will be available in more durable SLC and HE-SLC versions for designers needing to target high-write use cases. The chips are available in BGA packages to meet vibration standards and deliver ASIL-B performance to assist in safety requirements. Micron is currently sampling the 4150AT quad-port SSD worldwide. 


Datacenters on Wheels?

As vehicle autonomy and AI-enabled applications proliferate, the 4150AT's improved storage access may support new levels of innovation. 

4150AT's improved storage access

Micron's estimates of car sales by autonomy level (millions of units).


Micron's multi-port SSDs offer improved cost/GB and easier multi-processor storage sharing, leading to some interesting AI-enabled approaches to software-defined vehicles, something that would not have been possible without datacenter-grade hardware.



All images used courtesy of Micron.