Automotive (self-driving cars) and aviation

Western Digital NVMe drives and xiRAID are employed in a HPEC high performance data logger, to bring robust performance for Autonomous Driving Level 5 applications.

The challenge

Modern technological innovations need top-notch IT infrastructure. To accomplish full driving automation for the vehicle, you need to build not only an advanced AI environment, but also a productive back-end solution to make all these applications work effectively.

Autonomous Driving is an extreme example of Edge Computing, where applications must compute very large live datasets in real time consuming large storage capacity; this requires combining high end computational resources with the most advanced networked storage units that must feature specialized NVMe drives in combination with exceptional RAID capabilities.

Having low latency and high bandwidth for mixed and sequential workloads, NVMe drives seem to be a good choice for this case, but in data center practice the drives are usually assembled in RAIDs where they lose a significant part of their potential performance. For instance, RAID 6 with 6 NVMe drives shows only 35-50% of the total performance. That means you need to purchase and use more drives to reach the needed bandwidth.

Being reliable and high-density storage platforms for embedded applications in harsh environments, such as Rolling Stock, Public Transport and Defense, Eurotech Data Storage Systems have a compact form factor and no space for the additional drives. But high bandwidth and low latency are still the main requirements for these solutions.

The solution

Rugged HPEC Data Logger combines computational platform with xiRAID software and Western Digital NVMe enterprise-grade drives to deliver up to 123TB storage raw capacity and up to 80Gbit/s sustained write speed to match the dual 100GbE interfaces in Autonomous Driving and all other data intensive Edge applications.

After long standing tests, the engineering team has proved xiRAID and Ultrastar SN 640 bundle to be the most suitable solution for high-speed logging requirements.


xiRAID is a software RAID, which effectively works with SSD and NVMe drives. With I/O handling parallelization and lockless datapath, xiRAID utilizes maximum of hardware performance capabilities and reaches the highest performance rate.

Compared to the conventional software RAIDs, xiRAID has the same fault tolerance and 11‑12GB/s throughput rate, but uses less drives:

RAID5+0 (Other Solutions) RAID10 (Other Solutions) RAID5 (xiRAID)
16 drives 18 drives 10 drives

Working with Ultrastar DC SN640, xiRAID demonstrates up to 97% of total drive speed in the RAID. The other solutions for NVMe arrays show only a half of that value.

xiRAID is a lightweight software module with low requirements for CPU and RAM usage. It means you can insert in the system an average CPU and buy less RAM to get the same storage performance.

RAID5+0 (MD/RAID with Ultrastar DC SN640) RAID10 (MD/RAID with Ultrastar DC SN640) RAID5 (xiRAID with Ultrastar DC SN640)
100% of drive and CPU costs 106.5% of drive and CPU costs 61.5% of drive and CPU costs

xiRAID software and Ultrastar DC SN640 drives combination is a cost-efficient joint solution for advanced computational tasks. With low data center footprint and reduced storage overhead, this software-hardware bundle can easily upgrade your back-end infrastructure to the needed quality.

Business Impact

Rugged NAS combines xiRAID technology and NVMe drives into a unique Edge platform for high end applications, such as autonomous driving. It provides a combination of compact size, wide temperature range, certifications for harsh environments with a raw storage capacity up to 123TB and a sustained write speed up to 80Gbit/s.

xiRAID and Ultrastar DC SN640 drives provide you with a simple, flexible and affordable solution to increase your all-flash storage performance. With low impact on the computational subsystem, you will get the maximum speed of solid state drives assembled in fault tolerant RAID.