Digital Storage Products from QNAP, OWC and Line at CES 2022
CES 2022 was a hybrid event that had about 45,000 attendees compared to more than 170,000 in 2020. It also had 2,300 exhibitors, down from previous events. Several major vendors were absent from the event due to Covid issues. We cover digital storage and memory and their applications.
At previous CES shows, many companies have showcased their storage and memory products as well as complete consumer electronics products. This includes big companies such as Samsung who often showcase some of their SSD and DRAM products at the CES show along with their TVs, appliances and other consumer products and the same goes for SK hynix. I did not see any Samsung memory and storage products on display at CES 2022. Similarly, many storage companies such as Seagate and Western Digital were absent from the CES exhibit hall and associated briefing rooms. There were a few storage products I found at CES 2022 and associated media events, including those from QNAP, OWC, and line.
The image below shows two QNAP Network Attached Storage (NAS) products showcased at CES 2022.
QNAP was showcasing network attached storage (NAS) systems for media playback as well as video editing applications. The HS-264 is a fanless device intended for home media playback and stores photos, videos and music with streaming done using a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and two 2.5 GbE ports and two HDMI 2.0 outputs. With port trucking between the two 2.5 GbE ports, 5 Gbps bandwidth is available. Note that QNAP was also showing a network device that provides 2.5 GbE over Cat 6 cables designed for 1 GbE. The product supports two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives and comes with 8 GB of non-expandable DRAM. QNAP’s booth included a partner, Silent Angel, showcasing its Munich M1 HiFi-grade network music streamer.
QNAP also showcased two products for video editing. Their TS-264T4 is a NAS device with 10GbE and Thunderbolt 4 interconnects. The NAS includes 8GB of DDR4 DRAM and two NVMe PCIe SSD slots that can be used for high-performance SSD caching. It also supports four 3.5-inch SATA hard drives for mass storage. The device outputs two 4K HDMI signals at a time. An Intel UHD graphics processor (GPU) can also run high-performance AI functions like facial recognition. Real-time transcoding enables 4K h.264/h.265 encoding to support more playback options. The image below shows the two NAS products showcased at CES 2022.
QNAP’s TS-h1290FX is a 12-bay U.2 NVMe and SATA all-flash NAS with ZFS storage and 25GbE connectivity and supports QuTS or QTS operating system. The product uses an AMD EPYC 16-core 7302P/8-core 7232P processor. The product supports inline deduplication and compression for optimal storage utilization. It also supports virtual machines and containers and NVIDIA graphics cards for video processing. Expansion enclosures can be used to achieve higher storage capacities. Three product models are available with different DDR RDIMM capacities and AMD EPYC processors.
OWC had an exhibit that I saw at a few media events during CES 2022. OWC was showcasing some new hardware, including its OWC STX mini battery as well as its Atlas Series media storage and card reader. The company was also showcasing its connectivity and storage solutions, shown below.
OWC miniStack STX is a Thunderbolt™ 4 certified hub and storage expansion solution that stacks seamlessly with the Apple Mac mini. With a universal SATA HDD/SSD bay AND an NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD slot, one can expand the storage capacity of a mini. Three Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports let you connect to millions of Thunderbolt, USB and future USB4 players, displays, A/V mixers, cameras and tablets, as well as desktop accessories like a keyboard, card reader or mouse. The OWC STX Mini Stack is offered as a solution with up to 26TB of storage capacity, or you can purchase it and add your own storage.
OWC Atlas Pro cards allow you to go from shooting to transferring images to your computer with the highest workflow efficiency. At the heart of every OWC Atlas S Pro card is advanced pseudo-Single-Level Cell (pSLC) flash memory. This near-pro feature provides up to 10 times the memory endurance of common SD cards to protect your irreplaceable shots and footage. Plus, you’ll enjoy consistent performance of up to 276MB/s write and up to 290MB/s read across the full capacity of the card. Atlas Pro products include high-performance CFexpress Type B cards, the Atlas S Pro UHS-II V90 media card, and the USB bus-powered Atlas FXR Thunderbolt and CFX reader.
linecloud is a NAS product from a company called LINE which featured other products including a cooling system for overclocked laptops. The product will hold up to four 3.5-inch SATA hard drives and will be configured with a smartphone and managed with a mobile app. It’s aimed at content creators, and the company said it will launch as a beta product in fall 2022.
Along with a few digital storage products, there were exhibits, talks and presentations on all kinds of consumer and industrial products. There was a flexible electronics exhibit at the Sands Convention Center. A company called Meta was showcasing the use of metamaterials created with a roller coating process that can alter sub-light electromagnetic radiation to create new types of lenses, filters, and other devices. John Deere was showing an autonomous tractor and how satellite and drone imagery and AI can be used to optimize farming. GAF and Timberline Solar were showing solar collectors embedded in a shingle roof.
Several companies have demonstrated a lower-cost solid-state lidar that will allow this ranging technology to be used in more consumer applications. Educational products allowing children to learn to code and control robotic devices were on display. AI with avatars for interfacing with customers and in various robotic devices was on display and advanced higher power battery and fuel cell technologies were there that could power the next generation of industrial and consumer products.
CES 2022 was smaller than previous years due to Covid concerns. There were storage products on display from OWC, QNAP, and online. Many products using digital storage and memory were on display along with other technologies that will enable future generations of industrial and consumer products.