IBM(s ibm) is buying Texas Memory Systems, a privately held flash memory maker. Houston-based TMS is known for its RamSan rack-mount flash storage line.. IBM already offered SSD from third parties in some of its storage systems and servers, although a spokesman said TMS was not one of those sources.

There is no doubt that flash or solid-state memory is a hot commodity with industry giants like IBM and EMC(s emc) buying up expertise. EMC purchased XTremeIO last spring for a reported $430 million.

At the same time, startups are attacking the opportunity without legacy strings attached. One of those young companies, Pure Storage, just netted an impressive $40 million in venture capital to pursue its all-flash vision. Skyera, another new entrant espousing all-flash-all-the-time, came out of stealth this week.

These companies are pushing the cost of flash storage down — getting it closer to that of slower but cheaper…

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