New Link_A_Media Devices controller scores Corsair Neutron 'Best of Computex 2012' Award

Subject: Storage | June 12, 2012 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged: ssd, neutron, LAMD, corsair, computex

Last week during Computex, Corsair jointly announced a new SSD to their lineup. Their partnership was with Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), and the new Corsair Neutron Series scooped up Tom Hardware's "Best of Computex 2012" award:

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The LAMD press blast for this event included some additional technical specs:

 

Key Features
  • SATA 6G host interface
  • 8 NAND channels, up to 4CE per channel
  • Support for 2y-nm and 1x-nm NAND Flash from all major Flash vendors
  • ONFi 2.3, Toggle Mode 1 and Legacy NAND interfaces
  • Proprietary endurance improving eBoostTM technology
  • End-to-end user data path protection
  • Strong BCH ECC capability with area/power efficient decoder architecture
  • Enterprise-class proven firmware for NAND management and data transport operations
  • Variable NAND over-provisioning
  • Efficient garbage collection and global wear leveling
  • RAID/Chipkill technology
  • Proven unsolicited power loss management
  • Low power design
  • S.M.A.R.T. support
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 TRIM support
 
Performance (using MLC NAND)
  • Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: 550 MB/s
  • Random Read (4KB): 90K IOPS
  • Random Write (4KB): 90K IOPS

 

What caught my eye was the "Enterprise-class proven firmware" part. If this is LAMD's first entry to market, how can they possibly have 'proven' anything, especially in the enterprise sector? If it wasn't for the lack of compression, I'd be inclined to think this was some sort of re-brand of SandForce tech. Clearly this is something to remain curious about as more information is disclosed.

 

Full press blast after the break.

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), a leader in the development of semiconductor SoC (System on Chip) solutions for the data storage market, today unveiled its flagship high-performance LM87800 SATA 6G SSD controller with proprietary eBoostTM technology. The highly-integrated device brings enterprise-class performance and endurance enhancement to the rapidly growing client SSD market.
 
Designed to deliver superior performance, the architecture deploys extensive hardware acceleration, dedicated host-side and NAND-side ARM® microcontrollers and a 6Gb/s SATA host interface, enabling the LM87800 to deliver industry-leading performance of 90K sustained random read/write IOPS and 550 MB/s sustained sequential read/write throughput. The LM87800 is fabricated on a low-power and low-leakage process technology and employs sophisticated power management techniques to achieve ultra-low power consumption.
 
The LM87800 features highly robust data recovery capability based on Link_A_Media Device's eBoostTM technology. eBoost significantly enhances the endurance of current and future generation NAND flash to bring enterprise-class reliability and lifetime to client SSDs while maintaining superior performance throughout the life of the SSD. eBoost achieves these key system objectives through the use of proprietary adaptive signal estimation techniques coupled with powerful on-the-fly error correction technology.
 
With 8 NAND channels supporting the high-speed ONFi 2.3 and Toggle 1 flash interfaces, the LM87800 can access up to 1 terabyte of commodity NAND flash while also cost-effectively supporting today’s mainstream SSD capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The LM87800 supports NAND flash from all major vendors including SLC, MLC and eMLC flash families.
 
“We are very pleased to announce the availability of the LM87800, our flagship SATA SSD controller designed to deliver unsurpassed performance for PC and related applications,” said Dr. Hemant Thapar, CEO, Link_A_Media Devices. “The feature-rich LM87800 includes our eBoost technology which significantly enhances NAND Flash endurance to enable next generation MLC Flash in enterprise-class Client SSDs.”
 
“Link_A_Media's SSD controller has enabled us to design our fourth generation of SSDs, the Neutron Series, to reach incredible new levels of performance and reliability,” said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair. "We are extremely excited to bring this state-of-the-art SSD technology to consumers."
 
Featured in Corsair’s groundbreaking Neutron Series™ SSDs, winner of the prestigious "Best of Computex 2012" award from Tom's Hardware, Corsair's Neutron are the industry's first SSDs to deploy the LM87800 controller.
 
Offered as a turn-key solution, the LM87800 comes complete with qualified and field-proven host interface and NAND management firmware, reference designs and documentation to enable customers to quickly design-in and bring to market leading-edge SSD products. LM87800 samples are available now.
 
Key Features
  • SATA 6G host interface
  • 8 NAND channels, up to 4CE per channel
  • Support for 2y-nm and 1x-nm NAND Flash from all major Flash vendors
  • ONFi 2.3, Toggle Mode 1 and Legacy NAND interfaces
  • Proprietary endurance improving eBoostTM technology
  • End-to-end user data path protection
  • Strong BCH ECC capability with area/power efficient decoder architecture
  • Enterprise-class proven firmware for NAND management and data transport operations
  • Variable NAND over-provisioning
  • Efficient garbage collection and global wear leveling
  • RAID/Chipkill technology
  • Proven unsolicited power loss management
  • Low power design
  • S.M.A.R.T. support
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 TRIM support
 
Performance (using MLC NAND)
  • Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: 550 MB/s
  • Random Read (4KB): 90K IOPS
  • Random Write (4KB): 90K IOPS
 
About Link_A_Media Devices
Link_A_Media Devices is a leader in the development of semiconductor SoC solutions for the data storage market. Its mixed signal processing and iterative data recovery technologies enable hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drive (SSD) OEMs to increase storage density and reduce manufacturing costs. These advantages enable Link_A_Media Devices’ customers to continue to meet the growing demand for high-performance and low-cost data storage in consumer, computing and enterprise storage networking applications. For more information, visit www.link-a-media.com.
 
About Corsair
Founded in 1994, Corsair supplies high performance products purchased primarily by PC gaming enthusiasts who build their own PCs or buy pre-assembled customized systems. The company's award-winning products include DDR3 memory upgrades, USB flash drives, power supply units, solid-state drives, PC speakers, gaming headsets, gaming keyboards, laser gaming mice, CPU cooling products, and computer cases.

 

 

June 12, 2012 | 06:39 PM - Posted by KngtRider

I am convinced that Corsair (and who knows who else) has been 'shopping around' for cheap(er) controllers and picked whoever offered them the highest paper numbers for the chepest price, versus the more established and premium offerings from other vendors, despite their pros and cons.

A cheap controller may be fast but how is their QA, etc

I like the wording "is a leader" , many firms say that, especially IC or graphics cards/cooler makers. Their own blurb says they are a low cost provider.

I don't recall ever seeing anything other than brand name silicon on mechancial HDDs so I dont know where that claim is from.

They claim they have been around for a while yet you have not heard of them nor know anyone with their products

You guys have said in podcasts that 'noone heard of sandforce' not long ago but I disagree, they were a storage startup and we at least heard of the name in the media for some time and then the products exploded especially with the 2000 series.

Corsair, Coolermaster and whoever else agressively attacking the enthusiast market at all costs, at least OCZ is dedicating themsrelves to something.

Because it does 550/550 and 90K/90K it desrves an award? sorry.

My concern is more at the SSD vendors than the IC makers, implying end-users are guinea pigs/beta testers. Why didnt they put some pipecleaner/feeler parts out to market months ago eg 60GB to gauge the consumer response and compatibilty.

Every enthusiast vendor is doing SSDs now, even Zalman. The market is over saturated. Even sites that specialise in SSD reviews do not really offer an answer to the end user.

June 13, 2012 | 02:50 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

The specs look good and the fact they don't have any tradition in this field shouldn't be a problem if the drives perform as they claim.
I think a more deserving "ultimate innovation" award should have been given to someone that built an awesome HDD+SSD controller. SSD are pretty well covered and this new entry doesn't seem to bring breakthrough performance.

June 13, 2012 | 11:29 AM - Posted by Mark (not verified)

A. This award gives them some kind of "hype" for this drive, testing with confirm or debunk any and all attributes.

B. KngtRider - Very long post just to have the takeaway point of Corsair found somebody who could do the same thing but cheaper....hey remember the same podcast they said Sandforce was unknown also when we first heard of them.

C. I'm interested in the reviews for this series, *whip*.

June 19, 2012 | 09:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Enterprise-class proven firmware"
I recommend checking their site.
They have successfully developed products with Renesas according to their site for HDD and have started working on other solutions. So I am guessing proven, being that their HDD is working fine in the industry.

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