CES 2016: Silicon Motion Updates SM2246EN for 3D NAND, Teases TLC and PCIe

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2016 - 06:00 AM |
Tagged: tlc, SM2260, SM2258, SM2256, SM2246EN, slc, SK Hynix, silicon motion, mlc, micron, Intel, imft, CES 2016, CES, 3d nand

Silicon Motion has updated their popular SM2246EN controller to support MLC 3D NAND from IMFT and SK Hynix:

View Full Size

The SM2246EN acts as a gateway for third parties to make their own SSDs. Adding support for 3D NAND is good news, as it means we will be able to see third party SSDs launch with 3D flash sourced from Intel, Micron, or SK Hynix. Another cool tidbit is the fact that those demo units in the above photo were equipped and operating with actual 3D NAND from Intel, Micron, and SK Hynix. Yes, this is the first time seeing packaged MLC 3D NAND from a company other than Samsung. Here are some close-ups for those who want to read part numbers:

View Full Size

View Full Size

View Full Size

Another question on non-Samsung 3D NAND is how does its performance stack up against planar (2D) NAND? Silicon Motion had a bit of an answer to that question for us:

View Full Size

Keep in mind those are results from pre-production firmware, but I was happy to see that my prediction of IMFT 3D NAND speeds being effectively equal to their previous 2D flash was correct.

To knock out some other info overheard at our briefing, Silicon Motion will also be making an SM2258, which will be a TLC 3D NAND variant of the SM2256. In addition, we saw the unreleased SM2260:

View Full Size

View Full Size

...which is Silicon Motion's PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD controller. This one is expected to surface towards the middle of 2016, and it is currently in the OEM testing stage.

Lots more storage goodies coming later today, so stay tuned! Full press blast for the updates SM2246EN after the break.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

 

 

Silicon Motion Announces World’s First Turnkey Merchant SATA 6Gb/s SSD Controller Supporting 3D NAND

Accelerating the adoption of high-performance SSDs utilizing commercial 3D NAND

Milpitas, Calif., January 6 , 2016 -- Silicon Motion Technology Corporation (NasdaqGS: SIMO) ("Silicon Motion"), a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid state storage devices, announced today the release of the world’s first turnkey merchant SATA SSD controller solution supporting 3D NAND from multiple vendors.  The enhanced controller solution will accelerate the adoption of the most competitive high-performance SSDs in the market. Silicon Motion will be demonstrating 3D NAND-based SSDs using its updated SM2246EN controller solution during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The market for client SSDs is increasingly more competitive and the use of 3D NAND with turnkey controller solutions will quickly enable SSD OEMs to bring to market high-performance SSDs using the industry’s most cost-effective 3D NAND. Silicon Motion is extending the capabilities of its industry-leading SM2246EN turnkey controller solution to now support 3D MLC NAND from multiple vendors. The SM2246EN now includes the addition of advanced 3D Power Loss Protection firmware technology - specifically designed to protect against sudden data loss in 3D NAND architectures – as well as the support of up to 2 terabytes capacity. The SM2246EN with 3D NAND support is available now to customers, and the company will introduce additional SSD controller solutions supporting 3D MLC and TLC NAND flash for SATA3 and PCIe SSDs in 2016, further improving performance and affordability for broader SSD adoption.

”SM2246EN is the world’s leading merchant SATA 6Gb/s controller for client SSDs today,” said Nelson Duann, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at Silicon Motion. “The added support for 3D MLC NAND will usher in a new era of SSDs with uncompromising performance and affordability.”

Shalley Chen, President of ADATA Technology Co., Ltd, shared a similar opinion. “Reliable turnkey solutions are the cornerstone for ADATA to efficiently and successfully utilize 3D NAND across all our key product platforms, including SSDs. These solutions offered by Silicon Motion are critical to our long-term success.”

 "3D NAND will drive faster adoption of client SSDs by consumers and corporate clients," said Nick Villalobos, Director of Global Marketing at Mushkin Inc., “We are excited to partner with Silicon Motion in deploying SM2246EN with 3D MLC NAND in our new SSD products.”

Key features for SM2246EN with IMFT 3D MLC NAND solution include:

  • Ultra high sequential read performance of up to 540 MB/s and sequential write of up to 410 MB/s
  • Delivers up to 80,000 random read IOPS and up to 75,000 random write IOPS
  • Supports SSD densities up to two terabytes
  • Supports ONFI 3.x, Toggle 2.0 and asynchronous NAND
  • Proprietary, configurable ECC engine allows for consistent data throughput and performance throughout the entire SSD lifecycle
  • Ideally suited for client SSDs targeting ultrabooks, laptops, tablets and HDD replacement
  • Incorporates the latest security protocols and is AES 256, Trusted Computing Group (TCG) and Opal full-drive encryption compliant
  • Supports both commercial (0°C to 70°C) and industrial grade (-40°C to 85°C) requirements.

For more information on Silicon Motion, please go to http://www.siliconmotion.com.


January 6, 2016 | 10:09 AM - Posted by Chris_NM

Thanks for the high quality photos of the ICs and PCBs!

January 6, 2016 | 07:48 PM - Posted by schulmaster

Do you have any theories as to why 4K random writes are roughly double that of planar? Clearly the physics of a nand stack do not inherently lead to faster writes, as sequential perf is unaffected.

January 7, 2016 | 02:44 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The page / block sizes of this flash *may* be smaller than the planar counterpart, as unlikely as that may sound. Either that or efficiencies in the flash management / more OP / etc. No way to know for sure really until I can get some testing time with these.

January 7, 2016 | 10:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually CrystalDiskMark results of BX100 around the web shows 130-145MB/s in 4k writes ;)

btw. Allyn: No improvement in performance thanks to shift to 3D seems to be disappointing.
I hope mainstream SSDs with 3D TLC will be faster than what we have now (I mean Samsung 850 Evo is good, SanDisk Ultra II seems ok enough too, but results of those new TLC drives on 2256 and Phiston are quite dissapointing - BX200, ADATA SP550, OCZ Trion 100, etc.)

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.