Meet Silicon Motion's new flash agnostic controller

Subject: Storage | March 3, 2015 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, SM2256, slc, silicon motion

You may remember the Silicon Motion SM2256 SSD controller that Al reported on during CES this year, even if you do not you should be interested in a controller which can work with 1x/1y/1z nm TLC NAND from any manufacturer on the market.  The SSD Review managed to get a prototype which uses the new SM2256 controller, Samsung’s 19nm TLC planar NAND flash and a Hynix 440Mhz 256MB DDR3 DRAM chip.  In benchmarking they saw 548MB/s sequential reads and 484MB/s writes, with 4K slowing down to 38MB/s for read and 110MB/s for write.  Check out the rest of the review here as well as keeping your eyes peeled for our first review of the new controller.

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"Controllers are the heart and soul of every SSD. Without one, an SSD would be a useless PCB with some components slapped on it. It is responsible for everything from garbage collection and wear leveling to error correction and hardware encryption. In simple terms, all these operations can be quite complicated to implement as well as expensive to develop."

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March 3, 2015 | 07:26 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Should be "work with," not "worth with." TLC nand is garbage and any controller designed for it is bound to have garbage coming out. Stay away from this crap and keep the companies focused on mlc, please.

March 3, 2015 | 08:44 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Fixed - thanks. TLC obviously has teething problems but the same was said (to a lesser extent) with MLC back in the day. With 3D coming from all of the big vendors (higher endurance, less drift, etc), it's likely TLC will become the standard for consumer in coming years.

March 3, 2015 | 11:58 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Hope you are dead wrong. MLC was not as enticing as the sexy and expensive SLC, but it worked well pretty much out of the gate. Any problems that might have been associated with it were controller issues, and not from an inherent weakness as is the case with TLC. Really, we should do our best not to be lulled into accepting inherently substandard parts for our storage needs. For the last few years, you have gotten all excited about TLC drives touting how cheap they will be. In the end, they were never much cheaper if any than some solid, but not fastest, MLC drives. Same holds today. They actually should be dirt cheap since they are substandard parts and only a fool would spend good money on crap when it came to storage.

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