Silicon Motions Presents New NVMe and SATA Turnkey Controllers

This has surely been an exciting year in storage with a lot of new breakthroughs being made available for the consumers and enterprises alike. We’ve seen a rise in triple-cell and 3D NAND that in short makes larger capacity SSDs more affordable, some amazing M.2 and PCIe SATA SSDs, mechanical helium-filled HDDs with 10TB capacity and Intel’s amazing 750 NVMe PCIe SSD – and the year isn’t even over yet. We shouldn’t forget the theoretical breakthroughs either that haven’t resulted in any actual products such as Intel and Micron’s new initiative.

The Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara is starting today the 11th and will go on until the 13th, but we’ve already heard some amazing things ahead of it. Silicon Motion will also be present with a booth where they’ll be showcasing the new SSD controllers that they just introduced. There is the new SM2256 controller that is a world’s first turnkey SSD controller supporting TLC NAND as well as the new SM2260 PCIe 3.0 NVMe controller.

You can’t create a Solid State Drive without the proper controller and the SM2260 fills a gap. It is the first turnkey merchant PCIe 3.0 NVMe 1.2 SSD controller solution that supports MLC, TLC, and 3D NAND. The controller can deliver four 8 Gbps lanes of simultaneous data flow coupled with eight NAND channels. It is designed with fourth-generation NANDXtend technology, enabling the SM2260 to support 1y/1z nm TLC NAND as well as the upcoming 3D NAND technologies from all major NAND suppliers.

For the more traditional SATA3 6Gbps interface, Silicon Motion has the new SM2256 controller that is the world’s first and only turnkey merchant SATA 6Gbps SSD controller supporting 1y/1z nm TLC NAND and the upcoming 3D NAND from all major NAND suppliers. It also features SM’s proprietary NANDXtend ECC technology that triples the P/E cycles for TLC NAND to deliver unparalleled performance, endurance and reliability for cost-effective, TLC-based SSDs.

We have the NAND and now we have the controllers, all that is missing is for companies to put the two together and release the products. I’d expect the majority of those to be presented around next year’s CES in January.

Mushkin Expands the REACTOR SSD Series

Mushkin has announced the expansion of their REACTOR SSD line-up in recognition that not every user needs the same amount of storage. The REACTOR SSD was launched as a 1TB version which might be too much for some people, both storage-wise and certainly on the price point. Now Mushkin has added a 256GB and a 512GB version to the series for just those people.

The Mushkin REACTOR SSD is built around a Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD controller and it is rated with transfer speeds of up to 560MB/s reading and 460MB/s writing in sequential tests. The random 4K figures look equally great with a performance of 74K IOPS read and 76K IOPS write.

Mushkin is an American company that both develops and manufactures their products in-country, so it’s no surprise that this is where the drives will be available first. American customers and fans can also get a little bonus at the moment as Mushkin launched a new campaign together with NewEgg for a bonus on your purchase as well as a sweepstake for a complete gaming system.

 

To celebrate this launch of these two new REACTOR capacities, Mushkin launched a campaign with NewEgg where you’ll get a $30 Ghost Recon Phantoms voucher with the purchase of participating Mushkin products and as long as supply lasts. Starting May 1, 2015, gaming fans can also enter the Ghost Recon Phantoms Sweepstakes for a chance to win up a custom-built Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC and much more.

Corsair Force LX 256GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Corsair is known to provide us with a wide spectrum of Solid State Drives and we have already tested many of them in the past. Now the time has come for their newest entry level and budget drive in the Force family; the Corsair Force LX 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

There isn’t really any computer anywhere in the world that wouldn’t benefit from an upgrade of a solid state drive. You don’t need to have a brand new and high-end system to gain the benefits, even older system will benefit greatly in performance from such an upgrade. On top of that, it is one of the simplest and cheapest upgrades you can do. Solid state drive prices are dropping lower and lower all the time while the performance figures keep rising.

Corsair is trying a lot of new controllers since they moved away from the now out-dated SandForce controllers, and this drive is using a Silicon Motion controller. As comparison, their high-end and mainstream drives use the LAMD controller now. This drive also features Micron 20 nm MLC flash, and those two together should show us some stable figures.

Being a Corsair Drive it comes bundled with the Corsair SSD Toolbox; a collection of useful tools and information-readouts about your solid state drive. While other drives in your system will show up in the tool, the core functions are restricted to Corsair disks, as to be expected. But that is OK, as each company provide tools for the important things in one way or another.

The Corsair SSD Toolbox has a very simple interface and doesn’t look to fancy. This is a great thing for a tool like that. You can read out all the basic drive information like firmware, size and raid setup. It also allows you to update the firmware of the drive, a thing that has gotten easier since we’ve put the SandForce controllers behind us. It’s to be noted that for drives released prior to the Force3 series , they need their own independent tools.

Corsair have also switched to making drives without over-provisioning, they have however given the users the option to do this themselves if they wish to. This can of course also be done via the SSD Toolbox. It also has a page for all the S.M.A.R.T. information and a cloning tool to duplicate your old system disk onto a brand new high speed SSD.

On user request they have also added a feature for manual and scheduled TRIM functions for garbage cleaning. The final function of the Toolbox is the secure wipe function, one that is great to have directly there instead of having to boot into a separate Unix/Linux system to do so.