Toshiba Drops Chip Production in Favour of NAND

Even with the accounting scandal 6 months behind it, Toshiba is still finding its actions limited by the fallout. As a result of discovering that profits from many divisions had been exaggerated, the Japanese conglomerate has been cutting out parts that it once thought were profitable but actually weren’t. The latest cut comes as the LSI (Large Scale Integration) segment of chip production is being sold off and funds diverted to support more NAND investment.

Part of the LSI division was already pawned off last year when Toshiba sold their imaging sensor business to rival Sony. The company is facing financial troubles after posting a massive loss last year and sees NAND as the best bet going forward. The Development Bank of Japan has reportedly shown interest in purchasing the LSI business. This means Toshiba will no longer manufacture controllers for things cars, fridges, home appliances and industrial machinery.

Placing their bet in the NAND industry does make a lot of sense along with partner SanDisk, they among the elite 4 in NAND production. Their LSI business has just been costing them tons of money and marketshare isn’t that great. With purchases like OCZ, Toshiba stands a much better chance with NAND as the flash storage continues to grow in volume. It is unknown at this time if Toshiba will retain control of their chip production for their SSD controllers.

Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512GCSU 512GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Toshiba’s drives are mostly sold as OEM models and built into other products such as workstations and laptops, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to get a good spin on my test bench. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Toshiba HG6 series of solid state drives, more specific the Non-SED model with 512GB capacity (THNSNJ512GCSU).

The HG6 is a series of mainstream SATA Solid State Drives that combine high performance with power efficiency to satisfy a wide range of applications from notebook PCs to servers in the data centers. Toshiba is the inventor of NAND flash memory technology, so we know that we have some of the best on our hands when dealing with these drives.

Toshiba leverages its NAND flash memory expertise to optimize the performance and data integrity, integrating enterprise-class technology such as the Toshiba Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) for improved error correction and reliability. It is the 2.5-inch drive that I’m taking a look at today, but the drive is available in a wide variety of form factors such as mSATA and M.2 2280 and with capacities between 60GB and up to 512GB.

Toshiba’s Quadruple Swing-By Code (QSBC) technology is in improved error correction code (ECC) that is said to be far superior to the otherwise used technologies and as such should provide you with far better data security. It also features End-to-End Data Protection, S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and Garbage collection. The drives support Read-only mode for emergency and serial ATA DIPM (Device Initiated Power Management), HIPM (Host Initiated Power Management) and Device Sleep for reduced power consumption.

The reduced power consumption from the above-mentioned features is great for use in laptops and so it the drives weight of just 53 grams. The HG6 is using Toshiba’s own A19nm Toggle 2.0 MLC NAND Flash memory as well as the in-house created Toshiba T635879BXBG SSD controller. It comes with a normal mean time to failure for this market segment of 1.5 million hours and an expected product life of 5 years. Since this is an OEM product, the warranty is based on whatever product you’ve purchased with it built-in.

The drive doesn’t use a RAM buffer like most SSDs on the market, but rather relies on the Adaptive Size SLC Write Cache technology that assumes a similar function as Samsung’s TurboWrite feature. It is treating a portion of the NAND as SLC for write operations to improve performance before flushing the writes to the MLC when idle. It’s also to be noted that Toshiba used thermal pads on all chips, providing the most efficient heat dissipation for high-performance systems such as servers.