Marvell is an important player in the SSD business. While its name doesn't appear on any drives, its controller technology resides inside popular SSDs from Corsair, Crucial, OCZ, Plextor, and others. Now, it looks like the firm has made an investment in Taiwanese SSD maker Memoright. DigiTimes' sources say the two firms have formed a "strategic alliance for combining [Marvell's] SSD controller ICs and Memoright's firmware technology to provide complete SSD solutions."
Interestingly, this move seems to be intended to make it easier for Marvell to sell its technology to prospective drive makers. According to the source quoted by DigiTimes, Marvell's partners have been doing their own firmware development for the company's controllers. The Memoright deal would allow Marvell to offer a complete controller-and-firmware package that's easier to implement, especially for smaller vendors that lack in-house firmware expertise.
The DigiTimes source goes on to say that Memoright will handle firmware development for the eMMC controller Marvell has designed for smartphones and tablets. PC folks will probably be more interested in Memoright's "Endurance Write firmware architecture," which appears in its QuadLife SSDs and purportedly offers much better NAND longevity than competing solutions. Memoright claims its high-endurance tech can extend the lifespan of MLC flash to over 20,000 write-erase cycles, a substantial increase over the 3,000-5,000 cycles typical of consumer-grade NAND. That sort of flash-extending technology could give Marvell an answer to SandForce's DuraWrite mojo, which improves NAND longevity by compressing incoming host writes.
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