Adata prepping multiple PCIe Gen3 SSDs

— 9:03 AM on June 5, 2015

Adata showed a collection of new SSDs at Computex this week, including a couple of unnamed products with PCIe Gen3 interfaces. The top model is based on a Marvell "Eldora" controller with quad PCIe lanes and NVMe support—probably the 88SS1093 chip introduced last summer. The controller is paired with Micron's 16-nm MLC NAND, and Adata claims the duo hits speeds up to 3GB/s. Drives are expected to be available in the second half of the year.

For those who can get by with a little less speed, Adata has a PCIe Gen3 x1 drive powered by Marvell's "Artemis2" controller. This one tops out at 1GB/s, and it lacks a DRAM cache, likely to reduce costs. Adata doesn't provide information on the flash, but the controller sounds like the value-oriented 88NV1140 chip that debuted in December.

Even with only a single PCIe lane, the budget drive still has more bandwidth than its SATA counterparts. I'm curious how the controller handles the M.2 slots on 9-series motherboards, which have the same total bandwidth spread over dual Gen2 lanes. Hmmm.

On the SATA front, Adata is deploying Marvell's new 16-nm TLC NAND in a couple of different drives. The SP550 uses a Silicon Motion controller, while the SP560 taps a Marvell chip. It sounds like both employ some form of SLC write cache. These are coming soon, and I hope they're actually cheaper than MLC SSDs. It's hard to justify TLC's trade-offs when two-bit alternatives are available for similar prices.

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