Silicon Motion's flash controllers have been a popular choice for manufacturers of solid-state drives, like Crucial's budget BX100. Today, Silicon Motion announced a new SATA SSD controller—the SM2246EN—that will support 3D NAND flash chips from multiple vendors.
Potentially, this controller could enable cheaper and larger SSDs in the coming year. The updated controller could also accelerate the transition to larger drives. Silicon Motion indicates that the controller can support drives with capacities up to two terabytes. Already, the price of 256GB drives has fallen far enough that we decided not to recommend a 128GB drive in last December's system guide. Perhaps we'll be making a similar decision about 256GB drives in the next couple of years.
As for the performanece of this controller, Silicon Motion says it's capable of sequential reads up to 540 MB/s and sequential writes up to 410 MB/s. This chip could also deliver up to 80,000 random read IOPS and up to 75,000 random write IOPS.
Silicon Motion says the SM2246EN controller is available now for its partners. The company says Adata and Mushkin are already working to put products on the market with this updated controller.