Silicon Motion shows off SM2258 controller ready for 3D TLC NAND

Silicon Motion has announced what the company claims to be the world's first turnkey 6Gb/s SSD controller with support for 3D TLC NAND. The company named its piece of silicon the SM2258, and says that when coupled with 3D TLC NAND, it should allow OEMs to create "cost-competitive, high-capacity and high-performance" SSDs.

Along with 3D TLC NAND flash from "all the major NAND suppliers," the SM2258 also supports run-of-the-mill 2D and 3D MLC chips. Silicon Motion says its controller offers "best-in-class" performance while having "ultra-low" power consumption. The company is also highlighting the controller's NANDXtend technology, which should let the controller triple the program/erase cycles of 3D TLC NAND flash, thereby extending the drives' useful lifespan. Of course, we here at TR know that consumer SSDs' reliability is often severely understated, though any improvement on this front is welcome, especially in light of TLC-flash drives' lower endurance ratings when compared to MLC or SLC.

Silicon Motion also says the SM2258 ought to allow for "extended durability and data retention," but offered no further details on that front. The company wasn't exaggerating when it said the controller is fast, though. When coupled with IMFT 3D NAND flash, the chip is apparently capable of sequential reads of up to 560 MB/s and sequential writes as high as 520 MB/s. Random I/O figure are likewise pretty good for a 6Gbps controller: 90k random read IOPS and 80k random write IOPS.

Encryption features are on the menu, too. The SM2258 supports AES-256 encryption and the TCG Opal spec. Last but not least, Silicon Motion says the SM2258 supports the Opal 3.0 and Toggle 2.0 specs, and should be able to operate under extreme temperature ranges (-40°C to 85°C) for industrial applications.

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