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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 22 January 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Toshiba T6UG1XBG Solid State Drive Controller
Kingston SSDNowV SNVP325
Toshiba T6UG1XBG Performance

Toshiba T6UG1XBG SSD Controller

Just over two years ago there were only five companies involved in Solid State Drive technology, and as of January 2010 there are nearly 140 names in the business. Without doubt, the SSD market has enjoyed a powerful growth period with relatively painless consumer acceptance. Benchmark Reviews has been on top of the SSD scene since retail products were first introduced at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show

In such a short amount of time, the entire SSD market has created and recreated itself several times over. Counting the generations of SSD processors has become difficult for experienced experts, and keeping-up with controller architecture has come with its own set of challenges. Benchmark Reviews has already tested dozens of Solid State Drive products, and we've seen everything from dual-SATA controllers in RAID-0 to large cache buffer modules used inside of them. In this article Benchmark Reviews inspects the Toshiba T6UG1XBG Solid State Drive controller, which is used in the second-generation Kingston SSDNow V+ SNVP325 (which replaces the older SNV225 series with Samsung controller).

While the SSD industry grows daily, only a few select manufacturers offer popularly-accepted Flash NAND SSD controllers. The most popular consumer controllers at the moment are: Indilinx IDX110M00-FC "Barefoot", Intel PC29AS21AA0, JMicron JMF612, Toshiba T6UG1XBG, Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40, Marvell 88SS8014-BHP2, and SandForce SF-1200/1500.


From the top-view image above you'll notice that Toshiba utilizes a close-knit layout for their SSD-controller and flash NAND modules, with few electronics to fill in the remaining space atop the printed circuit board. Toshiba optimized this design to better server the thermal envelope of their design, as the entire bed of IC components receives a 4mm thermal filler pad to transfer heat to the metal enclosure. This is the first time Benchmark Reviews has seen an SSD with improved thermal management considered in the design. With the circuit board turned over to expose the underside, it becomes obvious that Toshiba's ergonomic layout allowed for single-side construction, which reduces production time (and costs).


The Toshiba T6UG1XBG processor used in this architecture article was taken from the 2nd-generation Kingston SSDNow V+ Solid State Drive. This is the same control board used in the recently announced Toshiba HG2-series SSD (THNS512GG8BBAA), and both share firmware version AGYA0201 with identical NAND construction. The Toshiba T6UG1XBG SSD controller is a 43nm part with native TRIM support, and offers a maximum rated read speed of 230MBps and write-to performance peaking at 180MBps.


Toshiba launched their HG2-series SSD late into 2009, and a 32nm HG3 SSD is already scheduled to debut later into 2010. The Toshiba TH58NVG7D7EBAK0 flash NAND modules (TH58NVG7D series) used on the HG2 control board are rather new to the industry, and do not have detailed information available. These are lead-free RoHS-compliant 48-pin ICs, and use multi-layer cell 64Gb density that require 3.3V per module.


Toshiba, the original inventor of NAND Flash and world's most experienced NAND flash producer built and designed both the SSD controller and NAND modules used in the Kingston SSDNow V+ SNVP325, making it one of the few single-source units on the market (Samsung being another).

A single 128MB Micron 9LA17-D9HSJ DDR DRAM module offers decent cache performance for fast transaction buffering.


While the Toshiba T6UG1XBG is an ambiguous component, we respect that our sample came inside the Kingston SSDNow V+ SNVP325 series. Please continue on for details and performance results for this Solid State Drive...


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