|Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 03 February 2010|
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Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 SSD Controller
Micron utilizes the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 Solid State Drive controller inside their 256GB Crucial RealSSD-C300 SSD, model CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1. 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, SandForce SF-1200/1500, and now the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 SATA-III SSD processor introduced by Crucial.
In most respects, the new Marvell SSD circuit board follows the design of several past products. Illustrated from the top-view image above, you'll notice that the printed circuit board (PCB) utilizes a dense component layout for the Micron flash NAND modules and Marvell 88SS9174 SSD-controller with few electronics filling the remaining area. Marvell's 88SS9174 SATA-III SSD processor is joined by up to sixteen flash NAND modules (Micron 0AB12 used here), and a single DRAM chip for buffered transactions. Although only a 256GB capacity has been revealed for the Crucial RealSSD-C300, anything is possible as demand grows for more storage space.
The Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 processor used in this architecture was taken from the Crucial RealSSD-C300 Solid State Drive model CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1. The Marvell 88SS9174 supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots. Similar to other modern SSD controllers, the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 processor was built to support native TRIM and Secure Erase commands. Additionally, the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set is also supported on the Crucial RealSSD-C300.
Bandwidth estimates for the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 SSD controller claim speeds up to 355 MB/s read-from and 215 MB/s write-to, however these are dependant on the flash-NAND and DRAM buffer used (the Crucial RealSSD-C300 CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 is referenced here).
Since Crucial is a Micron brand, it's not surprising to see Micron NAND used in the RealSSD-C300 Solid State Drive. The flash NAND used on the CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 (256GB) model are built with 34-nanometer technology and utilizes Micron's high-speed ONFI 2.1 NAND interface for 166 MT/s with 512-byte industry standard sector size. Each 32GB NLC NAND module requires 3.3V, and is marked as OAB12 NW172 (Micron part MT29F32G08CBABBWP-12).
The ONFI 2.1 specification pushes NAND performance levels into a new performance range: 166 MB/s to 200 MB/s. This new specification is the first NAND specification to specifically address the performance needs of solid-state drives to offer faster data transfer rates in combination with other new technologies like SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 and PCI Express Gen2.
The 128MB Micron OAD12-D9LGQ DDR DRAM module offers decent cache performance for fast transaction buffering, which will become more important as SATA-III 6.0Gbps transfers are observed.
While the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 processor is an ambiguous component, we respect that our sample came inside the Crucial RealSSD-C300 series. Please continue on for details and performance results for this Solid State Drive...