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Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
JMicron JMF612 SSD Processor
WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD
JMicron JMF612 Performance

JMicron JMF612 Solid State Drive Processor

Western Digital depends on the JMicron JMF612 Solid State Drive controller inside their WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD, 256GB model SSC-D0256SC-2100, to produce 250MBps reads and 170MBps write transfers. JMicron has also secured their JMF612 processor in the A-DATA S596, the upcoming Corsair Reactor SSD series, and the yet-to-ever-release Active Media Predator-X7. 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 the Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 SATA 6Gb/s SSD processor.


The WD SiliconEdge-Blue features the branded Western Digital Pearl Rev-2 printed circuit board (PCB), with part code 900-700-800A. In most respects, the Pearl-R2 PCB follows in the design of several past SSD products. Illustrated from the top-view image above, you'll notice that the Western Digital circuit board utilizes a dense component layout for the Samsung flash NAND modules and JMicron SSD controller. The 2nd-generation SATA-3.0Gbps JMicron JMF612 SSD processor is joined by up to sixteen flash NAND modules (Samsung K9MDG08U5M MLC flash memory used here), and a single SDRAM chip for buffered transactions. Western Digital offers their WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD in 256, 128, and 64GB capacities, with each using a different NAND part.


Western Digital has laser-etched the JMicron JMF612 processor with their own parts code, which reveals the 'VAIL 1.07' followed by the manufacture data code (2009 production week 45) and the 571J09111 reference code. The JMicron JMF612/Western Digital VAIL-1.07 is a 208-pin LQFP 28x28mm processor package, and is compliant with Universal Serial Bus specification revision 2.0, USB Mass Storage Class specification version 1.0, and Serial ATA International Organization revision 2.6. The JMicron JMF612 32-bit embedded SSD processor features an embedded data buffer of 32KB masked program ROM and 128KB of integrated system RAM, and supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slot, TRIM garbage collection, and Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set.


JMicron, the name known for data-write stuttering problems in the past, have learned that a large cache buffer helps to tame supply line demands. Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology supplies a single DDR2-800 400MHz SDRAM 1.8-volt IC module on the 256GB-capacity WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD, which is marked as ESMT part M14D5121632A-2.5B. ESMT lists this module as a 512MB part, which would result in one of the largest cache buffers we've tested; however Western Digital does not include a cache buffer specification for their SiliconEdge-Blue series on any product documentation.


Sixteen multi-layer NAND flash modules branded as 128GB Samsung K9MDG08U5M-PCB00 parts combine for 256GB of total storage space, but only 238GB of this capacity will be usable since Western Digital reserves 18MB of NAND flash for TRIM garbage-collection cleaning and bad block allocation. Each MLC NAND module is lead-free and RoHS-compliant, and operates on 2.7V~3.6V.


While the JMicron JMF612 processor is an ambiguous component available market-wide, Benchmark Reviews respects that our sample was fitted to the WD SiliconEdge-Blue SSD series. Please continue on for details and performance results for this Solid State Drive...


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