With Flash Memory Summit 2014 now underway, Silicon Motion is unveiling their latest SM2256 SSD controller, the successor to Silicon Motion’s SM2246 unveiled last year. According to Silicon Motion, the SM2256 will be the first commercially available, pre-packaged ASIC/firmware solution which supports 1x/1y/1z MLC/TLC NAND.


As far as specs go, the SM2256 is aimed at the low-cost/mainstream market, so we’re looking at a 4 channel controller with performance up to ~524 MB/s sequential reads and ~400MB/s sequential writes. Silicon Motion also pegs random read/write performance at 90K/70K IOPS, which is actually pretty good considering we’re working with significantly slower TLC NAND. Silicon Motion does specify that they’re testing TLC with Toshiba’s latest A19 NAND, so performance could be different depending on the NAND used.


In addition to support for TLC, Silicon Motion is also implementing new proprietary ECC techniques which use a combination of both LDPC Hard/Soft Decode and RAID to improve NAND endurance. Silicon Motion claims that according to internal testing, the ECC algorithms in the SM2256 is capable of enhancing TLC NAND endurance by up to 3x.

Silicon Motion SM2256 design kits are currently available and production drives from partners are expected to become available sometime before the end of the year.


FMS 2014 Update – 08-06-2014


At the Silicon Motion booth here at FMS 2014, Silicon Motion displayed engineering samples of their new SM2256 controller paired with Toshiba’s latest A19nm TLC Toggle Mode NAND.


Using current pre-production firmware along with Toshiba A19nm TLC, Silicon Motion is currently able to achieve up to 525.5/397.7 MB/s sequential reads/writes, which is quite impressive for a TLC based SSD.


Silicon Motion also pointed out that their new SM2256 is compatible with a wide variety of NAND on the market including Toshiba, SanDisk, SK Hynix and Samsung. Although not displayed here, the SM2256 should also support Micron ONFi NAND as well.