Wednesday afternoon brought us to the Sands Expo Center for a one-on-one meeting with Marvell. Their CES 2016 announcement centers around the addition of support for Host Memory Buffer (HMB) to their Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) 88NV1140 SSD controller.
HMB is an NVMe revision 1.2 feature that enable DRAM-less SSDs to utilize host memory to achieve the performance of SSD designs with embedded DRAM, but with less power consumption and at lower cost. Marvell’s 88NV1140 represents the industry’s first SSD controller supporting HMB.
Marvell also had on display their latest (still under development) SSD controller, which has been give the project code name of “Dean”. They are currently working with a number of OEMs, including Kingston. Above and below are two images of a 2.5” Kingston drive utilizing Toshiba NAND and the Dean controller.
Below are the Crystal Disk Mark performance numbers for the PCIe Dean controller. The sequential read speeds are quite respectable, but the sequential write speeds appear quite low. We have been assured that write performance will improve dramatically as development proceeds.