SSD Processors

SSD Drives have matured considerably since Intel released their 2 1/2 SSD in early 2008. Many others were released consecutively, none of which could maintain the standard of the 1st generation Intel drives. These early SSDs contained JMicron and Samsung processors (controllers) and suffered stuttering and micro freezing issues and their overall performance was average compared to the Intel offering, that of which didn’t suffer any of these isssues. The initial drives were also very costly in comparison.

Technology, as we know, doesn’t stand still and the release of the Indilinx Barefoot Controller leveled up the playing field considerably. Since then, many different makes of SSD drives ( 200 plus) have been marketed with different processor models, all with differing performance levels. Firmware and controllers improved drastically, making stuttering and freezing a thing of the past.

PROCESSOR TYPES

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INDILINX

  • Indilinx IDX100M01-LC Amigos controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). This controller is basically a barefoot controller using half the pipelines than those used on the barefoot, this controller is used in the OCZ Onyx series of value ssd drives;
  • Indilinx IDX110M00-FC Barefoot Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) This is one of the better performing controllers and is found in SSD drives with MLC nand flash memory, doesn’t suffer from stuttering or micro freezing. Very popular among enthusiasts due to it’s excellent performance. Website and TechReport review;
  • Indilinx IDX110M00-LC Barefoot Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) This is one of the better performing controllers and is found in enterprise SSD drives with SLC nand flash memory; and
  • Indilinx IDX110M01-LC (ECO) Barefoot Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) This controller is an upgrade of the Indilinx Barefoot Controller and is compatible with 34nm Nand Memory. So far only found on the G Skill Falcon II series. Now being found on other drives.

INTEL

  • Intel PC29AS21AA0 Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) 1st Generation Intel Controller.
  • Intel PC29AS21BA0 Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) 2nd Generation Intel Controller.

JMICRON

  • JMicron JMF602 ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) Early Ist generation controller, suffered from stuttering and micro freezing problems. This early Anandtech review released in 2008, shows the weaknesses of the early JMF602 and Samsung controllers.
  • JMicron JMF602B ( sata II – 3Gb/s ). 2nd Generation JMicron Controller, often configured in pairs with internal raid 0, slight improvement over the JM602, due to the addition of a 16Kb cache buffer, small by today’s standard.
  • JMicron JMF616 ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). Could be called a third generation JMicron controller, recently released and used on the A Data S596 Turbo.
  • JMicron JMF612/618 ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) Much improved 2nd generation controller with NO apparent stuttering or micro-freezing problems, JMF612 supports Samsung and Intel memory modules, JMF618 supports Toshiba memory modules. Reviews at BenchMarkReviews and BitTech. These controllers support up to 256mb of on-board cache and use 8 channels to distribute data across the drive..

MARVELL

  • Marvell Da Vinci 88SS8014-BHP2 Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). Here is a BenchMarkReviews review on this controller.
  • Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 ( Sata III – 6Gb/s ) This controller is used on the Crucial RealSSD. BenchMarkReviews review. Overall, the fastest desktop SSD controller released, especially when used with a 6Gb/s controller, the latest firmware released makes big improvements to many performance figures, such as random 4k writes and others important figures, Data Integrity and reduced latency as also been improved and the drive activity pin as been enabled.

PHISON

  • Phison Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) Poor performing controller.

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SAMSUNG

  • Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40N1TRPNPK ARM Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) RBB controller seems to excel at games performance, but as other weak points.

SANDFORCE

  • Sandforce SF 1200 Controller ( SF-1222TA3-SBH ) ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) To be used mainly on MLC drives, Sandforce controllers do not require ddr ram buffers. There is a small internal buffer within the controller. BenchMarkReviews has released a comparison review of the differing firmware used on these drives and have updated there testing procedures to show the differences. The link is found here.
  • Sandforce SF 1500 Controller ( SF-1565TA2-SBH ) ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ) Mainly for use on SLC enterprise drives, but as been released on MLC drives, extremely fast controller. Review at BenchMarkReviews.

TOSHIBA

  • Toshiba TC58NCF602GAT controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). This controller is based on the Jmicron JMF602 Controller, with reduced stuttering problems and better performance.. This controller is used in the Kingston SSDNow V series.
  • Toshiba T6UG1XBG Controller ( Sata II – 3Gb/s ). A decent performing controller. Big improvement on previous Toshiba controllers. Review at BenchMarkReview Jan.2010.

The SSD Review and author will make every attempt to keep this list current and up to date. Please feel free to contact the site should we have overlooked a controller or any of the information is incorrect.

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