Marvell Technology Group Ltd., a leading producer of NAND flash controllers and other semiconductor devices, is announcing the launch of their new 88SS1083 PCI Express (PCIe) solid state drive (SSD) controller. The new 2-lane PCIe Gen2 SSD controller will enable transfer speeds of up to 1 GB/s (1000 MB/s), and will help SSD producers to offer PCIe SSDs at prices more comparable to SATA SSDs. Marvell’s 88SS1083 has the distinction of being the industry’s first controller that is fully compliant with the SATA Express standard, which takes the increasingly-popular PCIe interface and creates the low latency and dual-lane support required to enable 1 GB/s data transfer speeds.
According to Rajan Pai, Vice President of Sales and Field Applications Engineering at Marvell, “Improving performance while maintaining low power becomes more important than ever, especially for today’s ultra-thin notebooks and tablets. The new 88SS1083 allows SSD OEMs to offer higher performance, PCIe-based solutions at similar prices to SATA and is quickly becoming the controller of choice for global OEMs. Marvell is proudly pioneering a new generation of high-performance and low-power silicon solutions that is driving our industry forward.”
Marvell’s new 88SS1083 controller also supports Separate RefClock with Independent Spread Spectrum Clocking (SRIS), which will be an important cost-reduction feature. SRIS allows both sides of the link to each have its own reference clock, which eliminates the need for an expensive shielded cable to minimize “noise”. A more cost-effective SATA Express cable means that the SATA Express host can connect either SATA Exress SSDs or traditional SATA SSDs at similar cabling costs.
Joe Hsieh, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of ASUS Motherboard Business Unit and Desktop Business Unit, states that “SATA Express is a breakthrough interface for internal storage and will ignite demand for fast SSDs. ASUS has worked closely with Marvell to unleash the full true performance of SATA Express and to ensure the best compatibility. SRIS-enabled SATA Express technology has been carefully engineered into select ASUS 9-series motherboards — and we expect this standard will breed many new and exciting devices.”
In addition to being SATA Express compliant, Marvell’s new 88SS1083 controller was designed on 28nm low-power process architecture, enabling its low power consumption. The 88SS1083 supports DevSleep (device sleep) and L1.2 PCIe low power state, enabling another level of power management when a drive is nearly completely shut down, which allows devices to be always on and always connected without the battery life taking a hit. The 88SS1083 is based on Marvell’s well-established IP and can support NAND flash as small as 15nm architecture.
The Marvell 88SS1083 controller is currently being sampled with lead customers, and is scheduled to be in mass production in Q4 of 2014. The Marvell press release announcing the 88SS1083 can be viewed in its entirety here.