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TDK rolls microSATA SSDs with high-speed controllers

Posted: 10 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SSD controller? solid-state drive? NAND?

HS1 series

TDK Corp. has developed the GBDriver HS1 solid-state drive (SSD) controller for SSDs used in laptop PCs and industrial system hardware that employs PC platforms. The company has also completed commercialization and began shipments of the HS1 series of SSDs equipped with this controller.

To address the high costs and limits of NAND flash memory in SSDs, TDK focused on providing security and reliability adequate for memory systems and developed the original NAND flash memory control system. The result was development of a controller that can provide high-speed, high-reliability storage functions and the commercialization and start of shipments of the HS1 series of SSD equipped with that controller.

SSDs comprise the flash memory that stores data, a controller that controls the flash memory and makes SSDs appear to be the equivalent of PC hard disc drives, supporting circuits, and mechanical components. The HS1 series of SSDs are the first products to use the GBDriver HS1 SSD controller developed by TDK.

HS1 Series is has a 1.8-inch microSATA specification, touted to be the with a serial ATA interface. The series lineup includes three storage capacities of 16-, 32- and 64Gbyte. The SSDs tout high-speed data transmission performance using a new flash control engine with maximum burst read of 100Mbps max and burst write of 50Mbps. In addition, the units are equipped with power management functions and consumption current during SATA slumber mode is at the lowest levels in of 20mA.

The SSDs also feature internal security system that encrypts data for storage in the flash memory without reducing data transmission speeds within the SSD controller. The HS1 Series, which adopts the latest single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, includes a verification system that supports access protection structures.

GBDriver controller
According to TDK, the controller used in the series was designed on the assumption that the number of data rewrites will exceed that of MLC NAND flash memory. The NAND flash memory control system incorporated in the IC is an algorithm that can meet the lifespan requirements of PC manufacturers even if the NAND flash memory is rewritten more than 10,000 times.

Additionally, the controller can detect errors up to seven bits in 512bytes and is equipped with error correction circuits. By automatically correcting up to seven bits of random errors in data that has been read from the memory, a highly reliable storage system is achieved. In addition, the controller has various functions to enhance data integrity including automatic restoration and storage in a good memory block if errors are detected when reading data from the flash memory.

Meeting low power consumption requirements, the controller supports a variety of power management functions. The SATA standard PHY/LINK level power management functions puts the SSD into slumber mode, reducing consumption current to 20mA with a recovery overhead time of just 60 muS. Settings optimized for customer systems such as the auto power down timer are also possible.

The HS1 series of SSDs, which uses the GBDriver HS1 SSD controller developed by TDK, was designed by Taipei-based CoreSolid Storage, a joint venture company established by TDK and PQI. Production of 10,000 units per month is planned.

TDK plans to increases sales for applications such as industrial systems, laptop PCs, and digital appliances such as mobile devices, as well as for embedded use. Sample prices are at $2,000 for the 64Gbyte unit, $1,500 for the 32Gbyte unit and $900 for the 16Gbyte unit.

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