Need yet another argument for designing your own SSD controller?

A Web site called recently reviewed the ADATA XPG SX900 128Gbyte SSD and this review contains additional justification for seriously considering developing your own SSD controller for new storage products. The review starts off this way:

“ADATA is long known for their memory and storage products and as such, are well known even outside of tech circles. They’ve stepped a bit on the ledge with the marketing of their SX900 series of drives with ‘the most powerful SSD on Earth’ prominently displayed on the product page of their website. Being that this is yet another SandForce (LSI) SF-2281 drive with what appears to be relatively generic firmware, this appears to be more hype than substance. Still, we took it upon ourselves to give the 128GB version they sent us a good working over to see what all the fuss was about.”

The review quickly gets into a discussion of the drive’s internals and this is what the authors have to say:

“Once again we find ourselves looking upon the ever popular SandForce (LSI) SF-2281 SSD controller which nearly everyone that has been even remotely following SSDs should be familiar with. Employing real time compression technology, they are essentially able to turbocharge writes and post some impressive numbers. We also know that it does a nice job at wear-leveling, encryption and supports TRIM as well as idle garbage collection. There’s a good reason why this controller shows up in drives from nearly every manufacturer – it’s a solid performer.”

And so the review’s conclusion should not come as a surprise:

“In the opening of the article, we made reference to ADATA’s marketing of the SX900 as the “most powerful SSD on Earth” and after spending some time banging on the drive do we feel that description is warranted? Nope. It’s really more or less equal to a fair number of drives on the market already.”

My conclusion: the SSD controller and the controller firmware are key differentiators for many—certainly for these reviewers. The Denali Memory Report has already written about several companies that either are or are planning on developing their own SSD controllers and they are doing this work specifically for differentiation in the marketplace.

For more discussion of this topic, see:

Add Hitachi Data Systems to the growing list of companies developing their own SSD controllers

How Skyera developed the 44Tbyte, enterprise-class Skyhawk SSD from the ground up. A System Realization story.

More on developing your own SSD controller chip. Is rolling your own right for you?

STEC’s MACH16 Slim 2.5-in SATA SSD requires small footprint, fits in small embedded spaces

Micron introduces Enterprise-class, 2.5-inch SSD with PCIe interface

Examining The SSD Industry – Researching The Controller or Processor

About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
This entry was posted in SSD, Storage and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Need yet another argument for designing your own SSD controller?

  1. Pingback: Using SSD controller technology as a differentiator: Kingston adds another data point with SSDNow Enterprise-class drives | Denali Memory Report

  2. Pingback: Add OCZ to the growing list of SSD vendors differentiating their drives with a proprietary controller | Denali Memory Report

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