We wrote before that TLC NAND could help drive costs of SSDs down as well as increase its capacities. However, the only manufacturer that is offering drives with TLC NAND right now is Samsung. But this could change with Silicon Motion's new SSD controller.
Just recently, Silicon Motion announced its new SM2256 controller, which is dubbed as the world's first complete merchant ASIC and firmware controller solution for TLC NAND. According to Silicon Motion, this new controller will support 1x/1y/1z nm triple-level cell (TLC) NAND and the upcoming 3D NAND from all major NAND suppliers.
The SM2256 uses proprietary NANDXtend error correct technology to maintain consistent data throughput and a 256GB test drive using Toshiba A19 TLC NAND has garnered sequential read and write speeds of 524MB/s and 400MB/s respectively, which sounds promising but is still some ways off from the competition. Samsung claims that its 250GB SSD 840 EVO can manage sequential read and write speeds of 540MB/s and 520MB/s respectively.
However, what this really means for consumers is that other brands can now make use of this new controller to offer their own TLC NAND SSDs. More competition could mean lower prices for consumers. And although Silicon Motion did not mention any partners, they did say that it will take as little as six months for a vendor to begin shipping drives upon engagement.