Microsemi accelerates the industry’s transition to enterprise PCIe SSDs with production release of its mainstream Flashtec PCIe controllers

Microsemi Corporation, a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, has announced the production release of its Flashtec NVM Express (NVMe) 2108 eight-channel controllers, enabling leading enterprises and data centers worldwide to realise cost- and power-efficient high capacity solid state drives (SSDs). The devices extend Microsemi’s leadership in the NVMe controller segment with robust mainstream performance and support for capacities to 16GB and greater. Customers will enjoy the architectural consistency of the Flashtec NVMe Controller product line through high firmware reusability by minimising engineering expense. Delivered in a 17x17mm package, the new line of controllers supports all popular form factors including M.2, U.2 and half-height half-length (HHHL) add-in cards.

“The production release of our Flashtec NVMe2108 controllers enables customers to take advantage of the same enterprise grade features and mature enterprise architecture they have come to expect from Microsemi, with lower power and cost structure to align with the mainstream PCIe segment,” said Derek Dicker, vice president and business unit manager of performance storage at Microsemi. “We look forward to capitalising on the exciting market growth opportunities with these devices, and we will continue leveraging Microsemi’s deep expertise to deliver PCIe NVMe SSD controller solutions for demanding storage systemserver and rack scale architecture data centre applications.”

According to market research firm IDC’s report titled, “Worldwide Solid State Drive Forecast, 2017-2021,” the industry continues to transition rapidly toward PCIe-based SSDs, which are estimated to be more than 50 per cent of enterprise SSD revenue by 2021. A major driver of this growth stems from NVMe SSDs displacing serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) SSDs as price points of NVMe SSDs narrow toward comparable SATA SSDs.

“The announcement of Microsemi’s new Flashtec devices demonstrates how the company continues to accelerate adoption of PCIe flash into the mainstream enterprise market,” said Eric Endebrock, vice president of storage marketing at Micron. “The high capacity these mainstream controllers support is well-aligned to take advantage of Micron’s rapidly ramping 64 layer 512Gb 3D TLC and future technologies.”

“Microsemi and Toshiba Memory Corporation have a longstanding relationship to deliver best-in-class PCIe SSD solutions to the market,” said Hiroo Ohta, Technology Executive, Toshiba Memory Corporation. “We believe Microsemi’s new controller with our BiCS FLASH TLC and upcoming innovative QLC technology will stimulate new opportunities to expand the enterprise and data centre market.”

The Flashtec NVMe2108 controllers offer a mature architecture with optimised power and cost for mainstream applications, while preserving enterprise features including dual-port, Separate Reference Clock with Independent Spread (SRIS) and end-to-end data protection. They also provide a programmable architecture enabling SSD product differentiation through firmware customisations. Their adaptive low-density parity-check code (LDPC) enables support for current and future generations of Toggle and Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI), including multi-level cell (MLC) and (triple level cell) TLC, as well as QLC in future product developments. The NVMe2108HC and NVMe2108LC variants support different capacity points to align with specific industry needs.

“We are very impressed with the technical capabilities of Microsemi’s NVMe2108 controllers,” said Andy Hsu, CTO of Liteon Storage Group. “These innovative devices allow us to meet the ever-increasing performance, capacity and enterprise features being requested by Liteon’s data center customers.”

“Microsemi’s new mainstream SSD controllers are well-aligned with NAND capacity and low-density parity check (LDPC) trends, which will allow it to support multiple generations of our product development efforts,” said VP S.H. Choi, head of NAND product planning office at SK Hynix. “SK Hynix’s next-generation 72 layer 3D NAND and Microsemi’s advanced LDPC technology will be a great combination for SSDs.”


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