I really can't stress enough that the drive we looked at today is a very early sample. Neither the hardware or the firmware is final spec and we know this product will get quite a few changes as it progresses through the development stage. One change we will most likely see is the move to lower cost 20nm or 19nm flash. Another area where we might see a change is in the size DRAM buffer. When SSDs go through development the first area that is addressed is stability. When that is nailed down the controller maker starts working on performance via programming and firmware. That said, we can guarantee this early firmware will see a makeover.
All that said, the Biwin NuvoDrive NX is progressing nicely. We did find an issue during testing and it did affect our normal routine of testing. Ideally we test drives starting from a clean or fresh out of box (FOB) state and wear the drive down to steady state with tests. The NuvoDrive NX could not be secure erased with the tools we use to run an SE cycle. This is something that will be addressed as the finishing touches go on the drive. That said, our drive was already in steady state when we started our tests so the HD Tune Pro numbers are not as high as we expect to see on the retail product. We did notice very good TRIM and garbage collection performance with the NuvoDrive NX, but even with those working exceptionally well, the numbers from a FOB drive will still be higher.
At this point were still not sure where Biwin will position this drive in their product line up. I know most of you reading this today have yet to hear of Biwin, but they will be a big player in the US market and are already making waves in Asia. Biwin America, the USA subsidiary is made up of industry experts who know how to play the game. This article backs that up pretty well. Getting back on track, Biwin has several products in their lineup. A quick look at their website reveals consumer, enterprise and products built for the OEM market. A quick look at Newegg shows that Biwin is already doing what's needed to get their products in the hands of consumer, too.
We'll keep a close eye on the Novachips Bugatti controller and Biwin NuvoDrive NX. In a couple of days Paul will publish his enterprise test results which will give us further insight into this next generation contender.