We had a bit over 24 hours with the Silicon Motion SM2256 R&D board before getting the call letting us know security was on the way. That wasn't enough time to run our more advanced tests or any of our really long tests. We did pick up a new Lenovo T440 for our future notebook power testing platform, but its battery life should take us to around eight hours and we didn't have enough time to get it in either.
We are thankful for getting this early sneak preview of the new SMI SM2256 and new Toshiba A19 TLC flash. If nothing at all, this test proves that TLC flash from Toshiba is competitive with current mainstream SSDs using MLC flash. Time will tell what our longer tests uncover, but I don't think we'll need to wait too long before torturing a retail product with TLC.
SMI really stuck a cord with LDPC since many of us worry about TLC's low endurance ratings, even though most flash manufacturers don't like to talk about them. 24 hours isn't enough to burn through too many P/E cycles, so again, time will tell how well Toshiba TLC can survive in a hostile environment.
Samsung has already had a successful release with TLC flash and we haven't heard of anyone burning the flash up under normal conditions. Just to be clear, we haven't heard of anyone burning the flash up at all so we think TLC is a viable product mainstream to entry-level enthusiast use.
One thing is for certain, though - this flash, and this controller will change the way many people see SSDs. SMI already has several very low-cost SSDs on the market with the company's partners and this flash should drop SSD prices rapidly. Several companies are purging better than average drives for very low prices, because they know TLC is about to hit, and when it does, it will hit hard.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Silicon Motion SM2256 Controller]
- Page 3 [Toshiba A19 3-bit per cell TLC Flash & Shots Fired]
- Page 4 [Silicon Motion SM2256 256GB R&D Board]
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