Over the last couple of weeks we've seen some pretty amazing SSDs. You know when you are doing one thing, but really want to work on something else? That is what I've been going through these last couple of weeks. The reason why is because Corsair has taken another approach in order to achieve modest performance improvements.
We've seen the SandForce SF-2282 controller used on a retail consumer drive one other time, but it's implementation was identical to the SF-2281 configuration. The SF-2282 is identical to the 2281 in every way except one, the number of byte lanes, moving from 8 to 16. We've speculated for some time that the SF-2282 was used on most if not all 480GB models, but we've yet to see one to confirm. Ironically we'll have our first 480GB drive in the lab tomorrow.
So, you ask, what is the big deal about increasing the byte lanes? SSDs work in parallel to achieve their high speeds. The newest modern NAND flash is only able to deliver around 200MT/s (around 200MB/s), but that is without any of the overhead being factored in. So, in order to reach 550+MB/s each flash is read and written to at the same time, kind of like the way RAID works, a little here a little there, but in this case 8 at a time.
So, when you move from 8 byte lanes to 16 byte lanes you are increasing the parallelism. Since you still only have 8 channels though you can't expect massive performance gains, but you should expect some. In this market where everyone is looking to one up the other in order to gain market share, every little bit counts.