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A look at SanDisk's Extreme II SSD Architecture

By: Chris Ramseyer | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Jun 3, 2013 3:00 pm

Marvell 88SS9187 Controller




This isn't the first time we've ran across the Marvell 88SS9187 controller. First introduced in the Plextor M5 Pro and later revised in the M5 Pro Xtreme with a firmware update, the 9187 when paired with 128GB of MLC NAND produces the highest performance results in that capacity size.




Just having the hardware isn't enough these days, Marvell hands over the hardware and a few guides, but in order to get real performance out of the 9187 controller, you have to write quality firmware. Instead of hiring LiteON or MemoRight, SanDisk tackled the task on their own and delivered one of the best initial firmware releases for Marvell hardware we're tested to date.


Using a Marvell controller also means backing the controller with DRAM to cache table data. Two of our capacity size Extreme II SSD's used Samsung DRAM and the other used Hynix DRAM. The DRAM capacity scales up to 4GB and all three spec sheets we found showed DDR3 with 1.5v requirements.




In the Features List above, we can see a set of standards the new Extreme II conforms to. Most of the Feature List is about the DRAM and flash, though.

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