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Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD Controller Preview (Page 1)

Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD Controller Preview

Silicon Motion is looking to take a large portion of LSI SandForce and Marvell's market share with a new 4-channel SSD controller. Let's take a look.

By Chris Ramseyer from Sep 2, 2013 @ 8:01 CDT



For many this will be the first time you've read about Silicon Motion, but I can guarantee you have a product with Silicon Motion silicon inside sitting on your desk right now. Most of Silicon Motion's products are of the nameless variety, the chips inside cell phones, SD cards, TV tuners and thumb drives that you buy based on other factors like user experience. One wouldn't purchase a product because it has a Silicon Motion 4G transceiver inside. You would buy a Galaxy Note II because it has a badass screen, delivers excellent battery life and provides an enjoyable user experience... at least that is why I bought mine.

I don't even know who makes the transceiver in the Note II, but it seems to work well for me, so I could really care less. The truth is though, a product like our example takes a lot of innovative technology to deliver good battery life and what a company learns in one product can carry over to other products as well. Silicon Motion has a broad portfolio and it just got one product bigger.

The Silicon Motion SM2246EN is a new 4-channel SATA III SSD controller designed to work with a board range of NAND flash, deliver excellent performance, and do it all while using very low power. While we don't have any pricing information on hand since Silicon Motion only provides one hardware piece to the SSD puzzle, we can say that 4-channel controllers are generally low cost parts on their own and require less PCB layers to build a working product. We expect new SSDs built with the new SM2246EN to break into the budget SSD market first, at least based on price.

That doesn't mean this is a preview you should skip over by any means if you are an enthusiast. The Silicon Motion reference design we acquired scored the highest PCMark Vantage score we've ever seen on a single 2.5" SSD, over 91K Marks. Now that I have you attention, let's take a look at the specifications and look deeper at the architecture.

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