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JMicron seeks redemption with a new chip that could drive mainstream SSD adoption

DailyTech has learned that JMicron will be unveiling a new NAND flash controller for use in Solid State Drives (SSDs) in the near future. The JMF612 chip uses an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package, and will support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 DRAM as an external cache.

The new chip was designed to remedy stuttering problems during random write operations, which has plagued SSDs using the JMF602 flash controller. JMicron rushed out a JMF602B chip to address shortcomings, but was only partially successful. Several firms decided to combine two JMF602B chips and an internal RAID chip from JMicron to boost performance. Although it raised costs significantly, it was still cheaper than controllers from Samsung and Indilinx, which were not yet available at the time. It was for this reason that SSDs like OCZ's Apex and G.Skill's Titan series were born.

The JMF612 chip is designed especially for a new generation of NAND flash chips built using smaller process geometries that will be entering the market soon. The new flash chips will be smaller, faster, and cheaper to manufacture. IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron, is already building 34nm NAND, while 32nm NAND from Samsung and Toshiba will soon be entering production. The use of a cheap single-chip controller and new higher density flash chips could cut prices in half by the vital Christmas shopping season.

SSDs using the chip will also be able to support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which was designed to increase performance of SATA hard disks by allowing the drive to internally optimize the order in which read and write commands are executed. NCQ is used in SSDs when there is latency due to high CPU usage. It also supports 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocols for full disk encryption. This provides data security mandated for classified and/or privileged information in government and corporations.

While most drives using the new chip will be designed for its SATA II interface in mind, it does have a USB 2.0 interface for data transfers and firmware updates. The JMF612 has an ARM9 embedded processor with 32KB of ROM and 128KB of RAM at its core. Data integrity is provided by BCH ECC in hardware, with the ability to correct up to 24 random bit errors per 1024 bytes. Dynamic and static wear leveling technologies, along with updated bad block management software help to ensure long life of the drive.

The first terabyte SSDs on the market could end up using this controller chip. It uses eight memory channels to access its storage quickly and without lag.

JMicron will be showing engineering samples of its latest controller at Computex 2009 at the beginning of June. Mass production of the new chip is expected to start in July. The company is also working on a flash controller that will work at SATA 6Gbps speeds, but it is not expected to be ready for mass production until the middle of 2010.

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To the doubters out there
By Ratinator on 5/26/2009 11:42:19 AM , Rating: 5
For those who were arguing that flash will never be main stream and that the cost/GB of space will never meet that of Blue Ray discs.

It is not there yet, but it will be soon.

RE: To the doubters out there
By jadeskye on 5/26/2009 11:50:19 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I thought SSD adoption would be a little faster then it has been but it's well on the way.

As the owner of a somewhat expensive OCZ vertex, i look forward to the day of buying another and putting them in RAID ^_^

RE: To the doubters out there
By Cypherdude1 on 5/29/2009 7:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Flash storage isn't meant to replace optical media. It's meant to replace hard disks because of the lack of mechanical stress. Personally, I think optical media would have been dead a long time ago if it didn't make software distribution easy. If bandwidth caps take hold that would be the only thing keeping optical media around.

More accurately, SSD is meant to replace the first drive, not all the drives in a system. You can install XP Pro and Vista on 8 GB and 16 GB partitions, respectively. All the apps and (multimedia) data files can go on later partitions. The first drive in Windows never powers down for power savings or while playing DVD's. This is unsatisfactory from power using, wear usage and noise level stand points. Not having the first drive spinning while seeing DVD's makes for a better multimedia PC. After the first SSD drive, you can then install 1 or 2 SATA, 1 or 2 TB drives. BTW, it would be nice if ATI would produce a 4800 series PCI-E card which does NOT use a fan, even if it was slower than its counterparts.

SSD will not replace optical media anytime soon because SSD is far more expensive to make. For example, think about BlockBuster and Netflix. They mail thousands of DVD's everyday. How could they afford to ship SSD instead, especially in a simple envelope? Not everyone can afford high speed 'Net today. Even if they could, who wants to see movies on their 17" PC screen?!

RE: To the doubters out there
By icanhascpu on 5/30/2009 2:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
Alot of people seem to have a very short-sighted view on this. Flash isnt meant to replace optical drives is a ridiculous thing to say. Do you mean SSD is not meant to replace optical drives? You'd be correct.

SSD would be impractical to replace optical drives, but I have no doubt a different formfactor of flash WILL be replacing it. Scrached disks will be a thing of the past. Moving parts such as the hard drove, optical drive, and even fans will always want to be pushed out. Fans will be the last thing to go, practically speaking.

Anyway in not so long in the future when flash gets down under 15nm we will be seeing thumbdrives at 1TB with way more throughput than optical technology is or has been progressing for the cost of a optical movie. Way more flexibility in terms of protection, be it physical and digital, orders of magnitude better access time, esp random access. Much more reliable writes and reads. Much longer longevity. Much better resilience to elements (washer/drier anyone?)

I predict after the hard drive market switched to SSD fully (aka 95%+) like the monitor industry has with LCD from CRT, Flash technology will start settings its sights on the optical market. The list of pros just goes on and on, esp considering the pase of advancement of the two technologies. Optical tech will be dead alot sooner than you think and it is being further poisoned by corporations inability to decide on standards quickly.

RE: To the doubters out there
By amanojaku on 5/26/2009 12:30:19 PM , Rating: 5
Flash storage isn't meant to replace optical media. It's meant to replace hard disks because of the lack of mechanical stress. Personally, I think optical media would have been dead a long time ago if it didn't make software distribution easy. If bandwidth caps take hold that would be the only thing keeping optical media around.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Tsuwamono on 5/26/2009 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 1
<3 my unlimited. Unfortunately there is only one company in my area that allows unlimited. Thankfully they also happen to be the cheapest price/mbps and the best customer service. I lucked out on that one.

RE: To the doubters out there
By BikeDude on 5/26/2009 12:54:10 PM , Rating: 5
If cheap enough, why can't flash replace blu-ray?

What is the price of ROM these days? I'd very much like to buy HD movies on a small cartridge no bigger than compact flash. Much better than those big blu-ray discs that eats up costly shelfspace.

RE: To the doubters out there
By ICBM on 5/26/2009 2:27:37 PM , Rating: 3
Big blu-ray discs......Laser Discs anyone?

RE: To the doubters out there
By Samus on 5/26/2009 6:26:48 PM , Rating: 5
The reason optical media will prevail: there's no way in hell you can manufacture a 25GB flash nand for a dollar because the rare metals, controller and more 'complex' assembly process will always cost more than that.

Optical media is a molded plastic disc. It's infinately cheaper to produce and mass-produce.

RE: To the doubters out there
By MrPoletski on 5/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: To the doubters out there
By Merlyn2220 on 5/26/2009 9:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
Oil prices would have to hit $1000 per barrel before it would significantly affect the price of a CD or Bluray disc.

RE: To the doubters out there
By HrilL on 5/27/2009 12:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because plastic is dependent on oil? Too bad plastics can be made from just about anything organic. $175 a barrel would make it cheaper to use other sources than oil. I believe at that price coal is even cost effective. Algae and corn would be cheaper at around 140 a barrel.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Samus on 5/28/2009 12:15:26 AM , Rating: 2
Saying plastic media will become too expensive due to oil prices rising is like saying silicone waffers will become too expensive because of a sand shortage. There are way more expensive components and the amount of plastic needed for optical media is so marginal (and of low, non-medical grade quality) that its a moot topic to even discuss.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Belard on 5/27/2009 8:18:08 AM , Rating: 2
But an HD movie with extras doesn't need NAS type tech. A version of FLASH will do (non-writable) as long as the data can be made instant.

As of today, $15~20 gets you 8GB. Compared to my last 2GB was $12 3 months ago, 2 years ago was $20 for 1GB stick. So yeah, in 5 or so years I can see an SD-Flash chip with a movie on it that you can buy. Unlike SSDs, it doesn't need to be super fast.

32GB is currently $75~80 The price of my very first Flash key from 5 years ago, 64mb Lexar (still works). These memory cards WILL be replacing Blu-Ray, which is a good format... and the last optical I think.

Once we go to some Flash/card for our HD movies, we won't need opticals. The players will be DIRT cheap. No motor, no door or loader. Just a slot. No noise, low power. Just a CPU/GPU to decode the movie.

In 3 years, SSD 512GB should be $100.
Current prices: 256gb = $600~800. 512GB = $1500. The first SSDs (2 years ago) were $800+ for 16~32GB.

They are scaling up faster than HDDs. So yeah, they will be cheaper, larger capacity, faster and more reliable.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Jansen on 5/27/2009 10:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
CDs and Blu-Ray discs cost pennies to make.

Digital distribution is far more likely than flash media based distribution.

Even at $1, a flash drive would be at least 5-10x more expensive to produce. It is the shipping, labour, and retail markup you pay for at a store.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Regs on 5/29/2009 9:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure what you're trying to say. The manufacturer sells it to the retailer and the retailer sells it to the customers for a mark-up. Mark-ups are after costs of goods sold are accounted for. Overhead, direct/indirect labor, direct/indirect materials are accounted for the costs of goods sold when the manufacturer sells it to the retailer.

RE: To the doubters out there
By icanhascpu on 5/30/2009 3:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
Not if the telecommunication companies get what they want.

RE: To the doubters out there
By icanhascpu on 5/30/2009 3:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Come on guys, I thought DailyTech commenter were a little smarter than this.

I doubt the cost of making a optical disk will ever be more than making a flash ThumbDrive either. Here is the thing with that; there is more to a company trying to distribute media than just that. If you want to make a arguement in your favor that makes any sort of real world sense you have to account for much more than preschool logic.

1. Flash is rewritable.
Media distributes like NetFlix could do a number of things with that simple fact. New movie coming out? Start replacing low-demand FlashDrives with high demand ones simply by writeing over. You just doubled the worth of the drive. Or halved the production cost of it. Do that a few times and the actual cost of the drive is ALOT lower than you have convinced yourself it is.
2. Resilience
Flash is much much tougher then optical media. How many DVD/HD do you think places like Netflix or Blockbuster have to replace per day? I would say a single optical dist will last a maximum of ten(10) people before it starts getting its first movbie-skipping scratches AT BEST. At that point its pretty much worthless to a company that wants to pride itself on quality assurance. A flash drive will almost certainly last several times as long. Once again extending the actual cost of manufacturing much lower than some might think.
3. Flexibility and Encryption
Flash drives will undoubtedly skyrocket in terms of space as the processes that create them get ever lower. 1TB will not be uncommon in the next 5 years. Thats not exactly a long time. Thats not even enough time for blueray to be replaced. The fact that you can fit several movies/whatever and encrypt it, and link decryption to an account as you, say, rent a custom FlashDrive with 10 1080p movies on it, rented all together, or as a package deal (whatever). The point of that is, you have 1 FlashDrive vs. 10 optical disks. 10 Disks that have a 10times greater possibility to get scratched. Once again, that drives the actual cost of creating a flashdrive vs. optical divided by 10 in that case alone.

So no. No way in HELL will optical media be less to manufacture IF YOU INTENT ON ACTUALLY USING THEM.

RE: To the doubters out there
By akugami on 5/26/2009 8:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
I had a decent collection of Karaoke LD's. Damn those things were expensive, but awesome quality vs VHS when they came out.

RE: To the doubters out there
By omnicronx on 5/26/2009 3:23:21 PM , Rating: 3
Lets see.. ~1 dollar.. compared to who knows what for 50+ GB flash memory.

It would also surely require a dual channel controller to meet the required speeds.

You would not be able to use some 10$ flash drive from bestbuy, it would require high quality parts.

This is just not feasible at this time, nor will it be for a long time to come.

RE: To the doubters out there
By therealnickdanger on 5/26/2009 3:32:48 PM , Rating: 3
Right. I highly doubt that flash memory, when combined with controllers and interface components, would ever be as inexpensive as a blank BD. I think most people seem to forget the $80 NES cartridges of the 1980s. And people whine about paying $60 for games today?

When it comes to a cheap read-only medium, it's very hard to beat optical disc technology.

RE: To the doubters out there
By StevoLincolnite on 5/27/2009 1:50:03 AM , Rating: 2
I liked the NES Cartridges, I was happy to pay a little extra so that:

1) No Load times.

2) More kid proof. (I have a thing about scratched discs, at least with a cart I don't have to stress about it sitting on the floor as much).

RE: To the doubters out there
By Zoomer on 5/27/2009 11:57:30 AM , Rating: 3
Until dust/oxidation gets you.

RE: To the doubters out there
By icanhascpu on 5/30/2009 3:28:28 PM , Rating: 1
I still have working Atari cards. Yet most of my PlayStation CDs are scar-ached to shit. So you tell me what cost more in the longrun.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Ratinator on 5/26/2009 2:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
My comment was directed at someone's comment about a month ago where they indicated that flash will never get a good market share and become main stream and thus will continue to use re-writable optical discs because flash will never be as cheap as optical storage. Well I guess if you want to have 20 or more Blue Ray discs to deal with....go right ahead.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Jansen on 5/26/2009 3:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Blu-Ray has a role as a medium for one-way content distribution, where you don't expect to be returning the disk.

USB flash drives are cheap, but will never quite reach the price points of an optical disc due to interface costs.

RE: To the doubters out there
By tastyratz on 5/27/2009 9:59:11 AM , Rating: 3
They might however reach a point where the cost to manufacture becomes negligible. People think usb and think expensive - but cost of media will go down if you go with a format that relies on host based circuitry. Think less usb flash and think more sd card.

Once media is fast enough that you could write to the entire contents of a 32 or 64gb sd card in under a minute or 2 I think we might see a shift away from optical. Using flash media in that context presents new opportunities.

Stamping optical media requires a large operation and overhead, it takes a facility.

To quickly deploy you need a burner, and while faster it requires some sort of organic material in the disc that breaks down compromising longevity. People wont buy tangible movies if they only last a few years.

Think kiosk based distribution systems. These can be massive data storage tanks holding thousands of movies. They can have multiple autoload cardreaders and printing capabilities. Pick your movie from the screen, scan your card, and give it 2 minutes. It writes your movie, prints the cover art, and spits out in the tray.

Entire movie departments can be replaced with the equivalent to a "ms pack man" sized footprint. a "blockbuster" can be ever few streetcorners like an atm.

Want just the movie? 3.99.
How about the deleted scenes and making of? only 50c extra!
if you buy now, they will put the sequel on the same media for only 2.99 more.
What about just renting the movie? An expiration date 7 days from now can be written to the media saving you 0.99 today.
How about the soundtrack? its only 1.99 more.

While optical media is cheap to mass produce, the elimination of nearly all overhead becomes attractive enough to become competitive. Match that with the incentive of the endless possibilities having build to order media sales and you will start seeing a price point in a few years where it becomes much more viable.

I agree with what others said, I think Bluray will likely be the last distributed optical based storage solution unless they break 2 key barries.
1 . Instant or close to write capabilities in a non deteriorating archival format.
2. being AFFORDABLE massive leaps in space - generations ahead of other technologies making it attractive.

If holographic media came out, and cheap burners could write a 500gb disc in 1 minute for 30 cents a pop... we might see those in my kiosk scenario.

RE: To the doubters out there
By retrospooty on 5/26/2009 4:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
"Flash storage isn't meant to replace optical media."

It can if adopted to do so. Imagine an SD card with a high def movie and all the extra's on it. Now think shipping, handling, distribution and storage costs. Eventually it will be faster and cheaper. It's almost an inevitability to be the next media standard.

The only possible thing stopping that from happening is the likelyhood for online content to be the main source for media. Either way Blue Ray's days are numbered before it even fully takes off.

RE: To the doubters out there
By sxr7171 on 5/26/2009 11:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
Uh yeah in like 6 years 32GB Flash will be $1. So I guess 8 years isn't enough for an optical format to take off in your book.

RE: To the doubters out there
By swizeus on 5/26/2009 8:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
just can't imagine, we buy a game title that comes with a 4GB storage flash disk....

RE: To the doubters out there
By DeepBlue1975 on 5/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: To the doubters out there
By Jansen on 5/26/2009 3:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to assume you meant "conservatives" instead of "conservationists".

RE: To the doubters out there
By therealnickdanger on 5/26/2009 3:35:02 PM , Rating: 4
Why would you assume that? It still wouldn't make sense. :P

RE: To the doubters out there
By Merlyn2220 on 5/26/2009 9:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think the right word is "pessimists." Why would conservatives or conservationists be against the advance of technology? :) Post is okay...the opening is confusing to those of us with lesser intellect.

RE: To the doubters out there
By DeepBlue1975 on 5/27/2009 3:30:33 PM , Rating: 2

That post of mine is a complete and utter disaster.

Even now I don't get exactly what I said, though of course I know what I tried to say.

I just meant this:

There are those who always seem to think "inside the box" and extrapolate the already known rules and limitations in a way so absolute that, for them, those limitations are final and imply a rather permanent dead end regarding a certain branch of technological development.

But they forget that research teams actually try to shift the playing ground from a known set of rules and limits, to another that allows those limits to be set much further away and, hence, allowing for the development efforts to continue.

Those "new sets of rules and limits" I mention, are nothing more than the breakthroughs we're used to read about: a new material that allows better conductivity at the same temperature, an effect that wasn't known before and that by doing some working around could save the day, a complete shift of paradigm, and so on.

I hope this is less confusing. Yesterday my mind was rather messy and, adding that to the fact that English is not my birth language, yielded that horrible post of mine. Heck, even I'd rate it down further if I could :D

RE: To the doubters out there
By wingless on 5/26/2009 4:27:43 PM , Rating: 1
After the tower of Babel was built, God said this about humanity, "Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propse to do will now be impossible for them..." Genesis 11:6

Even God said we can do anything we put our minds too (we just rarely have the wisdom to use it). Never say never.

I want to see an HTX interface SSD that runs at full Hyper Transport 3.1 bus speeds. Until then, I'm sure we will saturate a PCIe 8x or 16x bus easily come mid 2010.

RE: To the doubters out there
By JS on 5/26/2009 5:42:19 PM , Rating: 3
That was a pretty uncool thing to do, putting humanity down like that. I guess we' will soon know if he will allow for JMicron to keep pulling their stunts.

Oh wait, I forgot, they're probably mostly Buddhist.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Visual on 5/27/2009 4:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
We'll get back on him, don't worry.
Once we make our space elevator, we'll silently declare it a "tower" and name the anchoring platform "Babel" and take God by surprise ;)

RE: To the doubters out there
By Natfly on 5/26/2009 3:15:34 PM , Rating: 3
It is not there yet, but it will be soon.

I wouldn't hold my breath. As far as cost/GB, flash is still dollars/GB while magnetic drives are pennies/GB. Performance/$ is what will make flash a real competitor to magnetic HDDs.

And as far as comparing flash vs Blu-Ray. It makes no sense to manufacture read/write memory on silicon lithography vs simply stamping a piece of plastic with the data you want.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Ratinator on 5/26/2009 3:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
Oh come on......magnetic drives used to cost hundreds of dollars per Gig at one time too. Why is it so inconceivable for people to realise in a few years that flash will also cost pennies/GB. Once they have refined their processes and paid for their R&D, costs will come down just like every other useful piece of technology in history.

As for comparing flash vs its simplest form both provide a means for reading/writing/storing data. As I noted in a previous post, this was in response to someones comment about flash never being on par price wise with Blu Ray discs.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Natfly on 5/26/2009 3:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
magnetic drives used to cost hundreds of dollars per Gig at one time too.

Yeah, and it took a while for them to get where they are.

Why is it so inconceivable for people to realise in a few years that flash will also cost pennies/GB.

Because we'll probably hit the physical limitations imposed by the size of silicon atoms before that happens. I'm sure some technology will eventually compete on a price/gb scale. I'm just saying it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

RE: To the doubters out there
By sxr7171 on 5/27/2009 12:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's a really tough one to argue. Yes, the flash guys have recently stated that there is going to be a foreseeable limit on flash:

However, 5 years is enough time to figure out how to stack these silicon layers. For one argument.

For the second more persuasive argument it that today I could hold a 32GB MicroSD card. Those things are small enough that one could easy fit the 16 of them in a standard 2.5" HDD case. Those 16 chips would reach the capacity of a 500GB 2.5" magnetic HDD.

16 of those chips in there would leave 95% of free space in that drive. Imagine if they even filled 50% of the space of that drive with similar density Flash to what goes into that 32GB MicroSD. Leaving half the space for supporting chips and board space.

Anyway, it's possible it just needs to get cheaper.

It like when we using cassette tapes and sure we were wishing for cheaper cassette tapes when the CD came out at $18-20 each in 1983 prices. It wasn't cheaper cassettes that saved us eventually. It was the CD.

This flash business is paradigm shifting stuff.

The next thing I wish for is RAM that holds itself without needing a constant power source. Boy, my OS is going to fly on that thing and my data will fly coming off that super fast flash memory.

Our laptops will half as thin, half as light and unbelievably fast with that kind of tech. I look forward to it. Hope we get some fuel cell tech on the side.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Belard on 5/27/2009 8:21:20 AM , Rating: 2

Next, people will be saying that digial cameras will NEVER replace film cameras.

RE: To the doubters out there
By omnicronx on 5/26/2009 3:18:08 PM , Rating: 1
Flash memory will always cost more money to produce, period!
If conventional HD's continued development, there is no reason to believe that flash memory would ever come close.

Perhaps the consumer may see a comparable cost/GB, but if this is the case, the additional cost will most likely be passed onto the manufacturer.

Conventional HD's do not have the shortcomming of flash memory, no consumer drive for example currently needs 128M+ cache in order to be a good product.

While SSD's have great potential, conventional HD's are not going anywhere anytime soon. SSD's will become mainstream, but don't expect them to totally replace conventional HDD's.

RE: To the doubters out there
By greylica on 5/26/2009 3:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
I am beginning to feel nostalgic about my ultra 320 SCSI, and their rhgrhgrhgrhgrhgrhgrhgr music inside my CPU...

RE: To the doubters out there
By FireSnake on 5/27/2009 4:17:34 AM , Rating: 2
And I can hardly wait!

The sooner the better.

RE: To the doubters out there
By Fanfoot on 5/29/2009 6:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is the stupidest conversation happening on the entire internet right now. Seriously.

Let's hope for redemption.
By Tegrat on 5/26/2009 11:51:02 AM , Rating: 6
I hope that the new controllers are successful. We need as much competition as possible to help drive prices down and innovation up!

RE: Let's hope for redemption.
By dali71 on 5/26/2009 7:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to that. By the way, how the hell did you get a rating of 6?

RE: Let's hope for redemption.
By sxr7171 on 5/26/2009 11:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
He had a little help. Fully warranted honestly.

RE: Let's hope for redemption.
By dastruch on 5/27/2009 4:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
Pulled the devil by the tail :)

RE: Let's hope for redemption.
By dastruch on 5/27/2009 4:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
And let the SSD decade begin!

By martinrichards23 on 5/27/2009 4:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
SSD will bring world peace. (Can I get a 6 for that?)

JMicron sucks
By winterspan on 5/27/2009 3:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
JMicron lost all credibility with their literally terribly performing 1st gen controller. Thank god Indilinx and Samsung are there to challenge (and now beat) the front-runner Intel to bring down prices of GOOD SSDs.

Many of the drives using the newest Samsung controller or the Indilinx controller are excellent such as the OCZ Vertex, OCZ Summit, Corsair P256, etc.

Remember, most of the first generation MLC drives (mostly based on JMicron controllers) are total CRAP and can be literally 100X slower than drives with good controllers in random write performance benchmarks. Don't buy any SSD until you've seen a full review.

RE: JMicron sucks
By Earthmonger on 5/27/2009 4:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
And I'll expect that review to come from Anand in the next few weeks. Honestly, until he covers it, I'm not going anywhere near JMicron-based drives.

This is good news though. Even if the new controller isn't up to par, it can't be any worse than JMicron's last.

RE: JMicron sucks
By Jansen on 5/27/2009 8:24:32 AM , Rating: 2
JMicron was the only affordable SSD controller manufacturer for a long time. If it wasn't for them, the SSD market would be much smaller and prices would be much higher today. We would in fact be a year behind, Samsung would charge double for their controllers, and Indilinx would still be a pipe dream due to lack of funding.

The fault lies more with the SSD makers who wanted to push max read and write speeds rather than random write. The JMF602 was designed for max read and write, and to not have to use cache in order to speed market acceptance through lower cost.

RE: JMicron sucks
By sxr7171 on 5/27/2009 12:30:07 PM , Rating: 1
Well I guess blame manufacturers and stupid people who only look at the surface of numbers. "Oh fast reads and writes - better than Velociraptor!"

That's all they care about, that's all I read in the AT memory and storage forum. They just keep comparing transfer rates with the Velociraptor and 2 in RAID 0.

Nobody thinks enough to realize that factor may not be what is important to performance in actual use of the drive. With such idiot "computer enthusiasts" how can you really blame a manufacturer for needing to gimp the drive to get fast sequential rates? These people spent all day with their primitive tests testing if their drive does in fact reach the advertised rates. That's why they bought the drive. Maybe for benchmark numbers more than actual usable performance.

Anyway, hopefully Anand's articles have educated these "enthusiasts" enough to stop this nonsense once and for all.

RE: JMicron sucks
By jonp on 5/28/2009 1:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
I have had nothing but trouble with JMicron chips for regular IDE hard drives, RAID and PATA/SATA. It is hard to imagine that they can actually handle the complexities of SSDs even with a second generation attempt. So they are get what you pay for!

RE: JMicron sucks
By Fanfoot on 5/29/2009 6:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think it is appropriate to be incredibly sceptical. That said, we can only hope this is better than the last generation. All they need to do is avoid those massive lockups to do that. If so, then they can serve their purpose of continuing to drive down costs, which is useful, as long as those of us who know better continue to avoid them.

By kaoken on 5/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Intresting...
By StevoLincolnite on 5/26/2009 11:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
The use of a cheap single-chip controller and new higher density flash chips could cut prices in half by the vital Christmas shopping season.

3rd paragraph, last sentence.

RE: Intresting...
By kaoken on 5/26/2009 7:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
I meant where is he getting this information from. Is he just pulling arbitrary numbers are what.

prices cut in half is not news
By MadMan007 on 5/27/2009 1:19:51 AM , Rating: 2
Flash drops by half every year anyway so this was inevitable. It's hardly newsworthy.

Now were talkin
By Frallan on 5/27/2009 5:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
Ive been drooling over the SSDs for a while now. Just havent been able to find it in my budget to get on (I need a 250 GB since its my only HDD). Now that might change :0) and especially the large ones will come down in price I guess.

By AlmostExAMD on 5/27/2009 7:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Good to see them make a comeback after their mishap controller,More competition the better our wallets for us all.
Been after an SSD for a while,Got the money but just to many SSD breakthroughs and drive releases happening on a monthly basis to win me over,This controller might push me to get one regardless if the drive becomes outdated in a month,If it's half price it's worth it in my system,Simple as that.
$700 now hmmmmm reasonable, $350 at years end Hell yes ready for an upgrade.

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