Microsemi boosts Flashtec line with NVMe controllers aimed at mainstream, high-capacity enterprise, data center SSDs



Microsemi Corp. announced Monday availability of its mainstream Flashtec NVM Express (NVMe)2108 eight channel and NVMe2104 four channel controllers, enabling enterprises and data centers worldwide to realize cost and power effective high capacity solid state drives (SSDs). The second generation PCIe devices extend Microsemi’s product line to mainstream capacity, performance and power, while maintaining architectural consistency and enterprise features from its current controllers.

The line allows reuse of firmware with existing Microsemi NVMe controller customers, expanding support and making design cycles shorter. The Flashtec NVMe2108 and NVMe2104 controllers are optimized for mainstream read/write performance. Since the controller performs all flash management operations on-chip and consumes negligible host processing and memory resources, it can also be used by customers for host based Flash Translation Layer (FTL) implementations.

It aims to extend current controller architecture to mainstream eight and four channel PCIe Flash controllers for enterprise and data center markets; support for greater than 8GB of DDR4 using standard components; eight channel optimized for U.2 and half-height half-length (HHHL), while the four channel can also support M.2 form factors.

The mature architecture comes with optimized power and cost for mainstream, while preserving enterprise features like dual-port, SRIS and end-end data protection; comes with advanced ECC that enables support of current and future generations of Toggle and ONFI NAND, besides programmable architecture that enables SSD product differentiation through firmware customizations.

Flashtec’s advanced ECC engine provides superior endurance and increases the overall reliability of today’s SSD technologies and NAND geometries. Memory life is extended by implementing advanced LDPC correction utilizing both hard and soft decode techniques, significantly improving TCO and enabling differentiated solutions for enterprise and data center storage market segments.

The flexible and programmable platform gives developers total control in SDD solution optimization. End users deploy these PCIe-SSD-based systems in their data centers for cloud computing and business-critical applications, such as online transaction processing, financial data processing, database mining, and any other applications that are sensitive to latency and performance.

Microsemi’s Flashtec controller line offers data integrity and reliability features expected in enterprise-class solutions. Flash reliability is ensured through a combination of exceptionally strong ECC and flash channel RAID.

Flashtec products are optimized for power savings utilizing a combination of architectural and semiconductor design techniques. Emphasis has been given not only to absolute power consumption but also to advance power management features, including automatic idling of processor cores and autonomous power reduction capabilities. The Flashtec line leverages the enterprise NVM Express dynamic power management interface, enabling solutions to meet power and performance objectives through firmware to meet overall total cost of ownership goals.

“Our new Flashtec NVMe2108 and NVMe2104 controllers are the latest offerings demonstrating Microsemi’s multi-generational expertise in delivering PCIe NVMe SSD controller products for enterprise, server and data center markets,” said Derek Dicker, vice president and business unit manager, performance storage, at Microsemi. “These new controllers provide the balance of the same enterprise grade features and a mature enterprise architecture customers have come to expect from us, with lower power and cost structure aligned with the mainstream PCIe segment’s U.2 and M.2 needs.”

According to market research firm IDC’s report titled, “Worldwide Solid State Drive Forecast, 2015–2019,” the industry is transitioning toward PCIe-based SSDs, with PCIe-based SSDs estimated to be more than 40 percent of enterprise SSD revenue by 2019. Microsemi’s full portfolio of second generation PCIe controllers cater to this growing demand. The company’s two new devices offer eight and four channel PCIe NVMe controllers capable of supporting capacities of greater than 7 TB, a DDR4 interface capable of supporting 8 GB and higher, dual-port, SRIS, end-end data protection and M.2 form factor support using the four channel product.

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