Marvell Announces Two New NVMe Controllers

Marvell announced two new NVMe controllers that will emerge in retail SSDs around the 2019 time frame. The 8-channel 88SS1100 and 4-channel 88SS1084 enable INFi4.0 and Toggle 3 flash memory technology for 3-bit per cell and upcoming 4-bit per cell deployment.

“Marvell is expanding and broadening our leading portfolio of NVMe SSD controllers to help our customers address the growing amount of diversifying SSD product opportunities with emerging 3D TLC and QLC NAND components,” said Nigel Alvares, vice president of SSD and Data Center Storage Solutions at Marvell. “Our common SSD hardware and firmware controller architecture spanning our client, data center and enterprise products enables our customers to quickly develop tailored SSDs for each of these segments with minimal incremental engineering effort and achieve optimal return on investment of their precious firmware engineering resources.”

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Controller88SS1092 (Eldora)88SS110088SS1084
PCIe InterfaceGen 3 x4Gen 3 x4Gen 3 x4
NVMe Revision1.1b1.31.3
NAND Configuration8 Channels / 8 Chip Enables8 Channels / 8 Chip Enables4 Channels / 8 Chip Enables
NAND InterfaceONFi3 / Toggle 2ONFi4 / Toggle 3ONFi4 / Toggle 3
NAND SpeedUp to 533MT/sUp to 800MT/sUp to 800MT/s
DDR Speed32b @ 800MHz32b @ 1,200MHz32b @ 1,200MHz
CPUTri-Core Cortex R5Quad-Core Cortex R5Quad-Core Cortex R5
NANDEdge ECC3rd Generation4th Generation4th Generation
Sequential Read3,200 MB/s3,600 MB/s3,000 MB/s
Sequential Write2,500 MB/s3,000 MB/s2,600 MB/s
Random Read300,000 IOPSMore Than 700,000 IOPSMore Than 450,000 IOPS
Random Write250,000 IOPSMore Than 600,000 IOPSMore Than 400,000 IOPS

In the chart we see the next generation NVMe controllers compared to the 88SS1092 "Eldora." Eldora shipped in products like the Plextor M8Seand new M9Pe. Marvell more than doubled the random read performance over the previous generation 8-channel controller and produced a 1.5x increase on the new 4-channel controller.

The duo will generate a wide variety of products that fit a wide range of price points and form factors. The 88SS1084 will power devices as small as M.2 2242 with four channels on a single-sided printed circuit board. The 88SS1100 will power high-performance products likely to ship in the M.2 2280 and add-in card form factors.

“We are excited to grow our strong collaboration with Marvell to enable our next-generation BiCS FLASH Gen.4 devices with its latest family of SSD controllers,” said Hiroo Ohta, technology executive at Toshiba Memory Corporation. “Marvell’s common SSD hardware and firmware controller architecture will help our mutual customers accelerate time to market of their SSD solutions and position them for market share gains across all segments.”

Marvell SSD controllers are known for their longevity. The new controllers offer compatibility with existing 3D flash memory and upcoming 96-layer 3-bit per cell that we will learn more about at Computex and Flash Memory Summit in August. The new controllers also support upcoming 4-bit per cell "QLC" but will likely not power the first wave of retail devices that could ship before the end of 2018.

Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.