Marvell Has An NVMe SSD RAID Controller

LAS VEGAS, NV -- It's a software-defined world, but that didn't stop Marvell from building a new NVMe RAID controller. The company has a long history of building RAID components even in an era when most most arrays are controlled by software. The new component allows device builders to spread a U.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 lane signal to multiple M.2 ports.

The devices we saw at CES 2018 used a U.2 form factor and SFF-8XXX connector to the host system. The magic was inside the device that spread the signal to two low-cost Kingston M.2 NVMe SSDs using the Marvell 88NV1120 controller.

The net result was an array pushing just over 1.2 million IOPS (4,959 MB/s). The new controller looks very efficient and with faster hardware could deliver even higher performance. The Marvell display was CPU limited with the processor running at 100% clock cycles. There is more to the demonstration; these are not low queue depth numbers by any means. The display featured eight workers, with each pushing queue depth 64 workloads. It was still a very impressive display that used consumer-class hardware and not a beefy server that other companies use to show over 1 million IOPS.

At this time we don't have details on retail products but we expect to see some market penetration later this year.

Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
  • WyomingKnott
    Now everybody and his / her dog will be asking how to raid two NVME SSDs using the motherboard ports they already have - because they know that it works. I woulda paid into a fund to get them to suppress this.