When you think of countries that produce SSD controllers, Russia probably doesn't come to mind. However, this week at the Innoprom 2022 show, Russian vendor Kraftway demonstrated (opens in new tab) the company's latest ASIC v1 and ASIC v2 SSD. The PCIe 4.0 drives are the first of their kind to leverage a Russian SSD controller and may have what it takes to challenge the best SSDs on the market.
Both SSDs utilize the K1942VK018 SSD controller, Russia's first domestic SSD controller. According to Kraftway, the K1942VK018 is a product of TSMC's 28nm HPC+ manufacturing process and has eight memory channels. In addition, there is support for ONFI 4.0, soft LDPC decode, RAID, monitoring, and power management. The K1942VK018 reportedly has a power consumption of between two to four watts and will power a diversity of SSDs, including half-height/half-length (HHHL) add-in card, M.2, and Enterprise and Data Center SSD Form Factor (EDSFF) form factors.
The Kraftway ASIC v2 comes in an HHHL presentation and can house 3D MLC, TLC, and QLC NAND. The company has validated chips from Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Memory), Micron and YMTC (Yangtze Memory Technologies Co.). In addition, the ASIC v2 specifically utilizes Russian GS Nanotech memory made from Micron and Kioxia NAND. The SSD adheres to a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface with capacities reaching up to 16TB. The sequential read and write performance exceeds 1,500 MBps, and random read and write speeds over 200,000 IOPS and 150,000 IOPS, respectively. In its demo, the ASIC V2 posted sequential read and write numbers up to 971.32 MBps and 476.65 MBps.
The Kraftway ASIC v1, on the other hand, focuses on data security features and accommodates 2D and 3D MLC or pMLC NAND. The M.2 drive is limited to a PCIe 2.0 x4 connection, and the maximum capacity is 2TB. The vendor rates the ASIC v1 with sequential read and write speeds of 830 MBps and 680 MBps, respectively. Random performance scales up to 55,000 IOPS writes, and 65,000 IOPS reads.
Kraftway didn't reveal the pricing for the pair of new SSDs. However, the manufacturer did confirm that the drives are already shipping in Elbrus-powered systems. Kraftway aims to commence mass production of its SSD controllers in 2023. According to a recent report from Habr (opens in new tab), a representative from Kraftway told the publication that the Russian manufacturer has inked a deal with Chinese chipmaker YMTC for joint production. Kraftway partnered with TSMC before the financial sanctions imposed on Russia due to the latter's invasion of Ukraine.
In comparison to Kioxia and Micron, YMTC's production capability is significantly lower. The chipmaker's original plant outputs 100,000 wafers per month. Nonetheless, YMTC has already started preparing a second facility that would deliver up to 200,000 300mm wafers per month, bringing the foundry's monthly production up to 300,000. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out for Kraftway since one of YMTC's priorities is supplying domestic vendors in China's push for semiconductor self-sufficiency. But then, there's also a report that tech giant Apple is contemplating bringing on YMTC as a NAND supplier.