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Marvell Has A QLC-Capable SSD Controller Delivering 670K IOPS

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Marvell's next generation high-speed NVMe controller came out of the test lab for a showing at CES 2018. As of now we can't discuss the model number or code name but we can leak some details. The new controller will eventually replace the NVMe 1.1 Eldora (88SS1093) used in some popular SSDs shipping today, like the Plextor M9Pe.

The controller will be part of Marvell's next generation controller product family addressing consumer, cloud data center, and enterprise SSDs. In the consumer space, manufacturers can built add-in card or M.2 form factors. The new product family will have controllers that can run in an enterprise-focused dual port PCIe 3.0 x2 configuration, most likely in a U.2 form factor with two lanes each going to separate nodes (computers in the same server chassis).

We first heard about the controller while talking with various companies about QLC NAND, four bits per cell. Every controller manufacturer is feverishly working to get hardware ready for the low endurance NAND that requires increased error correction technology. Marvell’s NANDEdge ECC technology is expected to be a key enabler of future QLC SSD solutions.

The demo on display already produces impressive performance. We saw results over 670,000 IOPS and 3,500 MB/s in the demo with 3D TLC flash. We don't have any details on the time-to-market for this hardware but expect to learn more in June when we visit Taiwan for Computex.

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