Phison has already shipped the S10 quad-core SSD controller to a number of manufacturers that have products on the market. The controller is the centerpiece of the HyperX Savage, Corsair Neutron XT and Patriot Ignite. So far, SSD manufacturers have only taken the retail products to 1 TB of capacity, but we found that is not the limit of the scale.
Over the next 24 hours, you will read about new 3bit per cell (TLC) NAND flash that we can't talk about just yet. It will be a big deal. Toshiba on the other hand has publicly announced 15nm TLC NAND flash, and we've written about products in hand on a few occasions. In this market, "a few" leads to "many" as the flood gates open. Toshiba 15nm TLC was on display in the nearly all of the private rooms we entered, and we have around a wafer's worth in our lab back in the states. Although Toshiba TLC flash is not shipping in retail products at this time, it's coming.
TLC certainly has its faults when it comes to writing data at a consistent pace over a long period of time, and the endurance is far less than MLC built on the same node process. TLC does deliver in one area where MLC falls short, though, and that pertains to density.
Above, you can see a Phison S10 reference design holding 2048 GB of NAND flash. Phison overprovisions the drive down to 1920 GB to ensure performance and endurance, but essentially we're looking at a 2 TB SSD that is nearing retail availability. Phison doesn't set retail prices or sell products directly to end users, and we can't estimate retail prices, but we hope such a product falls short of $700.
We mentioned having our own Toshiba 15nm flash in the lab, both MLC and TLC. Toshiba has made great progress in the last few months to get P/E cycles up past 2500 (which is information we sourced from another party and not Phison, nor anyone working closely with Phison).
In the mini chart with CrystalDiskMark results, you can see a breakdown of performance with the Phison S10 and three competing NAND flash types. Toshiba 15nm MLC, Toshiba 15nm TLC and Micron L95 are all represented in three capacity sizes. We plan to test a 2 TB sample in the coming months.