Inside Seagate's 600 Pro SSD
When we received Seagate's 600 Pro, we noticed something unique: unlike other vendors that use four screws to hold the PCB and chassis together, this drive employs clips bent into the sheet metal to connect the top plate.
As you can see, you'll almost certainly damage the back plate if you try to remove it. That plate is constructed using much thicker aluminum than what we're used to seeing, but it's probably necessary to keep the back plate attached. The area where the clips attach to the top is filled with blue foam, which we can only assume is for vibration dampening in big server enclosures.
Seagate makes it a point to talk about its build-once use-many philosophy. This means we expect to see the 600 Pro's internals used as a foundation for other products, including the consumer-oriented Seagate 600 SSD.
Front and center, we find the LM87800AA from Link_A_Media, which is actually now known as SK hynix memory solutions. This is the same controller Corsair uses in its Neutron and Neutron GTX drives. Even though SK hynix memory solutions can technically deliver the same sort of solution as SandForce, Seagate claims it was heavily involved in the firmware development. A thermal pad sits between the controller hardware and enclosure to help dissipate the device's heat.
Two Micron DRAM packages sit next to the controller, each hosting 128 MB of cache for a total of 256 MB. The 400 and 480 GB drives come with 512 MB of cache. Just below the DRAM are four surface-mount capacitors that allow the 600 Pro to flush its write cache to NAND in the event of a power failure.
The 600 Pro's eight NAND packages correspond to the SK hynix memory solutions controller's eight memory channels. Seagate is using Toshiba's Toggle-mode NAND manufactured at 19 nm. Given 64 Gb density, each of the eight packages contains four die, totaling 256 GB of raw flash.
All of the drive's components are on the top; there's nothing to see around on the back.
Although Seagate went light on specifics, the 600 Pro does provide ECC and other data path protections that help the drive recover from bit failures. One thing we found interesting, and perhaps a carry-over from Seagate's experience in the magnetic disk space, is the publication of Annualized Failure Rate (AFR). The company rates its 600 Pro with an AFR of 0.58%, which roughly equals a 1.5 million-hour MTBF. That might sound impressive, but Seagate's Savvio 15K.3 has an AFR of 0.44% and a two million-hour MTBF.