New JMicron Flash Controller and NAND Flash May Push SSD Prices into the Mainstream


It's been a strange and wonderful ride watching solid state drive technology finally start to come into its own and threaten traditional hard disk drives. Frustrating too, as the handful of SSDs that manage to blaze a performance trail cost an exorbitant amount per gigabyte, while some of the lower cost drives based on the JMicron controller suffer from stuttering problems. That's why we're thrilled to see JMicron take a mulligan.

According to news site DailyTech, JMicron plans to unveil a new NAND flash controller at Computex. Designed to fix the aforementioned stuttering problem, the JMF612 chip will use an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package and support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 RAM for external cache duties.

The other part of the equation involves a new generation of NAND flash chips that are smaller, faster, and cheaper to manufacturer. At least one company -- IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- is said to already be building 34nm NAND, and SSDs based on the new chip(s) will support NCQ. Moreover, JMicron's refreshed controller has been specifically designed to take advantage of these new NAND chips.

We can hardly wait.

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