It’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume. To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort. It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.
The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th. Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed. Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!
But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two “Best of COMPUTEX” awards from Tom’s Hardware, one of them for the Neutron Series SSDs. That’s pretty amazing considering that the LM87800 controller is Link_A_Media’s first product offering.
The Corsair Neutron’s specifications are:
- Capacities of 120, 240, & 480GB
- SATA III interface (6Gb/s)
- 90K random Read IOPS
- 85-90K random write IOPS (depending on model)
- 555MB/s sequential read & 370MB/s sequential write
Although Link_A_Media is a new name to the SSD market, it has shipped over 10 million read channel chips to the HDD business and holds over 100 patents. This company uses a slightly different twist on SSD controllers – since it has a lot of strength in HDD read channel design, it has harnessed this to design sophisticated NAND flash error correction. The company originally worked with Micron to develop NAND expertise but now has relationships with most NAND chip vendors.
One custom Link_A_Media SSD controller already ships in another company’s SSDs. Link_A_Media’s tight HDD relationship with Seagate leads The SSD Guy to suspect that these might be the foundation for Seagate‘s SSDs.
The SSD Guy offers a “tip of the hat” to Link_A_Media and will be looking for more design wins following this award-winning debut.