TDK Develops GBDriver HS1 microSATA Solid State Drive Controller for SSD

TDK Corporation announced that it has completed development of the GBDriver HS1 solid state drive (SSD) controller for SSDs used in laptop PCs and industrial system hardware that employs PC platforms and completed commercialization and began shipments of the HS1 series of SSDs equipped with this controller. Currently, SSDs that use NAND flash memory are employed in industrial system hardware and laptop PCs, but in addition to high prices, there are limits to NAND flash memory reliability and technology, and many users including PC manufacturers are hesitant to use NAND flash memory for applications that require the highest levels of reliability.

TDK 1.8-inch GBDriver HS1 microSATA Solid State Drive Controller for SSDAgainst this background, TDK focused on providing security and reliability adequate for memory systems and developed the original NAND flash memory control system. The result was development of a controller that can provide high-speed, high-reliability storage functions and the commercialization and start of shipments of the HS1 series of SSD equipped with that controller.

SSDs comprise the flash memory that stores data, a controller that controls the flash memory and makes SSDs appear to be the equivalent of PC hard disc drives, supporting circuits, and mechanical components. The HS1 series of SSDs are the first products to use the GBDriver HS1 SSD controller developed by TDK.

HS1 Series Specifications

  • The form factor is the 1.8-inch microSATA specification, the smallest SSD with a SATA interface
  • The product lineup includes three storage capacities: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB
  • High-speed data transmission performance using a new flash control engine
    • Burst read: 100 MB/s max
    • Burst write: 50 MB/s max
  • The units are equipped with power management functions, and consumption current during SATA slumber mode is at the lowest levels in the industry-approximately 20 mA
  • An internal security system encrypts data for storage in the flash memory without reducing data transmission speeds within the SSD controller. A verification system supports access protection structures
  • Adopts the latest single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory

Technical Features

1. Number of Possible Rewrites Supports Use for 10 Years
The controller used in these SSDs was designed on the assumption that the number of data rewrites will exceed that of MLC NAND flash memory. The NAND flash memory control system incorporated in the IC is an algorithm that can meet the lifespan requirements of PC manufacturers even if the NAND flash memory is rewritten more than 10,000 times. (Even when MCL is used, a lifespan of 10 years of rewriting is achieved based on full operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.) The new HS1 series employs this type of robust flash control algorithm and adopts SLC as the flash memory, providing a long lifespan in response to even greater rewriting demands.

2. High Performance of 100 MB/s Read and 50 MB/s Write
The HS1 series adopts the SATA Gen1 1.5 Gbps interface embedded in the controller as the host interface and can simultaneously control a four-channel flash bus in the ECC to achieve high-speed throughput. Burst performance is 100 MB/s reading and 50 MB/s writing.

3. 128-bit AES Security System
The HS1 series is equipped with a security system that encrypts all data stored in the flash memory. The encryption method is 128-bit AES. In addition, the security system is based on international standards. Public concern about data security including disclosures of personal information and data leaks has been rising recently, and an embedded high-speed encryption function that has no impact on PC performance offers the following advantages. NAND flash memory allows for easy data reading, and in some instances security functions that use only the password lock adopted for HDDs may be inadequate. Reading of data stored in the flash memory can be made impossible instantaneously simply by changing the encryption key.

4. 7-bit Error Correction Data Integrity
The controller used in these SSDs can detect errors up to seven bits in 512 bytes and is equipped with error correction circuits. By automatically correcting up to seven bits of random errors in data that has been read from the memory, a highly reliable storage system is achieved. In addition, the controller has various functions to enhance data integrity including automatic restoration and storage in a good memory block if errors are detected when reading data from the flash memory.

5. Low Power Consumption Eco Power Management
The controller used in the SSDs supports a variety of power management functions. The SATA standard PHY/LINK level power management functions puts the SSD into slumber mode, reducing consumption current to 20 mA with a recovery overhead time of just 60 muS. Settings optimized for customer systems such as the auto power down timer are also possible. The HS1 series of SSDs comply with the 1.8-inch microSATA form factor. TDK plans to increases sales for applications such as industrial systems, laptop PCs, and digital appliances such as mobile devices, as well as for embedded use.

Manufacturing and Sales
The HS1 series of SSDs, which uses the GBDriver HS1 SSD controller developed by TDK, was designed by Taipei-based CoreSolid Storage, a joint venture company established by TDK and PQI. Production of 10,000 units per month is planned. Sample prices will be US$2,000 for the 64 GB unit, US$1,500 for the 32 GB unit, and US$900 for the 16 GB unit.

About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762; NYSE: TDK) is a leading global electronics company based in Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize “ferrite,” a key material in electronics and magnetics. TDK’s current product line includes ferrite materials, electronic components and ICs, wireless computer networking products, magnetic heads for HDD, digital recording hardware and advanced digital recording media.